Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 14, 2011
    80
    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is big, it's loud and so relentless in its action that it reminds me of an old joke. Why do you hit yourself in the head with a hammer? Because it feels so good when you stop. In this case, the headache is worth it.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Dec 15, 2011
    67
    Left me with the feeling I've seen much of this before. It's not that I'd like something better, it's just that I'd like something new.
  3. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Dec 15, 2011
    75
    Bird also really punches up the ensemble playing. I imagine one of the upsides of being the director of nonhuman beings is that you're trained to respond to characters as much as stars.
  4. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Dec 7, 2011
    80
    Mission: Impossible 4 is so well-made and smooth you may need to see it more than once to truly appreciate its brains and nerves and blood.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Dec 19, 2011
    70
    As usual with the series, the movie combines a plot line a toddler could understand with gadgets that would baffle an engineering Ph.D.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 14, 2011
    88
    A terrific thriller with action sequences that function as a kind of action poetry.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 15, 2011
    63
    Bird has serious promise outside the animation realm; in "Ghost Protocol" he errs, I think, by shoving the camera too close to the bodies in the frame, so that the momentum and spatial relationships become awfully hard to parse.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 16, 2011
    91
    A very good thrill ride and Cruise is better than he's been in a long time.
  9. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 16, 2011
    100
    Ghost Protocol brims with scenes that are exciting and amazing at the same time; they're brought off with such casual aplomb that they're funny, too.
  10. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Aug 2, 2015
    80
    The first live-action endeavor from director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is filled with the verve and clarity of his animated action sequences while lending just enough gravity and remote plausibility to the stunts and gadgetry to keep it from becoming a glorified cartoon in and of itself.
  11. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Aug 2, 2015
    91
    I think Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is the most consistently entertaining, most laser-focused entry in the series so far, and while I would argue that it is very much a sequel to the third film and not just a disconnected piece of a flexible franchise, it is also a great rollicking self-contained spy movie adventure on a grand scale, and it's preposterous fun.
  12. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 15, 2011
    70
    Bird has done a stylish and involving job here, turning in an entertaining production that's got considerable visual flair, especially in its action-heavy Imax sections.
  13. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 14, 2011
    88
    The wait for a great action movie is finally over. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is pure popcorn of the highest, most flavorful order, and it's good for you, too.
  14. Reviewed by: Jen Yamato
    Dec 15, 2011
    70
    A well-heeled French assassin chick who murders in exchange for diamonds? So '90s-era rejected Bond script, guys.
  15. 70
    The movie is wonderful, nonsensical fun.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 16, 2011
    75
    The film also wastes the coiled intensity of Jeremy Renner, as the newest member of the IMF team with a none-too-compelling past. Bird does keep audiences guessing whether Renner is the only leading actor in Hollywood who's even shorter than Cruise.
  17. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Dec 16, 2011
    75
    This film exists purely to dazzle and thrill, and by that measure, it delivers expertly, never lagging despite a lengthy 133-minute running time.
  18. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 15, 2011
    75
    Has a certain cartoonish vibe. That's OK, because Brad Bird's brand of toonage (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) owes much to the rigors and traditions of live action, not only in the way he references other films, but also in his visual approach - sweeping, swooping camera pans, wide vistas, jolting perspective.
  19. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 16, 2011
    75
    Ghost Protocol is big and brassy, doing many of the things its predecessors did but, in the words of Nigel Tufnel, turning them up to "11."
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 16, 2011
    88
    It's implausible as hell, but no less fun for that.
  21. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 15, 2011
    100
    The most exciting action flick of the year, by a huge margin.
  22. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Dec 15, 2011
    75
    If you widen your eyes and turn off your brain, it all adds up to cracking good fun.
  23. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    Dec 15, 2011
    80
    Should you see Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol? By all means, and in the big, big, biggest theater you can find.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 16, 2011
    75
    The world-class mechanic is Brad Bird, who applies the pacing and spatial freedom of a 'toon to a live-action thriller.
  25. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 14, 2011
    91
    As Cruise clings to the side of the building using malfunctioning equipment, and a sandstorm looms in the distance, the question shifts from whether Bird can direct an action film to whether there's anyone out there who can top him.
  26. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Dec 15, 2011
    63
    The movie rolls on, with more clever but increasingly repetitive action sequences that entertain, but drain the film of any credible sense of jeopardy.
  27. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 8, 2011
    70
    The impact of spectacular action on striking international locales is moderated somewhat by the repetitive nature of the challenges faced by this rebooted team of American agents.
  28. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 15, 2011
    70
    Gets back to action basics with globe-trotting, nifty gadgets, high-flying stunts and less loquacious villainy.
  29. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Dec 27, 2011
    70
    The movie is sheer hurtling mechanism - the entire world in motion - and it's great silly fun.
