Tom Cruise does seem to often be a pretty good judge of action/adventure films to star in. He has several good films on his resume; the Mission: Impossible franchise (save for the second one), Minority Report, and Edge of Tomorrow to name a few. We haven't seen much out of him in the sci-fi genre, though. This is where that changes.
Pairing up with director Joseph Kosinski--a guy with insane talent at visuals and special effects (Tron: Legacy is his only other film directed so far)--we are given this particular film, Oblivion. A post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick where absolutely nothing is as it seems, where plot twists lurk around every corner (though some of them are admittedly predictable), and where the visual backgrounds cause jaw-drops.
The film centers around a desolate Earth, 60 years after it was mostly destroyed in a war with aliens. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his wife Victoria are assigned to cleanup crew and drone maintenance as the Earth's resources are sucked up and they await to join the rest of humanity on Saturn's moon, Titan. That changes when a pre-invasion space module crashes on Earth with people in stasis chambers. A surviving woman named Julia that appears to be from Jack's past causes Jack to question everything he knows.
As mentioned earlier, the film is loaded with plot twists. Some of them are a bit more predictable than others (the early mention of mandatory "memory wipes" is pretty suspicious from the get-go), but some are near impossible to see coming. Once the film gets going, it refuses to stop until the very last second, which ends things on a *very* satisfying note.
Oblivion isn't particularly action-packed all the way; it prides itself more on suspense more often, which mostly works. It kept my interest for all two hours, at least. Overall, the film is strong in nearly every facet, from casting (Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko) to the pacing to the action/suspense to the visuals to even (surprisingly) the electronic-fueled soundtrack (M83). The one disadvantage for some may be the occasional plot predictability; despite that, I found it to be one of the best science fiction films released in the last few years. A brilliant flick not to be missed.