The Mission

1986

The Mission

Critics Consensus

The Mission is a well-meaning epic given delicate heft by its sumptuous visuals and a standout score by Ennio Morricone, but its staid presentation never stirs an emotional investment in its characters.

64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,848
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Movie Info

In director Roland Joffe's historical epic The Mission, Jeremy Irons stars as Gabriel, an 18th-century Jesuit priest sent to the jungles of Brazil to build a Guarani Indian mission. Upon his arrival, Gabriel meets the slave trader Mendoza (Robert De Niro), a cruel, bloodless man who kills as many of the Guaranis as he enslaves. His brother Felipe (Aidan Quinn) is another of his victims, killed in a duel over a woman. Because of Mendoza's aristocratic background, he cannot be tried for his crimes; however, the weight of his conscience inspires him to ask Gabriel for the opportunity to do penance at the mission. When Spain sells Brazil to Portugal, the two very different men must join together to defend the mission against aggressors.

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Critic Reviews for The Mission

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (9)

  • The two principal actors, Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, work hard to animate their parts. But there is little to do. The Mission is probably the first film in which De Niro gives a bland, uninteresting performance.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The Mission manages to be both magnificent and curiously uninvolving, a buddy movie played in soutanes.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A singularly lumpy sort of movie.

    May 20, 2003
  • "The Mission" is everything a movie should be -- magnificently produced, epic in scope, serious in theme -- everything, that is, but good.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • There isn't a moment in The Mission that is not watchable, but the moments don't add up to a coherent narrative.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Mission" effectively dramatizes yet another chapter in the ruthless European conquest of the Americas. It'll make you hate the whole of western civilization with every fiber of your being.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Mission

  • Dec 27, 2013
    The Mission is a wonderfully weird tale of Europeans completely out of their fishbowl in the midst of the South American jungle. A battle of good and evil intentions..neither doing much for the natives who were unfortunate enough to be "discovered" by the Spanish. One of the most compelling characters for DeNiro is hidden here.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2013
    A remarkable and profoundly moving drama about redemption and the transforming power of love, not only visually stunning and boasting a wonderful Ennio Morricone score but also with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons carrying the film in two outstanding performances.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2012
    Moving and beautiful. The Mission, with a great direction and majestic score of the master Morricone, make this film an unforgettable powerful piece of work in seventh art.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2011
    The Mission features absolute superb cinematography, and a moving fact-based story at its' heart. Jeremy Irons and Robert De Ne Niro both display good work, but aren't given much to say in a film with sparse dialogue. The pacing is what really keeps the film back, sometimes bordering on boring. The themes are also a little overdone and preachy. Still, it's effective as an atmospheric historical drama.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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