Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. A gratifyingly clever, booby-trapped thriller that has enough fun and imagination and dash to more than justify its existence.
  2. It's an expertly engineered popcorn movie - hold the butter substitute - but it also tries (and fails) to be a love story for the ages.
  3. 83
    Yes, it's fundamentally business as usual, but it's the best kind of business as usual, and it finds everyone working in top form. Abrams imports and enlarges "Alias'" smooth, stylish, yet remarkably visceral approach to action, and the actors pack a satisfying amount of drama into the moments between action scenes.
  4. 78
    It's all poppycock, of course, but it's done with such vim and vigor and both narrative and visual flair that you care not a jot. Summer has arrived.
  5. 75
    Bury the nostalgia. Like the rap twist Kayne West puts into the film's classic theme, this movie is best when it stirs it up.
  6. 75
    Big and fast and silly, but it's never dumb, and it's certainly never boring, either. The summer movie onslaught has begun on a high note.
  7. The supporting cast, including Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne and gorgeous Maggie Q, is underused, but the movie delivers the goods.
  8. Unlike the previous two films in this series, Abrams is more concerned with his hero's heart than with his hardware. The result is a pulse-racing thriller that restores the human factor to the franchise, and to its producer-star.
  9. In Mission: Impossible III, we find out whether it's still possible to look at Tom Cruise and not see a weirdo. The answer is yes, but a complicated yes, because it takes time.
  10. 75
    The end result is the very definition of a summer movie: breezy, undemanding and a carefully balanced blend of the familiar and the not-quite-what-you-expected.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Against sizable odds -- a sense that the franchise is played out and its star over-exposed -- Mission: Impossible III delivers.
  12. Though Abrams doesn't possess a fraction of the visual pizzazz of the two previous MI directors, Brian De Palma or John Woo, his incarnation is, from a narrative perspective, better made.
  13. It's overwrought and overplotted, but it's plenty of fun.
  14. In his feature debut, "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams, who got the job on the basis of "Alias," takes the driver's seat with both feet on the accelerator.
  15. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    In the world of bloated movie-star vehicles, it's not unusual to see an ego trip of these dimensions. What’s rare is when one hits its marks so smoothly.
  16. 70
    Cruise is probably the most graceful physical performer to occupy the screen since Burt Lancaster, and in this sort of action role, he's just about peerless...He may not be a great actor, but to find a greater movie star would be a nigh impossible mission.
  17. Hoffman is so proficient in this role that he just about overmatches Cruise and makes the wait until he speaks again in the second half of the film hard to endure with any patience.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    M:i:III accomplishes its mission: to run smart variations on dumb tropes. After all, summer movies are not for students but for thrill consumers. Devour and enjoy.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    For all its far-fetched formulations, this new entry maintains more of a dramatic throughline and has the bonus of a villain played with unsparing meanness by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  20. The summer's first action epic does exactly what it's supposed to do, more clearly than "M:i:I," and more likeably than "M:i:II."
  21. 70
    Abrams keeps the action clicking along in 5/8 time, and Cruise is at his scowling/smiling best as he jumps, shoots and leaves. (See Tom run! Run, Tom, run!) Best is Philip Seymour Hoffman as the baddie; the film's best sequence features him playing Cruise playing him at a swank party in Vatican City.
  22. 67
    A film that climaxes in Shanghai shouldn't go down like a meal in Shanghai. But an hour after you see M:i:III, you may be hungry for a real movie.
  23. 63
    The real objective of all the "M:I" movies is to provide a clothesline for sensational action scenes. Nothing else matters, and explanatory dialogue would only slow things down. This formula worked satisfactorily in "M:I," directed by Brian De Palma, and "M:I II," directed by John Woo, and I suppose it works up to a point in M:I III, directed by J.J. Abrams, if what you want is endless, nonstop high-tech action.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    63
    Mission: Impossible III hasn't the kinks or the oddball Continental chic of the first "Mission: Impossible," but it's less pretentious and obsessively pretty than the second movie.
  25. 63
    Though dated and unsophisticated compared to the much cooler Bourne spy thrillers, M:i:III will probably hit the sweet spot at the box-office - and give Cruise a whole new reason to start jumping on couches.
  26. 63
    Only theoretically, though, is this exciting. Mostly, it all feels like a lateral move that keeps alive a franchise without breaking new ground.
  27. 63
    Maybe it's foolish to be disappointed by a pure popcorn movie, but as I walked out of this film, I felt it had failed in its mission of pure entertainment.
  28. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    63
    One of Cruise's most deeply cherished ambitions is to be a great actor, and this movie goes to great lengths to let him do that--sort of. You'll understand what I mean during the sequence in which there is more than one Philip Seymour Hoffman on the screen.
  29. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    60
    An inspired middle-hour pumped by some solid action gives you an idea how good the franchise could be, but we now live in a post-Bourne, recalibrated-Bond universe, where Ethan Hunt looks a bit lost.
  30. Reviewed by: Michael Agger
    60
    The movie raises your pulse, it has visual wow. But I suspect that audiences will emerge into the light feeling more battered than entertained.
  31. 60
    M:i:III, like many blockbusters, would be nothing without its star.
  32. 60
    Producer-star Tom Cruise handed this one to alumni from the TV spy drama "Alias," and the result is nearly as good as the series' best, Woo's Mission: Impossible 2.
  33. 58
    Absent the real sense of creepiness and highly honed film craft of De Palma, or the strong visual and emotional sensibility of Woo, M: I III feels like one of the more forgettable James Bond films -- saddled, moreover, with a star who's sliding into self-parody.
  34. While all the "Mission" plots are convoluted and slightly preposterous -- the keyword in the title is "Impossible" -- the latest is just this side of insultingly stupid. The longer you think about it, the less sense it all makes.
  35. 50
    Watching this movie is like sitting on your couch for two hours to catch a little network prime time: you may be mildly entertained, but damned if you’ll remember any of it five minutes later. On the plus side, you probably won’t care.
  36. 50
    Clearly designed to be an action thriller with emotional underpinnings. But you can't get blood from a stone, no matter how hard you squeeze. And so Cruise, a huge box-office star, is the single bright, blinking emblem of the failure of Mission: Impossible III.
  37. Mr. Hoffman enlivens Mission: Impossible III, which otherwise droops, done in both by the maudlin romance and by Mr. Abrams's inability to adapt his small-screen talent -- evident in his capacity as the television auteur behind "Alias" and "Lost" -- to a larger canvas.
  38. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    40
    Aside from a single jazzy image of Hunt taking a nosedive off a Shanghai skyscraper, Abrams' movie is too oppressive, too enamored of its brutality to deliver anything like real thrills; its deeply unpleasant tone nearly makes you long even for Woo's cartoon absurdities.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 258 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 100
  2. Negative: 16 out of 100
  1. Dec 26, 2011
    6
    J.J Abrams sorta made "Mission Impossible 3" with a ominous fuse of Brian De Palma's story and John Woo's action. The result? Manageable.
  2. BillyB.
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    Not only is this movie just as good as the first two, but I would even say it was my favorite. With new concepts and a good story line, I thought this movie was excellent! Full Review »
  3. RyneD.
    May 10, 2006
    10
    This film was incredible!!!! Everyone of the cast members is amazing! (Especially Tom and MICHELLE) J.J Well Done!!!!!!!!!!