Tom Cruise resilient amid bumpy stretches

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Just turned 50, Tom Cruise is eligible for membership in the AARP. Just split from third wife Katie Holmes, Cruise is the object of told-you-so cynics who simply knew that romance wouldn't last, The Associated Press reports.

Just finished with his stab at something really different as a heavy-metal rock god in "Rock of Ages," Cruise is coming off one of the lowest-grossing movies in his career.

Yet just out with his latest action flick, "Jack Reacher," Cruise remains one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

He's weathered ridicule, intense speculation about his family life, bumpy stretches at the box office brought on by audience disdain over his personal antics, and some ill-considered movie projects.

And Cruise is right where he was when 1986's "Top Gun" vaulted him to superstardom: on top. Maybe not the same level of on top as the 15-year stretch that began in the early 1990s, when practically every Cruise film was bound to be a $100 million hit.

But for a guy his age, with his baggage, in a business that deifies youth and excommunicates talent when it goes off the deep end, Cruise still prospers.

"What you see over time is that Tom has been in such a great list of movies that are of such high quality, that ultimately, people come back to the work and the talent," said Rob Moore, vice chairman at Paramount Pictures, which released "Jack Reacher" on Friday.

Fans seem to agree. In a poll of nearly 1,000 people buying movie tickets at Fandango.com, 82 percent said Cruise's personal life does not influence whether they will see his movies.

"Tom Cruise can viably continue to do these action films if only because he looks better than any 50 year old I've ever seen," said Dave Karger, chief correspondent for Fandango.

"The one thing you hear the most about Tom Cruise as an actor is that this is the guy who commits. From 'Rock of Ages' to 'Tropic Thunder' to an action-heavy movie like 'Jack Reacher,' this is the guy. It's superhuman, the energy he puts into a performance. As long as that remains his work ethic, he can do things like this for a long time."

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