Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible Image
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 284 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is 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...Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is 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] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Tampa Bay Times
    Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 2, 2015
    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]
  2. Exciting, smart and enormously enjoyable.
  3. Aug 2, 2015
    75
    Unlike most action films, Mission: Impossible's distinct appeal operates not so much on suspense but on improbability.
  4. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Mark Caro
    Aug 2, 2015
    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]
  5. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    60
    Holes in the script cause the narrative to burp at times.
  6. Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    Aug 2, 2015
    50
    The movie comes alive in bursts such as a train-top fight hampered by gale-force winds. Cruise's star wattage may hog the show, but it insures that Mission: Impossible won't self-destruct easily.
  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 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. 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 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 Collapse
  2. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    Intriguing, Expertly told and crafted and a great Action performance by Tom Cruise. Also the cinematography is amazing how it suggestIntriguing, 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
  3. 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 isActually 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. Expand
  4. 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 adventureA 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. Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2015
    7
    Mission impossible is entertaining, joyful and griping to watch. Driven by the talented actor Tom Cruise and a strong story-line with a goodMission impossible is entertaining, joyful and griping to watch. Driven by the talented actor Tom Cruise and a strong story-line with a good supporting cast making MI:1 a good start for the franchise. Expand
  6. 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 reviewsit 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
    2
    The movie was exciting and suspenseful, but needed a better adventure.

See all 32 User Reviews

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