Mission: Impossible

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 259
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  1. marshallm.
    Aug 1, 2005
    8
    Amazingly entertaining, but does leave some questions unasked...nonetheless...rent this movie!!!
  2. Dec 29, 2012
    6
    it was a pretty enjoyable movie. Decent acting by the cast (could have been better), Action packed, Story isn't hard to follow as some reviews said if you have the capability of paying attention. I think the one problem I had with it is that there is no depth in the plot. It's too straight forward with no back story. Other then that, It was still a solid film and I am going to give theit was a pretty enjoyable movie. Decent acting by the cast (could have been better), Action packed, Story isn't hard to follow as some reviews said if you have the capability of paying attention. I think the one problem I had with it is that there is no depth in the plot. It's too straight forward with no back story. Other then that, It was still a solid film and I am going to give the sequel a chance. Expand
  3. Feb 9, 2014
    9
    Mission Impossible (the first) is one of the best in the series, and does justice to the old TV show. All of the familiar elements to the show are there, from gadgets to Cruise saying "Mission accomplished!".
  4. Dec 26, 2011
    7
    Brian De Palma's action blockbuster "Mission Impossible" succeeds the impossible job most action movies do; seducing the audience without fear.
  5. ManfredP.
    May 1, 2006
    10
    t's been a long time coming. It's April 18th 2006. It's been ten years since this film was released and its second sequel is less than a month away. Now seems like the perfect time to reach back into the wells of my cinematic career and re-examine one of the single most important movies in my life. This is one of the movies that made me fall in love with movies. It made me t's been a long time coming. It's April 18th 2006. It's been ten years since this film was released and its second sequel is less than a month away. Now seems like the perfect time to reach back into the wells of my cinematic career and re-examine one of the single most important movies in my life. This is one of the movies that made me fall in love with movies. It made me appreciate the meaning of a good plot, the importance of cerating tension, the methods with which one creates suspense...and how to flawlessly set up, construct, and execute an explosive finalé so effective that you could've swore it gave you an errection. [***SPOILERS***] The movie opens with the simplest of shots: a camera slowly tracking in on a security monitor with an unknown guy hunched keenly over it watching two equally unidentified figures talking in a room. All we know is that we are in Prague. But our ignorance soon turns to astonishment as the layers of this lie - courtesy of fictional(? ) CIA special branch, IMF (Impossible Missions Force) - are stripped away and the truth is revealed. This one opening scene effectively establishes the style for the rest of the film; confused ignorance followed by shocking revelations. DePalma crafts an extraordingary plot of intrigue and betrayal and, of course, impossible missions whose tasks include a pursuit on the roof of a high-speed train and infiltrating the Central Intelligence Agency. But as well-conceived as the plot may be, the cinematography is equally commendable. With a range of shots being able to take the viewer from a sense of extreme panic and disorientation all the way to the most in-your-face shots that allow the action and story to carry the film on their own merits. I've seen other highly commended DePalma works, including 'Scarface' and 'The Untouchables', and whilst the former is exceptional in its style and excecution the latter is miserably out-of-synch with its own content. Even against 'Scarface', 'Mission: Impossible' more than holds its own. In fact, if there is one thing that 'Mission: Impossible' has over 'Scarface', it's the presence of a much more satisfying conclusion and a much more streamlined story. Heck, even the visuals give the reverred 'Scarface' a run for its money. I must have been about twelve or thirteen when I first saw this film, and it's as affecting today as it was all those years ago. Unfortunately, I'm not a member of the 'Star Wars' generation. Nor is my childhood filled with images from 'Star Wars'. My childhood was defined by movies like 'The Neverending Story' and 'The Land Before Time'. 'Mission: Impossible' was one of the first mature films I'd actually seen. It certainly left quite an impact on me...if only for the fact that I resolved I would one day understand the plot completely. Which, you'll be pleased to know, I now do :-D Expand
  6. BradB.
    Nov 3, 2006
    10
    This is the best mission impossible film due to its originality and flair. Remember this film was made in 1996, 10 years ago yet it is still very captivating today.
  7. JaredC.
    Dec 12, 2006
    2
    The movie was exciting and suspenseful, but needed a better adventure.
  8. May 6, 2012
    9
    While the plot doesn't make complete sense until the very end of the movie, but that's just a minor nuisance from a thrilling spy movie.
  9. Dec 23, 2012
    3
    The plot is shallow yet hard to follow, there's no action at all and the only good part is very bland and could not be directed any worse. No editing took place at all to capture the intense moment. If the actual "Mission Impossible" part lasted half an hour with solid direction and editing it could have been great.
  10. [Anonymous]
    Dec 17, 2005
    8
    I like MI-2 better, but this one certainly is more ambitious plot-wise. The safe-heist and bullet train sequences are keepers, but the other sequences aren't that good. THe plot kept me guessing. However, that complex plot ultimately backfires on itself at the end, failing to achieve it's highly ambitious goal, but you got so many satisfying thrills out of the plot that you can I like MI-2 better, but this one certainly is more ambitious plot-wise. The safe-heist and bullet train sequences are keepers, but the other sequences aren't that good. THe plot kept me guessing. However, that complex plot ultimately backfires on itself at the end, failing to achieve it's highly ambitious goal, but you got so many satisfying thrills out of the plot that you can forgive it's somewhat implausible ending. Expand
  11. Aug 6, 2012
    7
    A great movie, but such boring drama scenes did not surprise me and Tom Cruise could have done a lot more in this first action adventure movie. Brian De Palma brings a lot of suspense to this one.
  12. May 22, 2015
    7
    The heist in the middle is amazing and the updated score is great but that’s about it. Works better as a TV show as the film’s plot was drawn out, confusing, predictable, and not that interesting. Ethan Hunt was smart and well acted but I never cared for him or the characters much I just cared for the action which is fun except for the climax, which relies heavily on CGI. It’s a fun movieThe heist in the middle is amazing and the updated score is great but that’s about it. Works better as a TV show as the film’s plot was drawn out, confusing, predictable, and not that interesting. Ethan Hunt was smart and well acted but I never cared for him or the characters much I just cared for the action which is fun except for the climax, which relies heavily on CGI. It’s a fun movie and a nice translation of a show to film but nothing spectacular. Prefer the focused storytelling of the show and lack of predictability but this was still fun. Fans of the show will be happy to see the film stay true to the spirit of the show brining back various trademarks of the show such as the tapes and the fact that it was able to be translated to a new medium and modernized is impressive. Worth a watch for the middle alone but outside of that not much to recommend. Expand
  13. Aug 3, 2013
    9
    Actually a great movie the best of the move reboot. The story is constantly building new surprises into the plotline, the acting is first-rate, the music score is perfect and the special effects are surprisingly good for the time. Glad I rewatched it, the movie hasn't suffered with time.
  14. May 21, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first of the "Mission: Impossible" series, starring Tom Cruise as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt. Brian De Palma (Scarface/The Untouchables) directed as well.

