As he gets ready to turn 52 in July, Tom Cruise has settled into an impressive middle age. No longer the box-office titan he once was, he nonetheless remains an incredibly reliable on-screen presence. Like the San Antonio Spurs or late-period Sonic Youth, he doesn’t do anything that’s particularly surprising, but he’s done it so well for so long that we risk taking his excellence for granted.

Remarkably, aging hasn’t diminished Cruise’s appeal. He was his timeless kinetic self in 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and even in a dud like Rock of Ages he gave his all in such a spellbinding way that you ended up rooting for him despite the movie. That’s definitely not a problem with his latest, Edge of Tomorrow, which is superb. Like Cruise himself at this stage of his career, the film’s concept ought to be played-out and obvious, but Edge of Tomorrow is much smarter and sharper than you’d expect. And much of its success comes from Cruise’s anchoring, fully engaged performance.