Everything You Need to Know About 'Top Gun' Movies

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Could anyone have predicted that "Top Gun" would still be top of mind for military members and fans more than three decades after its 1986 release? What was supposed to be one summer's big action movie has become one of the most iconic military films of all time and now comes with a highly anticipated sequel.

Legend has it that "Top Gun" was directly responsible for a massive bump in Navy and Air Force recruiting as a generation of young Americans decided they wanted to "feel the need for speed."

Pete "Maverick" Mitchell finally returned to the screen with the 2022 release of "Top Gun: Maverick," a sequel that manages to both expand the story and stay true to original movie.

  • Tom Cruise gives the thumbs up in "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • "Top Gun" aviators after they've satisfied their need for speed. (Paramount)
  • Glen Powell Top Gun Maverick
  • Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in the original "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • Tom Cruise Jennifer Connelly Top Gun Maverick
  • Maverick buzzes the tower in "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • Viper thinks about his latest Maverick problems in "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • Jon Hamm Top Gun Maverick
  • Iceman always knew in his heart that he, not Maverick, was the real star of "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • Maverick would be lucky in Charlie from the original "Top Gun" would still give him the time of day. (Paramount)
  • Jennifer Connelly Top Gun Maverick 2400
  • Stinger has zero patience for Maverick's shenanigans in "Top Gun." (Paramount)
  • This "Top Gun" stunt is not something you should try at home. (Paramount)
  • Tom Cruise Top Gun Maverick
Scenes from the finest motion picture ever and its long overdue sequel

"Top Gun" was most definitely a return to military movies in which Americans are the unvarnished and untarnished heroes. After a generation of downbeat films that dissected the Vietnam War, here was a movie that celebrated America's mission as the world's beacon of democracy.

Thirty-six years later, "Top Gun: Maverick" picked up the story of Capt. Pete Mitchell, who's become a test pilot so he could stay in the Navy long after most men would have retired.  

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Tom Cruise may have played Maverick as a rebel, but he's a rebel who really knows the absolute limits and uses that nonconformist streak to advance the ultimate mission. Cruise became a Hollywood icon, and his performance as Maverick has kept him in the game over a long career filled with some spectacular ups and downs.

The summer of 2022 brought us the long-awaited sequel. "Top Gun: Maverick" features state-of-the-art special effects and a curiously old Navy captain called Maverick. 

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