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Mission: Impossible
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Mission: Impossible

1996
Suspense/Thriller
Action
1h 50m
Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, 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)
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Mission: Impossible

1996
Suspense/Thriller
Action
1h 50m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 47.02% from 12376 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(12376)
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Rated 17 Oct 2016
88
75th
Unlike all subsequent movie in the series, this first one emphasizes actual espionage over action, but that's not a bad thing. The serpentine plot is fun and the cast is fantastic. Solid spy flick.
Rated 21 Jul 2011
85
93rd
Brian de Palma choreographs a slick and stylish 90s spy flick filled with red herrings and plot twists galore. Despite a few plot inconsistencies and a somewhat dated feel, its over-the-top yet understated style gives it an atmosphere perfect for the source material that no other film can attest, even the best of the Bonds.
Rated 22 Aug 2023
80
77th
Watching this very aware that Tom Cruise is like the age of Jon Voight in this and I'm trying to picture Jon Vougnt doing anything but lightly jogging without dying and I cannot even begin to fathom it. This is great and it's also the most boring one.
Rated 22 Sep 2009
50
34th
Yes. That mission? To keep me interested with a film that has a rudimentary plotline.
Rated 29 Jan 2012
80
86th
That it's not as entertaining as parts III and IV is fair enough because this is more mystery-thriller than action film. And it does have it moments - the stylishly composed opening mission, for example. But Cruise is less than stellar in the lead, the plot less than satisfying and the action scenes less than impressive by today's standards. But while I have to say it hasn't aged too well, I'll keep my score high for nostalgic reasons.
Rated 02 Aug 2018
7
63rd
The bounty of slick dialogue (delivered well by the solid cast) and the brooding, twist-filled espionage plot make it a little hard to follow at points (see the double mole-reveal near the end) but give the film a certain class and timelessness that mask its dated effects and on-screen technology, and elevate it above other 90s action flicks (though the action of the CIA heist was certainly a highlight). Tasteful underlying humour ("Relax Luther, it's much worse than you think") rounds it out.
Rated 03 Jun 2011
89
80th
Understandably outdated (by the time I watched it in 2010) but greatly entertaining. Memories of what espionage was like prior to iPhones.
Rated 23 May 2007
60
45th
The only movie with 4,000 masks on one actor!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
7
84th
De Palma at his slickest. The end gets a little silly, but unlike the two following films that lean more towards high-octane action, this is mostly a taut little thriller.
Rated 22 Jan 2012
80
88th
De Palma's initial film in the franchise still stands as the best. True to TV-show and just plain solid all the way through. This is how a spy thriller should be!
Rated 22 Dec 2011
72
47th
Most unrealistic computers of all time.
Rated 09 Apr 2008
58
60th
A decent but hollow action film. Behind the first impression of large-scale action scenes, suspense, killings and corruption it's incredibly shallow with a plot that roughly strings together a series of increasingly improbable events centered around Cruise. Although it flows well for the mostpart, a jagged plotline and contrived diaglogue prevent the final twist from being the least bit surprising. It's certainly not bad, but it doesn't deserve the attention it recieved upon release either.
Rated 17 Apr 2008
85
56th
Entertaining movie that I really really loved as a kid. Nostalgia plays a part, but I really do love the acting talent here.
Rated 18 May 2014
80
79th
Coming back to watch MI makes me appreciate it a little more. The extra appreciation comes not from the cool CIA incursion scene, but rather its technical prowess. The mission setup is slick, the acting of cruise is playful. The gadgets are minimal, but important to the story. It stands up very well against modern action drama movies.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
0
0th
All Tom Cruise films get a 0 because of his crazy beliefs.
Rated 09 Jun 2009
100
94th
Within the first five minutes Emilio Estevez is dead. At this point, I'm thinking to myself, "This could be the greatest movie ever made."
Rated 18 Aug 2011
89
90th
Twisty thriller builds in excitement to an amazing finale. My favorite mission in terms of story, although its certainly not an action movie. Has good setpieces for the thrills nonetheless. Ethan blowing up the helicopter while the theme blasts is one of my all time favorite movie moments.
Rated 30 Nov 2006
82
57th
The original M:I is a great thriller. I don't like Cruise but he really fits in there. Nice twists towards the end.
Rated 19 Jan 2007
55
19th
The best part is the music. DUH duh duuuuuuuh. DUH duh duuuuuuuh. DUH duh duuuuuuuh. DUH DUH. And the film is decently entertaining I guess.
Rated 01 Jul 2011
75
46th
A good De Palma film has an infectious exuberance to it, and this is a a good De Palma film. Would you like to watch a movie?
