Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, a secret agent framed for the deaths of his espionage team. Fleeing from government assassins, breaking into the CIA's most impenetrable vault, clinging to the roof of a speeding bullet train, Hunt races like a burning fuse to stay one step ahead of his pursuers... and draw one step closer to discovering the shocking truth. (Paramount) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Salisbury
    Enormous fun.
  2. Exciting, smart and enormously enjoyable.
  3. 75
    The bottom line on a film like this is, Tom Cruise looks cool and holds our attention while doing neat things that we don't quite understand--doing them so quickly and with so much style that we put our questions on hold, and go with the flow.
  4. 63
    This movie isn't a disaster, but, all things considered, there's little reason to make it a high priority for theatrical viewing.
  5. Some of the suspense set-pieces are impressive, but the picture would pack a greater wallop if it were stitched together more tightly and consistently.
  6. 50
    Whatever the reason for its disappointments, Mission: Impossible is a mission gone awry, prompting you to hope that reruns of its television incarnation will pop up on cable soon.
  7. It's the worst kind of convoluted thriller -- it can never unravel satisfactorily because there's nothing simple at its center, just more confusion.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. ManfredP.
    May 1, 2006
    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
  2. Oct 28, 2011
    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. Expand
  3. Ozy
    Jul 11, 2014
    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. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2012
    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, 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
  5. Dec 26, 2011
    Brian De Palma's action blockbuster "Mission Impossible" succeeds the impossible job most action movies do; seducing the audience without fear.
  6. Dec 29, 2012
    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 the sequel a chance. Expand
  7. JaredC.
    Dec 12, 2006
    The movie was exciting and suspenseful, but needed a better adventure.

See all 22 User Reviews