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Mission: Impossible (1996)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 228,486 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 333 user | 128 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

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(television series), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Mission: Impossible (1996)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Claire Phelps (as Emmanuelle Beart)
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Sarah Davies (as Kristin Scott-Thomas)
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Max
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Valentina Yakunina ...
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Nathan Osgood ...
John McLaughlin ...
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Karel Dobrý ...
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Storyline

Based on the hit T.V. series. Jim Phelps was sent to Prague for a mission to prevent the theft of classified material. His wife Claire and his trusted partner Ethan Hunt were members of Phelps' team. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong and the mission failed, leaving Ethan Hunt the lone survivor. After he reported the failed mission, Kettridge the head if the agency suspects Ethan of being the culprit for the failed mission. Now, Ethan uses unorthodox methods (Which includes the aid of an arms dealer going by the name "Max") to try to find who set him up and to clear his name. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mission | spy | stealing | traitor | theft | See more »

Taglines:

Expect the Impossible


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mission Impossible  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$804,000 (USA) (26 July 1996)

Gross:

$180,965,237 (USA) (22 November 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot of this film hinges around the potential release of the NOC list. Traditionally, when a spy is caught, the spy's home country will admit that the person was a spy, and get that person back by releasing a spy they have captured from the same country that captured theirs. A NOC agent, or Non-Official Cover, is disavowed by his or her own country should he be captured - which essentially means he would be executed as an unauthorized spy. Thus, this list falling into the wrong hands would result is several spies being killed. The concern about blowing such an agent's cover is also no longer just a fantasy concocted for a film: Valerie Plame Wilson was a NOC agent, and her public outing as a spy jeopardized many operations she was working on, as shown in the film Fair Game (2010). See more »

Goofs

The MD Helicopters 520N has a main rotor diameter of 8.3 meters or 27.4 feet. Each bore of the Channel Tunnel is 7.6 meters or 25 feet. See more »

Quotes

Ethan Hunt: The disk Job sold you is worthless. Bait. Part of an internal mole hunt.
Max: And how would you know? Are you another company man?
Max: Like Job?
Max: We're asking about you
Ethan Hunt: I'm NOC, Was. Now, disavowed.
Max: Why, may I ask?
Ethan Hunt: That's the question I want to ask Job.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits contain several plot points from the movie. See more »

Connections

References Darkman (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Divertimento in E-Flat Major for String Trio (K.563)
Third Movement - Menuetto
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Gidon Kremer & Kim Kashkashian
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not really THAT confusing
7 May 2006 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

I first saw Mission: Impossible when I was 15 and I didn't have a Scooby what the hell was going on. And I considered myself to be smarter than the average bear. In retrospect, it's not that muddled. In comparison to the very-dumbed down sequel it stands out as a better example of film-making made by a director who doesn't underestimate the audience.

Brian De Palma is known to be a wildly inconsistent filmmaker. From the over-rated Carrie, to the under-rated Snake Eyes, the classic Untouchables and the downright hideous Mission to Mars and Scarface, he's been through just about everything. But Mission: Impossible was his first true mega-hit. Movies from TV shows are a dime a dozen these days and are rarely taken seriously, I mean look at trash like S.W.A.T. or Dukes of Hazard, but M:I is actually supposed to be a continuation of the show, rather than a spin-off.

Tom Cruise is Ethan Hunt (no, not cockney rhyming slang) an IMF agent who's entire team is killed in a phony sting operation in Prague. Accused of being a traitor he legs it before they can nab him and assembles a team of rogue operatives to find out who the REAL traitor is. Many double-crosses and double-double crosses ensue.

For those who cannot follow the plot there are some really good set-pieces with enough tension and excitement to carry the whole movie. You'll know by now the dangling scene in the top-secret room but the best scene in the movie is the high-speed train rocketing through the English countryside. While other directors might use this as a chance to show off, De Palma keeps it as realistic as possible which makes it infinitely more cooler.

Parts of the movie may seem a bit dated now and it's weird seeing Tom Cruise look like a little boy even though he was already 33. He even sounds different. And what kind of supervillian uses floppy discs? They could have tried something a bit more high-tech there.

The M:I franchise could be a helluva lot better, I suppose. The second film was terrible and the third merely average. But they're still better than the last few Bond outings, though it ain't quite up to the rugged quality of the Jason Bourne movies.

At least it got off to a good start. But can the world tolerate Cruise long enough to ever get a fourth made?


35 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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