Rated 24 Jan 2007
60
16th
Nothing quite amuses a nerd like some TV show or movie getting computers horribly, horribly wrong. And this one has some doozies, including an email address with a space AND a colon in it. And how about searching Usenet for "job", and coming up with no results? Geeky nitpicking aside, not an entirely bad flick. It's got a few good tense moments and action sequences, but somehow it doesn't really add up to more than the sum of its parts.
Rated 08 Feb 2007
38
26th
When I was seven this movie came out, and don't ask me why, cuz everyone seems to hate me when I tell them this, but i have always found this movie to be extremely boring, even when i was seven, when it was the talk of the playground, and how bad ass everything was, I just always hated it.
Rated 14 Apr 2012
75
80th
It's like a Bond movie that forces you to pay attention and that's okay.
Rated 18 Aug 2009
90
89th
Why did they ruin this movie with the rest of the series. This is one of the best spy movies ever made.
Rated 25 Mar 2007
70
50th
One of those films I think I would appreciate more if I went back and watched it a second time with a different mindset.
Rated 29 May 2007
7
57th
(after repeat viewings) Aside from some corny bits (Cruisenet, Max.com (seriously ?), 3:14 as e-mail service,...) this is a solid, entertaining espionage-thriller, laced with an compelling, well constructed plot and some fine performances. People claim this film is confusing, though the only confusion I have is witnessing so many poor ratings.
Rated 30 Jan 2010
90
77th
The plot is a bit hard to follow but this movie it still a lot of fun to watch.
Rated 12 Jul 2007
90
66th
I liked it. Pretty cheesy. But fun. Some great gadgets, although the breakin at the CIA headquarters is kind of ridiculous...
Rated 11 May 2009
7
74th
Tom Cruise at the height of his fame, some very memorable scenes and a few now-iconic images. I remember the story being a little convoluted at times, but it was equally good at being a thriller as it was as an action piece.
Rated 06 Jan 2016
71
60th
There's something to be said for a summer action blockbuster that is exactly that executed to its fullest potential. Yes, the first of the M:I films is a little ridiculous, a little too complicated for its own good, and obviously focused on the action. But what good action it is! Cruise shows a nice combination of dedicated stuntwork and solid dramatic acting, and the screenplay allows for a lighter tone with good comedy. A well-acted, well-directed action thriller. What more can you ask for?
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
95th
Full of intense action sequences, it's hard to argue that Mission:Impossible isn't a fun movie to watch, because its got all sorts of twists to keep it interesting.
Rated 08 Jul 2012
80
93rd
Rewatched this movie for the first time in over 10 years and you know what, it still holds up well. Tom Cruise does well even if he's somewhat stuck in the "cocky pretty boy" character. The mystery aspect is pretty easy to figure out, some of the music doesn't work too well. But the thing is the movie is fun tons of fun.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
61
39th
A decent action film with a couple of interesting twists and turns. I was disappointed at the plot direction taken, with tons of people I would've liked to know getting killed right away, but in the end that's not a complaint more of a personal preference. I didn't find the movie flowed together well enough to be considered a really good action film but I still think it's alright.
Rated 27 Aug 2009
80
50th
This movie makes no sense, but I still love it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
83rd
Fun action flick with good pacing. Ballsy move at the beginning that I can't spoil for you.
Rated 24 Jun 2022
80
78th
I was a bit disappointed at the end of this, because I was so very certain Jon Voight had his head knocked off going through a train tunnel; but it turns out that's Dennis Hopper in Speed. And now I don't know what to think about anything.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
68
28th
Overly convuluted.
Rated 24 Jun 2010
70
28th
On first viewing, it's incredible and sets a high-water-mark for methodical action films. But, after you know where it's going the second time around, it loses a lot of what makes it special. That's not the mark of a great film--that's the mark of a fun time at the theatre with your friends.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
65
45th
Moderate action flick somehow spawned a franchise. It is slick, solidly acted and has some memorable and often spoofed action scenes.
Rated 22 Sep 2013
76
57th
I rewatched this movie recently and was astonished that my ten-year-old self thought it was so good. In reality, it's got nothing that Bond hadn't done two decades prior, but it's still a decent watch.
Rated 22 Dec 2011
65
14th
When you pull the internet and e-mail thread from this story, the entire thing unravels. Even if you can ignore that, the choices in revealing the twists and turns are worthy of raising an eyebrow. For the most part it works as a spy film - De Palma sets a specific tone and doesn't stray, which only empowers Cruise as a compelling presence. The action itself holds up well. I wouldn't call it fun, which undeniably has to be its main goal, but let's settle on decent.
Rated 03 Sep 2010
55
20th
A film that should be fun is instead convoluted and dull. Could have and should have been much better.
Rated 09 Mar 2013
70
77th
Mission: Impossible is a whole lot of fun. It has a great deal of memorable sequences, a fantastic score, a strong cast, and a director who brings a non-traditional shooting style to this action film and makes it work. Tom Cruise is charismatic enough to make his constantly grinning character endearing, a couple of points are absolutely fantastic, and the film saves its best moment for last, with an idea that I don't believe has ever been done on film previously.
