The Last Samurai (2003)
Likely his least known best performance. As a hero of the war in the late 19th century, fighting alongside Custer, haunted by his actions he is sent to Japan to train the army. Captured by the samurai he becomes their friend and ally, and marries himself to their ways, finding peace as a warrior for the first time in his life. Watching the evolution of this character is thrilling to see, and Cruise is perfect throughout this powerful film. How did the Academy miss this?