Mission: Impossible (1996)

mission impossible poster 1996 movie tom cruise
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Strong, sleek action flick

Story confuses some

Movie Info

Movie Name: Mission: Impossible

Studio: Cruise/Wagner

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Suspense/Mystery

Release Date(s): May 22, 1996

MPAA Rating: PG-13


I’m all for radical office chairs but this is getting ridiculous

This is your mission, should you decide to accept it. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and a team of agents from MIF (Mission Impossible Force) are assigned to take down a possible double agent planning to sell top secret information on agents identities. When the mission goes wrong, Ethan finds half his team dead and learns he’s being set-up as a spy. Now Ethan must assemble a new team to work with the organization planning to buy the NOC list (Non-Official Cover) to find out who is framing him.

Directed by Brian DePalma, Mission: Impossible reinvented the television series which ran from 1966-1973 (and was briefly relaunched from 1988-1990), and featured a catchy remake of the classic theme by U2. The movie was a critical and financial success and continues to spawn sequels.


With a little help from my friends…maybe

Mission: Impossible (or sometimes just called M:I) is fast and sleek spy thriller with more emphasis on the spy than the James Bond suaveness. The movie looks great and really keeps moving from the big start mission to the climatic battle on the bullet train. DePalma does bring a bit of his style to the thriller and that did lead to some confusion.

Some people find the story in this movie hard to follow, and I’ve never understood why. The story is pretty simple. There is a list of secret agents. A dummy list was put out to flush out a spy. Tom Cruise is accused of being that spy. Cruise has to work with the terrorists to get the real list in order to find out who the real spy was. That’s it. I think where the confusion might come in is when DePalma has Cruise realize what really happened the night he was accused without saying it. It was done pretty stylishly and is unspoken…that might lead to the confusion.


Ok…that’ll happen

There is a bad trend set up in M:I however that becomes quite overdone in the sequels: the pull off mask. When it is first done in Mission: Impossible, it is cool and a surprise, but it is done again and again…losing its effect. I prefer when they stick to high tech stuff and really make it about espionage

Related Links:

Mission:  Impossible II (2000)

Mission:  Impossible III (2006)

Mission:  Impossible—Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission:  Impossible—Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission:  Impossible—Fallout (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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