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Mission: Impossible (1996)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 19

Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 9

Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 863,414

My Rating

Movie Info

After he is framed for the death of several colleagues and falsely branded a traitor, a secret agent embarks on a daring scheme to clear his name in this spy adventure. Though it drew its name from the familiar television series, director Brian DePalma's big-budget adaptation shares little more with the original show than the occasional self-destructing message and the name of team leader Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). The film focuses not on Phelps but his protégé, Ethan Hunt (a reserved Tom Cruise),

Jan 17, 1998

Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (52) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (19) | DVD (24)

The most dour, sexless piece of escapism in memory.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the snags, De Palma remains a virtuoso puppet-master, pulling the strings taut in a nail-biting robbery sequence, switching from micro to macro with Hitchcockian panache, and finally letting rip with a hell-for-leather climax.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Humorless, charmless and flat.

January 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every effect is so calculated that only the conscious minds of filmmakers and viewers are engaged--and not by very much or for very long.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tom Cruise looks cool and holds our attention while doing neat things that we don't quite understand.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smart, ambitious, occasionally elegant.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What used to be an IMF team effort turned into another star vehicle for Tom Cruise.

December 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Sensational, implausible, irresistible to teens.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

De Palma has a choppy, episodic sense of story, and he crafts individual scenes rather than telling a single unified story.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

It's a mission De Palma shouldn't have chosen to accept.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Nimble, expertly contrived summer entertainment that doesn't insult the intelligence.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Unlike most action films, Mission: Impossible's distinct appeal operates not so much on suspense but on improbability.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Mission: Impossible helps remind us why the 1990s was such a powerhouse decade for great movies.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source:

...succeeds in offering up several exciting and suspenseful sequences, though one can't help but wish that the dialogue-based moments packed the same sort of punch.

May 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Each scene in and of itself plays very interestingly, even if they don't always logically lead one into the next scene.

April 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An incredibly boring and confusing espionage thriller...So inept on so many levels that it could easily be called The Bonfire of the Secret Agents.

January 23, 2006
Fantastica Daily

Unfortunately, two scenes and a screwed up script, plus a big plot disappointment, do not a recommendation make.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A solid piece of summer escapist entertainment.

January 8, 2005 Full Review Source:

Check your brain at the door, wallow in the special effects, and ride it out until September when good old-fashioned action will once again prevail.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

I was riveted.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

A non-stop fun run through Europe and the CIA headquarters.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Great start, but the movie keeps fighting its own internal logic.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Philadelphia City Paper
Philadelphia City Paper

Audience Reviews for Mission: Impossible

August 15, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

"I am seeing these movies in an odd order. I seen the last one first, the first one second, and the third one third oddly enough. I have yet to see the second one, but it's on my list of films to watch next. This one has been my least favorite of the ones I've seen so far. The action is good and the story is solid. I just didn't find it as good as the last nor as entertaining as the third. Which actually is a compliment to this series, cause they get better as they go. Great acting, good action, and an interesting story. One to see."
January 20, 2013

Super Reviewer

Absolutely loved it!
June 28, 2012
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

A good start for the trilogy, the cast is impressive and the look is super cool, just one problem, the plot is rather hard to follow, you end up just seeing it for the set pieces. There are of course some very tasty action sequences, the chopper in the tunnel being one but Cruise dangling on ropes whilst hacking a computer being the top attraction here, truly tense and super suspense filled sequence, shame the whole film doesn't quite live up to that moment.

The film isn't amazing but it holds its own well enough, slightly better than 'Bond' in my view, more of a younger version perhaps. Nice ensemble cast which all work well together throughout the film, never too sure who may get killed or double cross the team, its also closer to the original source material as 'Hunt' always worked in a team, it didn't solely revolve around Hunt, well not too much.

A good 'light' action flick which everyone can enjoy as there is no excessive violence or blood, better than 'Bond', on par with 'Indy' but not as hard as 'Die Hard'.
April 1, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Luther: Are you sure we can do this?
    2. Ethan Hunt: We're going to do it. *Main theme plays*
    – Submitted by Owen D (2 years ago)
    1. Ethan Hunt: One, two, three, toast. TOAST!
    – Submitted by Christopher H (3 years ago)
    1. Ethan Hunt: Red light, green light.
    – Submitted by Christopher H (3 years ago)
    1. Ethan Hunt: [Realizing Jim is the mole] Why Jim? Why?
    2. Jim Phelps: Well, you think about it Ethan, it was inevitable. No more cold war. No more secrets you keep from yourself. Answer to no one but yourself. Then, you wake up one morning and find out the President is running the country without your permission. The son of a bitch, how dare he. Then you realize, it's over. You are an obsolete peice of hardware, not worth upgrading, you got a lousy marriage, and 62 grand a year.
    – Submitted by Christopher H (3 years ago)
    1. Ethan Hunt: I don't communicate very well through a shroud.
    2. Matthias: If Max doesn't like what you have to say, you will be wearing that shroud indefinitely.
    – Submitted by Christopher H (3 years ago)
    1. Ethan Hunt: Well, my mom was a little confused how the DEA could mistake her and Uncle Donald for a couple of dope smugglers in the Florida Keys.
    – Submitted by Christopher H (3 years ago)
View all quotes (14)

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