Mission: Impossible

 

Average Star Rating (ASR): 4.17 ★'s

Mission: Impossible

In a franchise best known for its later entries, the first Mission: Impossible still manages to make a lasting impression. Though it lacks the insane stunts and set pieces that the franchise has become known for, it does feature heists, fights, masks, double-crosses, and one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. ★★★½

Best Part: Langley Break-In

Worst Part: CGI Train Fight

Mission: Impossible II

Yes, this is the worst film in the Mission: Impossible series, but it’s not as bad as you remember. If rock-climbing, an ambiguous virus, motorcycle jousting and Thandie Newton aren’t enough for you, then leave… just leave. Plus, it uses those infamous masks better than any of the other movies, and you can quote me on that. ★★½

Best Part: Motorcycle Jousting

Worst Part: The plot and script and acting

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Mission: Impossible III

This is the beginning of the Mission: Impossible renaissance. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a formidable arms dealer whose actions and demeanor shake Ethan to his emotional core, while director J. J. Abrams injects his signature style (and ridiculous MacGuffin) into every scene. It’s not peak-MI, but it’s the turning point for a series headed for a brighter future. ★★★★

Best Part: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Worst Part: The MacGuffin

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Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Directed by the interminably talented Brad Bird, the fourth installment of this globetrotting franchise is the one that really changed the way we see Mission: Impossible and Tom Cruise. From the now-infamous Burj Khalifa stunts to the vertical car park brawl, Ghost Protocol fully embraces Cruise’s death wish and gives us some of the best set pieces in action movie history. ★★★★★

Best Part: The Burj Khalifa

Worst Part: The sexualization, underutilization and subsequent dispensibility of Paula Patton

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Rogue Nation sees the MI crew back in full force. The opera fight scene and underwater file grab are two of the best sequences in the entire franchise and, while no set piece matches the sheer intensity of the Burj Khalifa from Ghost Protocol, the film improves on its predecessors in almost every way. Rogue Nation’s intelligent script and ominous villain are the highlights, but its use of the franchise’s new and established supporting characters offer new levels of humor and depth that the previous films have lacked. ★★★★★

Best Part: Solomon Lane

Worst Part: Another new femme fatale? Just pick one (or two) already!

Mission: Impossible Fallout

This Quickie Review contains minor spoilers for Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Old friends and new comrades come together to defeat Rogue Nation mastermind Solomon Lane in the most star-studded, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat movie of the year. From helicopters to HALO jumps, Tom Cruise outdoes himself again and proves that he is not too old to play Ethan Hunt. The second Mission: Impossible installment from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, Fallout is not only the best in the franchise, but likely one of the greatest action movies of all time. ★★★★★

Best Part: Superhuman Tom Cruise

Worst Part: CGI fire in opening credits montage

 
 
David Merkle