    When a mission in Prague goes wrong and most of his team killed, Impossible Mission Forces Agent Ethan Hunt realizes that he has been set up by a mole within IMF itself, and he must assemble a rogue crew to clear his name and find out who the traitor actually is.

    A very entertaining film, but can be a little confusing if you don't like to think while watching a movie. Plus, a very nice cast including Ving Rhames (awesome as always), Jon Voight, Jean Reno and Henry Czerny.
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  15. Aug 19, 2015
    8
    In a time where a lot of classic TV shows were being given weak cinematic remakes ("The Flintstones", "The Beverly Hillbillies" etc.), Mission Impossible overcame this negative trend by bringing in Brian De Palma do his own take of the series. With the gadgets of a Bond movie, the pacing of a Hitchcockian thriller, and the stunt work of a great American action movie, De Palma was able toIn a time where a lot of classic TV shows were being given weak cinematic remakes ("The Flintstones", "The Beverly Hillbillies" etc.), Mission Impossible overcame this negative trend by bringing in Brian De Palma do his own take of the series. With the gadgets of a Bond movie, the pacing of a Hitchcockian thriller, and the stunt work of a great American action movie, De Palma was able to breath new life into a classic show and begun one of the most enduring film franchises in recent memory.

    It stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, a professional spy, who along with his team accept a mission to retrieve an important file and catch the enemy agent who is attempting to steal it. But things begin to go gravely wrong, with Ethan seemingly left as the lone survivor. After this Ethan is suspected of being a double agent and goes on the run from his own agency, setting out to find the real culprit using whatever methods necessary to clear his name.

    Rather than going the route of more recent spy flicks like "Kingsman: The Secret Service" that parodies the spy genre, "Mission: Impossible" does the exact opposite. Instead it indulges in all the clichés, with elaborate disguises, high tech gadgets, high octane explosions, double crosses, and many surprise twists. Although one problem with these twists is it's quite easy to poke holes in them, since they're often done with no foreshadowing and there's little logic behind the characters plans. But this never really matters, for this is a film that lives in the moment. These twists mostly exist to draw us further into the nail biting tension and succeed at doing so.

