Bacall, 81, told Time magazine Cruise's exploitation of his relationship with young actress Katie Holmes to hype his film "War of the Worlds" was "shocking."
"It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially," she said, "but I think it's kind of a sickness."
Cruise asked Holmes to marry him after two months of dating and recently made the TV talk show rounds enthusiastically discussing their romance. Cruise has also come under fire in Hollywood for pushing his Scientology views during appearances.
The widow of film great Humphrey Bogart minced no words with her assessment of the three-time Oscar nominee: "The word 'great' stands for something. "When you talk about a great actor, you're not talking about Tom Cruise."