Rated 03 Dec 2019
66
26th
Very rudimentary in comparison to the thrills of the acrobatic action work of the later sequels -- this film actually makes up for its lack of action scenes by having double-triple-quadruple-crosses, and having seen this after seeing all the sequels, this is very tiring. Has great moments, such as the bonkers ending action scene, and the espionage centre-piece that's equally thrilling and the right kind of goofy.
Rated 15 Mar 2008
67
54th
The script is something of a mess, and in 1996, I'm not sure anyone involved knew much about the internet and how it works. The movie's depiction of e-mail is hilariously dated. But anyway. You could watch this movie a thousand times and it would never make sense. It's a page turner with pages missing. But it's undeniable fun, backed by a strong cast and enough thrilling stunts to keep things afloat. Unlike the John Woo sequel, this one nails the feel of a spy movie, though #3 is best.
Rated 06 May 2013
95
87th
One of my favorite late 90s guilty pleasure action flicks. Absolutely wore the tape out when I was younger. Most people will only remember the highwire vault scene and the helicopter tunnel explosion, but then and now I enjoyed the espionage just as much. Shoutout to Henry Czerny's performance as well.
Rated 02 Dec 2011
75
67th
A well made spy movie that deserves a lot of credit for the numerous iconic moments that have permeated pop culture (theme song, pulling off human mask, hovering above the floor, and final train/helicopter action scene). While it's a bit overlong, is often convoluted, and the majority of the computer/internet technology logic is ridiculous, it was still the best spy movie that wasn't affiliated with James Bond at the time.
Rated 18 Jun 2010
88
65th
the best parody of a tom cruise action film ever made
Rated 26 Jul 2008
95
97th
Updating my review... I actually upped it like 7 points to put it into that "Amazing" category, but to be honest I could even up it a few more. I think this is one of the more underrated movies in the last 15 years, no word of a lie. It was one of my absolute favourites as a kid and I still appreciate it. It was smart, Ethan Hunt is a great character, Cruise did awesome, and it was a spy movie that didn't have tons of action (not like MI:2 does), and the action was more intense because of it.
Rated 24 Jun 2023
89
93rd
An impossible mission? Well.. Maybe not!
Rated 14 Dec 2013
7
57th
M:I is a franchise that has experimented and changed throughout it's sequels, each of mixed quality. This first offering from Brain DePalma feels like a standalone spy and espionage thriller and this was back when the Ethan Hunt character had depth, he was vulnerable and he wasnt indestructible. And this remains as Tom Cruise's most interesting and rounded performance of the series. But it's the incredible set pieces here that have inspired and created the M:I series that we know and love today.
Rated 27 Nov 2006
4
35th
Every aspect of this movie doesn't make sense
Rated 19 Apr 2009
23
17th
The cinematography is excellent and the film features some brilliantly crafted action scenes. Unfortunately, the whole film is spent trying really really hard to be intriguing. Very poor writing. Some parts are made hilariously obvious (Drake Hotel bible) while other key plot points have no explanation. Not to mention the sheer convenience of nearly every plot device that is used, and total lack of character motivation. Overall, a boring film with a few minutes of neat action.
Rated 27 Feb 2007
80
47th
I liked this movie when it first came out. Tom Cruise, why must you ruin all of the movies I once liked?
Rated 02 Mar 2007
80
62nd
Confusing plot, but some really great scenes.
Rated 07 Jan 2017
53
68th
#17#, rw3, popcorn, Emmanuelle.B/9a5, liked, rewatch(4) }**{ #90s#, story, (actors)
Rated 03 Mar 2010
75
55th
Truth be told, I'd say this is not quite worth the hype it's given. It ticks all the boxes for a classic in that the music is unforgettable and there are some truly iconic sequences, but that doesn't tell the whole story, because it can drag in places. That's not to say that you shouldn't see it though, because it's still good. But you know what? The third one is definitely better.
Rated 23 May 2007
1
6th
I didn't realize it was possible to make a spy thriller so utterly devoid of intrigue or personality.
Rated 14 Jan 2016
80
42nd
Kickstarted perhaps the best modern-action franchise, rivalled only by Bourne. Although at least two of this films sequels have surpassed it in almost ever way, this film remains a great 90s action movie full of fantastic action, above average acting, tight direction, a great score and an interesting plot, albeit generic. One major complaint about this film is that the screenplay is merely functional. There are so few memorable lines, Something that has continued to be the case in the franchise.
