Tom Cruise works as tough guy 'Jack Reacher'

Tom Cruise takes on the character depicted in author Lee Child's thriller.

Karen Ballard/Paramount Pictures/AP
Tom Cruise (r.) and Rosamund Pike (l.) star in 'Jack Reacher.'

The Lee Child pulp thriller “One Shot” is the occasion for a possible franchise in “Jack Reacher,” starring Tom Cruise as the eponymous tough guy who drifts into crime scenes out of nowhere and clears up the mess. In Child’s Reacher books, the character is a burly hulk, but Cruise is perfectly fine. Who says all tough guys have to look like the Terminator?

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (he wrote “The Usual Suspects”) has a good feel for hard-boiled theatrics, and the plot – which has to do with a sniper shooting and the clearing of an innocent man – is well-engineered. Werner Herzog, better known as one of the finest living directors, plays a bad guy with Teutonic relish. If he doesn’t watch it, he’ll have a whole other career for himself playing dead-eyed villains. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some drug material.)

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