Paramount Pictures | Release Date: May 22, 1996 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
59
METASCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 29 Critics
Positive:
16
Mixed:
9
Negative:
4
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100
Stealth is a key element of tension and, even though DePalma tosses his share of fireballs around, Mission: Impossible gets edgier when it gets quieter. The audience's rapt, empathetic silence while Hunt hangs there in peril proves how well the director does it. [24 May 1996, p.5]
75
De Palma makes us sweat; slow, quiet scenes are as nerve-bending as occasional explosions and the final, frantic battle. He calls himself a director for hire on projects such as this and "The Untouchables," where he has little input before shooting. But his skill at maintaining tension is his main asset, and he uses it to the max here. [24 May 1996, p.1E]
75
Stylish, brisk but lacking in human dimension despite an attractive cast. [22 May 1996, p. D1]
63
Mission: Impossible is full of red herrings and MacGuffins, but even if you can't keep track of who's doing what to whom, it's hugely enjoyable for its sheer kinetic power. It's a soulless trinket, and it never really grabs you the way good action films do. But it moves like a demon, and it's consistently dazzling. [22 May 1996, p.1D]
63
Unfortunately, Mission: Impossible - which assembles a new Impossible Missions Force and plops it down in Kiev, Prague, London and Langley, Va. - doesn't have the momentum or suspense of De Palma's best pictures. It moves, awkwardly at times, from one elaborate set-piece to the next. [22 May 1996, p.E01]
63
De Palma is in fine form here, wittily using visual quotes from ``2001'' to suggest that technology is a spiderweb on which we poor humans wriggle. He balances comedy with nail-biting suspense as ably as Cruise balances his buff bod on that trembling rope. [24 May 1996, p.20]
63
Mission: Impossible does provide enough old-fashioned fireworks for a big-budget summer spectacle. But despite the cinematic bravado, this mission ultimately represents a white flag being waved at the notion of updating the TV show. The movie seems to argue that because the Cold War is over, all the good global-conspiracy plots have become obsolete. The intrigue, instead, must turn in on itself like a snake devouring its own tail. [22 May 1996]
50
While Cruise is more than adequate in a part that demands "Top Gun"-style histrionics rather than subtle characterization, the drawbacks of this movie are ultimately overwhelming. After all, entertainment made too difficult is no longer particularly entertaining. [24 May 1996, p.L21]
50
Although the film is watchable and, at times, even borderline entertaining, it has its share of problems. Mainly, the filmmakers seem to have had trouble deciding just what kind of movie they were making. [22 May 1996, p.E1]
50
It'll be a test of whether Cruise's star power and De Palma's ability to seduce audiences with visual style can compensate for a fundamental hollowness at the center. Mission: Impossible plays like a project trying to become a movie and not quite making it. [22 May 1996, p.63]
38
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make heads or tails of this Byzantine thing. [22 May 1996]