Rated 14 Jun 2022
56
44th
Tom Cruise is so good at this role. I loved Vanessa Redgrave as Max and Henry Czerny as Kitteidge too. On the otherhand Beart’s Claire Phelps was nails on a chalkboard for me. The movie is nothing special but it’s entertaining despite its plot holes… C+
Rated 27 Jul 2007
70
19th
Decent enough but totally forgettable. I have, in fact, forgotten it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
55
32nd
Decent action/spy flick with not much going on other than the relentless pace. Cruise dangling from the ceiling by a wire is almost (but not quite) iconic.
Rated 19 Aug 2009
80
27th
Convoluted, but a good tech-action film.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
52nd
Fun movie even if it's not anything like the TV show.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
87th
A personal favourite, this original of the three-part series is great.
Rated 23 Dec 2018
65
44th
Hasn't aged particularly well but points for what it brought to the genre.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
87
63rd
Gets really muddled toward the end, but man is it a fun ride.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
40
16th
The most basic popcorn movie ever.
Rated 06 Nov 2010
30
78th
"Unlike most action films, Mission: Impossible's distinct appeal operates not so much on suspense but on improbability." - Zach Campbell
Rated 16 Jul 2023
30
18th
don't remember it
Rated 20 Oct 2011
78
61st
Best M:I.
Rated 17 Apr 2020
80
54th
A solid spy thriller, Mission Impossible does a great job of capturing and perhaps exceeding the potential of the source material. Full of twists and turns and spy gadgets, MI succeeds in unexpected ways and turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise.
Rated 19 Aug 2007
88
71st
Good action film with the expected plot twist. FX were great.
Rated 21 Aug 2007
85
86th
The only good one to come out of the franchize.
Rated 01 Feb 2018
99
95th
Formative viewing
Rated 09 Jan 2012
50
28th
5- worth experiencing, alright
Rated 25 Apr 2013
80
57th
This movie makes my head hurt. If you try to follow the story of this too closely you might get a migraine. The action sequences are the best part of this film. Cruise plays a pretty suave Ethan Hunt, agent of the Impossible Mission Force. The gadgets aren't nearly as cool as Q's from James Bond but they serve their purpose. I had to look up an explanation of the plot after this viewing to make sure I didn't miss anything, there are a lot of double crosses that happen, so pay attention!
Rated 18 Oct 2007
85
68th
This movie opened the door for spy flicks to escape 007's shadow.
Rated 20 Oct 2007
50
29th
Entertaining. Once.
Rated 18 Aug 2015
70
20th
Extremely convoluted, but so much fun.
Rated 07 Jun 2024
80
59th
Feels more grounded in reality than the newer ones, which doesn't make it better, but it does make it very different
Rated 19 Jan 2009
80
67th
The 1st was the best.
Rated 02 Jan 2008
78
49th
A credible dramatisation of the sixties TV series. Reasonable plot with sound acting make this a solid though not earth-shattering action thriller. Certainly far fetched with some good twists and turns along the way and good effects.
Rated 06 Jan 2008
60
47th
Passable, but not all that clever or exciting
Rated 27 Jul 2009
62
40th
Pretty cool action sequences and some respectable suspense. Overall, an average to above-average thriller. Spawned one string of shitty sequels, that's for sure.
Rated 04 Jan 2009
84
65th
I really enjoyed this one but the last sequence somewhat blew it. Over all, the movie doesn't need redemption and it's a good watch.
Rated 25 Feb 2008
70
48th
quite cool thriller based on the tv series.
Rated 28 Feb 2008
55
26th
ok.
Rated 07 Dec 2014
3
38th
Ahahaha that fuckin' train chase.
Rated 10 Nov 2023
70
57th
i know searching things on the internet is lame.. ethan, however, really hates it
Rated 02 Jun 2008
20
10th
Tom Cruise is enough for me to disdain almost any movie.
Rated 06 Jun 2008
75
48th
The original was fun, but maybe that's because paying enraptured attention to it saved me from getting seasick on a cruise. You decide.
Rated 07 Nov 2012
72
64th
An entertaining spy thriller with only barely enough cold war trappings to make it feel like it's not just another American attempt at a Bond flick (as the later ones in this series were). Brian De Palma has fun playing around with view points - the problem is his lead actor Cruise, who seems utterly incapable of playing any subtlety, irony or subtext. This one is closer to LeCarre's spy genre than any of the sequels were, but the sequels play much better to Cruise's strengths as an action star.
Rated 10 Dec 2009
40
30th
2/5
Rated 10 Aug 2008
73
49th
Engaging and clever with exciting action
Rated 20 Aug 2008
60
44th
x0
Rated 22 Jan 2014
6
42nd
tom cruise
Rated 15 Nov 2008
50
21st
the cast is great, solid performances from voight, reno, beart and even cruise. but the story isn't inspired. drew attention to the genre back then.
Rated 18 Nov 2008
60
72nd
Ah before Tom went psychotic.
Rated 19 Apr 2012
79
22nd
Holds up surprisingly well really. Possibly because of the excellent De Palma direction.

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