    In spite of De Palma arguably being best known for his iconic shootouts, such as the ending of "Scarface" or "The Untouchables" stair sequence, here our lead never fires a single gun. Instead of using standard action shoot ups or fist brawls, the film delivers tension with 3 unique action sequences: the opening infiltration of the ball room; the vault heist dangling from a wire on the ceiling in the middle of the film; and the final chase involving a helicopter following a high speed train into a tunnel.

    The ballroom sequence works as a brilliant introduction to this world of spies. We see the cool gadgets, their detailed plans and how similar to other great spies like Bond they keep a sharp wit whilst they do it. At the same time the scene remains unpredictable, with so many things going wrong that it's really uncertain of who will get out alive.

    Then comes the iconic vault heist where Hunt dangles from wires to steal data from a heavily secured vault. This scene has to stand as one of Palma's greatest contributions to cinema. It may take influence from other great heists like Jules Dassin's "Riffi", Palma still adds his own unique take on the concept. Largely by bringing so many great elements together in the scene with slow pacing, great stunt work from Cruise and the way that the scene juggles so many risks from the worker who could walk in at any moment to the sweat dripping from Hunt's head.

    Unfortunately the final sequence does not live up to the previous two. The basic concept is cool, with Cruise chasing the villains on top of a speeding train whilst a helicopter chases, but unfortunately it falls flat due to execution. Obviously with a scene like this CGI is a necessity, for actually having a helicopter following a train into a tunnel really would be impossible. But 90's effects just weren't ready to portray a sequence like this authentically. Also whilst the concept of a chase on a speeding train is great, adding in a helicopter just seems like overkill and draws attention to the scenes lack of realism in contrast to the previous tone of the film. Although even with this the chase is still entertaining on a basic level, but just fails to deliver the same tension of previous scenes.

