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Mission: Impossible Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This movie isn't a disaster, but, all things considered, there's little reason to make it a high priority for theatrical viewing.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Stylish, brisk but lacking in human dimension despite an attractive cast. [22 May 1996, p. D1]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's a movie of profoundly convoluted pop pleasures. Between dazzling suspense sequences, it invites the audience to work for a good time.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

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  • See all Mission: Impossible reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Sensational, implausible, violent: Irresistible to teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an action-packed, suspense-filled film that will appeal to adults and some teens, with lots of fighting, danger, and characters killed in unusual ways. There are some bloody visuals: clothes, hands, knifings, and a woman shot to death. Still, much of the violence is suggested rather than shown either using wide shots or with the camera cutting away before a grisly death actually happens. Adventurous stunts include daring fights and chases along with explosions, flooding, crashes through glass, a helicopter in pursuit of a high speed train with men fighting atop it, and a death-defying burglary of an impregnable security installation. The film contains occasional mild cursing, some smoking and drinking, a few drugs administered to subdue those who may be a threat, and a hint of a possible sexual indiscretion.

  • Families can talk about the film's themes of death, self-sacrafice and patriotism. What level of each does each family member believe is appropriate? What would you give up -- how much would you place your life in peril -- for what you believe in?
  • What makes watching action and violence compelling? When does it go too far?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In the fight between good and evil, honesty, integrity and bravery prevail. While trust is fragile and precious, even the most steadfast of allies may be corruptible.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The dashing hero is willing to risk his career, his good name, and his life to uncover treachery and obtain justice for his fallen friends. He is unrelenting in his honesty, his loyalty, and his service to his country. His superiors in the IMF seem slow-witted and inefficient much of the time.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Frequent action and lots of suspense. A series of attacks finds a team of agents killed early in the film by: a rigged elevator, a gunshot and fall from a bridge, a double knifing, and an exploding car. A restaurant is blown up and flooded; a man crashes through a window and escapes. There are numerous fights, which include punches, slaps to the head, knife fights, and gunfire (one woman is shot to death). A lengthy final sequence takes place atop a speeding train, with a helicopter chasing it and includes men jumping, falling, sliding, and hanging over the side of the train. There are some brief bloody images (hands, shirt, clothes), but in most instances deaths happen just after the camera cuts away or in wide shots, and are not graphic or gruesome.

  • sex false2

    Sex: An agent pats down a woman suspect, briefly touches her breasts. A few kisses and embraces.

  • language false2

    Language: Infrequent language inludes: "hell," "son of a bitch," "ass," "goddamn," and "for Christ's sake."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Diet Coke, British Airways. Dunhill cigarettes and Chicago's Drake Hotel are mentioned in conversation and serve as plot elements. Some merchandising and heavy marketing for this series of films.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable