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Déjà Cruise: 8 Classic Movie Moments Hidden in Edge of Tomorrow

Meriah Doty

In Edge of Tomorrow Tom Cruise tumbles into a hellish point in the time-space continuum where his character – Cage – must battle a race of superfast, goo-oozing aliens over and over again.

Like Cruise’s battle-scarred character, audiences may experience a sense of déjà vu watching the film. Edge of Tomorrow often plays like a smorgasbord of references to cinema past, with director Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) paying homage — whether intentionally or not — to a host of iconic film moments. 

Here are eight of the biggest flashbacks spotted in the new film: 

1. Groundhog Day

Déjà Cruise:  8 Classic Movie Moments Hidden in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge draws much from the 1993 comedy classic. As it did with Bill Murray’s character, reconciling himself with life in an infinite loop takes Cruise’s Cage through the stages of mourning — from disbelief to frustration to despair and eventually acceptance.

2. Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan

Cage is forced to relive a brutal beach battle highly reminiscent of D-Day’s battle for Omaha Beach, and director Steven Spielberg’s portrayal of that battle specifically. At one point Cage even suggests — while nihilistically sipping on pub beer — that it’s all happening in a beach in Normandy.

3. Tom Cruise. Running.

Tom Cruise Running

Tom Cruise running has become one of the major set pieces of American film. Edge gives us plenty of the running Cruise—a pose that appears in more than two-thirds of his 41 films. 

4. Aliens

Edge of Tomorrow Aliens Tom Cruise

Squint your eyes and Cruise strapped into his exoskeleton suit – defending Emily Blunt from the rampaging aliens – could almost be Sigourney Weaver fighting off Mama.

5. Starship Troopers

Edge of Tomorrow

The United Defense Force soldiers wear helmets and chest plates eerily similar to those worn by Paul Verhoven’s Mobile Infantry.

6. Looper

Looper Edge of Tomorrow

Once Cruise and Blunt make it off the beach, they hide out in a rural farmhouse. A gun-toting Blunt out in the middle of Nowheresville, dealing with some time-space issues, was exactly the plot of this lower budget sci-fi thriller.

7. Full Metal Jacket

Bill Paxton Edge of Tomorrow

As Master Sgt. Farell, Bill Paxton is one mean military honcho, who becomes part of the nightmare Cruise has to face day after day. His dogmatic bully evokes Lee Ermey’s fast-yelling squadron leader from Full Metal Jacket.

8. The Cell, Hellraiser, more

Edge of Tomorrow Paranormal Activity Hellraiser

Cruise’s eyes shift to all black once he finds the key to breaking his infinite loop of a day. We’ve seen these liquidy black eyes before — in Paranormal Activity (pictured), The Cell, and Hellraiser to name three places.

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Photo credits: Warner Bros., DreamWorks, TriStar Pictures, Columbia Pictures