    Besides this it's far from ruining the brilliance that preceded it, with Palma's brilliant execution mixed with the excitement of a great spy thriller allows "Mission: Impossible" to overcome all the usual expectations of a typical action movie, and is a heck of a lot of fun because of it.
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  16. Jan 2, 2012
    7
    What you get from Mission: Impossible is spectacle. And that's all you should want from an action thriller. It doesn't offer you too much more in terms of drama or performance, but the plotting is tight, and the storytelling involving (and this is a real achievement considering the film went into production without a finished script). It's just entertainment at the end of the day, andWhat you get from Mission: Impossible is spectacle. And that's all you should want from an action thriller. It doesn't offer you too much more in terms of drama or performance, but the plotting is tight, and the storytelling involving (and this is a real achievement considering the film went into production without a finished script). It's just entertainment at the end of the day, and Brian De Palma's stylish direction makes it a very high-end, polished example of entertainment at that. The set-pieces are extremely well handled (particularly the iconic scene where Ethan Hunt hangs from the ceiling of a high-security CIA vault) and Tom Cruise proves he is more than able to handle the stunt work. Cruise was also one of the main driving-forces behind the film's production, and he's clearly aware what audiences want from an action movie. When judging the cast's performances, there's no-one who particularly stands out - Tom Cruise is serviceable, and Jean Reno plays the same character he plays in every film, though Jon Voight has a decent attempt at reading the mediocre dialogue straight-faced, and at least Vanessa Redgrave appears to be having a lot of fun with her role. Yes, the screenplay is nothing special, the character development a bit lacking, and the cutting-edge-for-the-90s technology Ethan Hunt's team uses in their escapades looks laughably dated to a modern audience. Mission: Impossible is good fun to watch, and as long as you don't dwell on the little details, you can get a lot out of this glossy and engaging, yet undeniably silly thriller. Expand
  17. j30
    Nov 9, 2011
    8
    A really entertaining action/thriller film from the great Brian De Palma. This is by far the best in the series and by the previews of Ghost Protocol it will probably remain the best.
  18. Oct 28, 2011
    10
    This one is a killer! I loved the action and scenario. Even though got some holes in story, it was a less than 2 hours adventure which i will probably never forget.
  19. Jul 17, 2012
    5
    Despite it being action-packed with an awesome theme tune, there doesn't seem to be much more. Cruise's Mission Impossible films seem to be nothing but repetitive, however many times they have different actors. Even though films are sometimes a step away out of reality, the actions that Hunt does completely shatters the meaning of the word 'logic'. This doesn't bring anything new to theDespite it being action-packed with an awesome theme tune, there doesn't seem to be much more. Cruise's Mission Impossible films seem to be nothing but repetitive, however many times they have different actors. Even though films are sometimes a step away out of reality, the actions that Hunt does completely shatters the meaning of the word 'logic'. This doesn't bring anything new to the genre anyway. Yeah, look, OMG, brilliant technology, but that just means they try too hard to look clever. If we don't know what they're doing, how on earth does that mean it's clever? Expand
  20. Aug 15, 2015
    8
    The first one is a blast of a movie, a bit too complicated in many parts, and too cynical for its own good (hey..that's what you get for hiring Brian De Palma), but it contains some of the best set pieces in the series, including the CIA break in sequence. What a great set piece.
  21. Feb 3, 2012
    6
    I found the story's lack of tension to be boring amongst entertaining adventures without enough thrills and suspense along with underrated action sequences. Not that impressive, but it was OK.
  22. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    Intriguing, Expertly told and crafted and a great Action performance by Tom Cruise. Also the cinematography is amazing how it suggest paranoia. Also the film is uniquely edited. This is a movie that shows that great direction can really enhance anything! The second best film of 1996 (after Fargo) and while this film was a hit I feel it is slight underrated. Amazing how the film, along withIntriguing, Expertly told and crafted and a great Action performance by Tom Cruise. Also the cinematography is amazing how it suggest paranoia. Also the film is uniquely edited. This is a movie that shows that great direction can really enhance anything! The second best film of 1996 (after Fargo) and while this film was a hit I feel it is slight underrated. Amazing how the film, along with the action scenes don't feel dated at all. Expand
  23. Jan 3, 2015
    8
    Brilliant plot that keeps you within from beginning to end. If you have only seen the sequels, watch this too: the other parts cannot really even compete with this movie!
  24. Aug 16, 2013
    6
    For a summer blockbuster, Mission: Impossible is pretty good, but at the end of the day, an implausible plot with implausible action scenes wind up hurting a well acted film. Overall, it is enjoyable, however.
  25. Jul 24, 2015
    6
    I'd like to go on a bit of a tangent: A lot of people think that the first Superman movie is boring, slow-paced, and uninteresting. While I agree that it has a slow pace, I still think it is a very entertaining movie. The reason I bring this up is because those thoughts people have against the first Superman movie are pretty much the same thoughts I have on the first "Mission: Impossible".I'd like to go on a bit of a tangent: A lot of people think that the first Superman movie is boring, slow-paced, and uninteresting. While I agree that it has a slow pace, I still think it is a very entertaining movie. The reason I bring this up is because those thoughts people have against the first Superman movie are pretty much the same thoughts I have on the first "Mission: Impossible".

    It's not a terrible movie, it's just a terribly uninteresting movie. Maybe because its sequels(mainly M:I-III & Ghost Protocol) are much more amusing to watch. Tom Cruise's stunt work is always great to watch, but it's surrounded by a bunch of boring scenes and a very predictable plot. there are scenes I love, like the white room break in, and even the convoluted/preposterous Helicopter chase at the end, but I always end up losing interest after the first 40 minutes.

    The cinematography and theme song are both fantastic, but they're not enough for me to recommend this movie. I'd say skip to the sequels... or at least M:I-III...
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  26. Nov 12, 2013
    6
    Mission: Impossible is an exciting spy thriller.
    With a solid plot and believable characters Mission: Impossible succeeds to entertain the average action lover.
  27. Ozy
    Jul 11, 2014
    10
    As far as im concerned this movie changed the face of action movies for ever. WTF is wrong with these so called professional reviewers? and why is it that they differ so much from the general public. Idiots. This movie is legendary. Stab yourself with a shoe if you haven't already seen this movie.
  28. Aug 4, 2015
    6
    "Mission: Impossible" is an above-average classic with enough spectacle and a likable performance from Tom Cruise to overcome its occasionally convoluted script and disappointing final act.
  29. Aug 9, 2015
    7
    For its time, the special effects are rather good, and there are tensing moments especially with some of the stunts, but the plot itself is confusing and will be difficult to pay attention to, you'll have a hard time finding out who the bad guy is in this movie.
  30. Aug 2, 2015
    8
    full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted
    mission impossible:8/10
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Aug 2, 2015
    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]
  2. 38
    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make heads or tails of this Byzantine thing. [22 May 1996]
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 2, 2015
    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]