That happens to me sometimes with actors. Thankfully, it hasn't with Hopkins. And Neeson didn't bother me in Begins. He does bother me in some films though. I guess an example of an actor that this happened to me with, acclaimed as he is, is Russel Crowe.
And as for Tom Cruise...see last post, I guess. I couldn't disagree more. I saw almost nothing of Cruise in Vincent (Collateral). His performances from The Last Samurai, to War of the Worlds, to Lions for Lambs were incredibly diverse and skillful IMO.
Don't get me wrong - I don't hate Tom Cruise at all... far from it in fact. It's just that I find it hard to separate the actor from the character anymore. But as I said, maybe that's my fault. Having said all that, I think Mission Impossible III was fantastic and I wasn't too much aware of Cruise (the actor) as I thought I would've been.
Ditto on Russell Crowe - which is a shame, because he's been so good in so many roles. I haven't liked him in anything since Gladiator, and even then I wasn't impressed as much as I was with him in The Sum of Us, Romper Stomper, L.A Confidential and The Insider - the last two of which will easily make my top 10 of the 90s film list. I think the guy disappeared up his own ass long ago and his films have suffered as a result. I know I'm probably in the minority, but A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man were just awful, awful films, and Crowe is mainly responsible for that.