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Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  22 May 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 275,637 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 367 user | 148 critic | 29 from

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



(television series), (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Phelps (as Emmanuelle Beart)
Sarah Davies (as Kristin Scott-Thomas)
Valentina Yakunina ...
Nathan Osgood ...
John McLaughlin ...
Karel Dobrý ...


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 of 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


Expect the Impossible

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

22 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mission Impossible  »

Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£11,040,340 (UK) (19 July 1996)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Ethan Hunt studies Senator John Waltzer appearing in a TV interview, in order to impersonate him later, it is (of course) Tom Cruise himself on the TV screen. So, strictly speaking, it can be maintained that Cruise actually has two roles in this film, as Ethan Hunt and as the real Senator. See more »


Krieger throws a disk in the trash really hard and you can see a piece break off. When Ethan recovers it, it is good as new. See more »


Claire Phelps: Just give me the money.
Ethan Hunt: [quietly] You've earned it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Spider-Man (2002) See more »


Theme From Mission: Impossible
By Lalo Schifrin
Performed by Larry Mullen Jr. & Adam Clayton
Produced by Larry Mullen Jr. with David Beal
Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
Contains sample from the original soundtrack recording of "Mission: Impossible Theme"
Conducted by Lalo Schifrin
Courtesy of GNP Crescendo Records and Paramount Pictures
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of my all-time favorite movies!
17 January 2003 | by (Escondido, California, USA) – See all my reviews

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite films of all time! I'll never forget watching this film for the first time with a good buddy of mine, afterward we couldn't stop talking about it and spent a great deal of time explaining plot points to each other. We finally decided that we just had to see it again, so we did and all of our questions were answered and our theories proven correct.

The story is nothing less than superb! Every time you think you have the movie figured out they throw you for another loop, but not too much as to get you irritated trying to figure out the plot. This is most definitely a film that deserves at least two viewings before you can truly understand and appreciate the story. The characters are all excellent as well, although I was sad to see Jack Harmen (Emilio Estevez) get killed off so quickly, I liked his character.

The cast is extraordinary! Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt perfectly! Jon Voight was the perfect choice for Jim Phelps. Emmanuelle Beart was very good in her role. Henry Czerny was superb as Kittridge. Jean Reno was an excellent addition to the cast. Ving Rhames was a very nice touch and really added a lot to the film. Kristin Scott Thomas was lovely as always, although played a somewhat minor role in the greater scheme of things. Vanessa Redgrave was another nice addition to the cast. And finally, Emilio Estevez (as I mentioned above), played a small role, and played it quite well.

I can see why some of the big fans of the show wouldn't like this film due to certain plot points that I can't give away, so if you are a big fan of the show, be forewarned, you may have some issues with the film. Personally, I've never seen a single episode of the old television show, so I had absolutely no frame of reference. Which, I believe, put me in a better position to appreciate the story.

I feel that I have to mention the action scenes in this film! SPECTACULAR!!! The scene where Kittridge and Hunt are talking in the restaurant...just AWESOME! The entire last 20 minutes of the film...UNBELIEVABLE!!! The filming, the action, the special effects and stunts alone make this film worth watching (but luckily, there is so much more to appreciate).

If you are a fan of Tom Cruise, or just crime/mystery/action films in general, be sure to check this one out (at least twice). This is honestly one of my top 20 films of all time, I truly hope that you will enjoy this film. Thanks for reading,


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Terrible acting and story-telling gerhajdu
Still the best MI movie of the series harryster
Snore Fest Born_ToKill
How smoking was Max in this movie? Neelchim_Edsue
Tell My Why This Movie Is Bad tylrmcgill
Danny Elfman score heisenberg83
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