  30. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Aug 2, 2015
    75
    Ghost Protocol is a fun but mostly empty adventure story that operates with the rote predictability of a middling ‘90s James Bond movie rather than a benchmark-setting actioner or even seasonal “event movie.”
  31. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Aug 2, 2015
    80
    The Dubai section in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, in which Cruise spiders his way up the face of the Burj Khalifa, then sprints down it as if trying to break the vertical 800m record, proves everything Cruise wanted it to, above all that he’s picked the right director to make these set pieces fly. It’s better still in Imax.
  32. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Aug 2, 2015
    80
    A few damp squibs aside, Bird’s sensibilities make for the most animated Mission to date. Don’t see in IMAX if you’re a vertigo sufferer, though.
  33. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 2, 2015
    75
    Ghost Protocol is the most action-packed, most jokey and self-aware, most James Bond-ish of all the Cruise Mission films.
  34. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 15, 2011
    88
    Oscar-winning animator Brad Bird seems to have accomplished the impossible with the fourth Mission: Impossible installment by injecting the 15-year-old series with newfound, breathtaking energy.
  35. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Dec 7, 2011
    70
    Pixar wizard Brad Bird's live-action debut serves up sights and setpieces of often jaw-dropping ingenuity and visual flair, but it's a movie of dazzling individual parts that don't come together to fully satisfying effect in the final stretch.
  36. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Dec 20, 2011
    70
    If the M:I films are immune to the tarnish on the Cruise brand, it's precisely because their spectacle requires us to be impressed by Ethan Hunt, not to like him.
  37. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 15, 2011
    70
    It's not the generic plot that's so memorable, even though its convolutions are clever enough, or the cast of mostly interesting characters, but the surreal swirl of form and color that frequently fills the enormous screen.
  38. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 15, 2011
    63
    There's a place in the movies for wish fulfillment, no doubt, including the wish for it all to be over.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 724 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 193
  1. Dec 16, 2011
    8
    The action scenes are the one element that makes this mission great. Not only are they creative, but director Brad Bird handles them like anThe action scenes are the one element that makes this mission great. Not only are they creative, but director Brad Bird handles them like an action master. Personally, I haven't seen action this good since "Casino Royale." Unlike a lot of other recent action films, there's no shaky cam, and the action almost always stays focused on one particular element. In other words, it rarely gets out of hand and overwhelming (unlike the last two "Transformers" movies for instance). Take note, this is how action should always be done. It's sad that action this great is now a novelty, but as an action fan, I'll sure as heck take this as a gift. Besides the cinematography, I also thought the makers did a clever job of giving Hunt opportunities to escape his "impossible" situations. It was like the creators adapted Matthew Vaughn's philosophy when he made "Kick-Ass". The philosophy was this: If there's at most a 1 out of 1000 chance that a character can accomplish the stunts given to them, it's included it in the movie. Is it likely Hunt could have done the things he did? No. Is it possible? Maybe. Adapting this philosophy prevents us from laughing at the action, and it allows us, instead, to just go along for the ride. My only quibble with this film is its running time. With its fairly simple storyline and stock characters, 133 minutes is pushing it just a bit. Luckily, the cast keeps things fresh with Simon Pegg giving an incredibly sharp performance as the techie-nerd comic relief. Tom Cruise also shows us that at 49 he can kick some major ass. This is a must-see for just about any action fan, and it has to be seen in theaters. The visuals are too incredible for you to get the same effect on a television. Full Review »
  2. Dec 23, 2011
    2
    The positive reviews for this film, by both the public and the critics, have made me wonder if I am living in an alternate universe. PerhapsThe positive reviews for this film, by both the public and the critics, have made me wonder if I am living in an alternate universe. Perhaps people who go to Mission Impossible films are self selecting, and don't want anything different. But what about the critics? At any rate, I went with my two sons who are in their twenties and after the film ended we paused and then universally acclaimed that the film was absolutely pathetic. Wooden comic book writing, absurd situations (one must suspend disbelief, i know, but the Tom Cruise character cannot run down or later win a fight with a 60 year old physicist? Really?) and just overall the type of film I might have liked when I was 10 (or not). Trust me - go see Dragon Tatoo if you want to be entertained. Or stay home. Full Review »
  3. Dec 21, 2011
    1
    Marvel at Tom Cruise's ability to fill endless scenes with running (but never catching). Gasp in awe at the way he can fall thirty feet ontoMarvel at Tom Cruise's ability to fill endless scenes with running (but never catching). Gasp in awe at the way he can fall thirty feet onto his face and not even bruise. Squeal with delight as 30 minutes of plot magically becomes two hours. This was an Apple commercial with James Bond dreams...but I suppose that means it was exactly the same as the rest of the series. Full Review »