The basic thrust of Mark Harris‘s Grantland piece on Tom Cruise (posted as part of the site’s “Tom Cruise Week” tribute) is that his decision to become the dominant 50something energizer bunny of the action-franchise realm is unfortunate because he seems to have concurrently shut down his ambitious acting game. Harris says that Cruise’s peak acting years happened between 1988 and ’99, or the timespan in which Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia were released. That’s because Cruise’s performance in each landed a Best Actor nomination, but that’s not encompassing enough. Cruise also delivered riveting, touch-bottom performances as a selfish, resentful younger brother in Barry Levinson‘s Rain Man (’88) and as Vincent-the-compassionate-assassin in Michael Mann‘s Collateral, and he definitely pushed his limits in A Few Good Men (’92), The Firm (’93), Interview with the Vampire (’94) and Vanilla Sky (’01). And how can Harris write a here-and-now assessment of Cruise and not even mention Alex Gibney‘s Scientology doc and the portrayal of Cruise as an enabler/promoter of an unmistakably venal, predatory and vicious-minded organization? How can Harris ignore that and just say “ah, well, too bad Cruise isn’t interested in the big acting roles any more”?