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Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  22 May 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 276,180 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 369 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?


Tom Cruise and Emillo Estevez both also appeared together in the 1983 movie the Outsiders. See more »


When Krieger drops the knife in the computer room it should hit the floor as the air conditioning duct is above the center not above the computer desk. See more »


Eugene Kittridge: What, can we do Barnes... put a guy at the airport? How many identities do you think Hunt has? How many times has he slipped past customs and in how many countries? These guys are trained to be ghosts... we taught them to do it for Christ's sake.
Frank Barnes: Well what do you suggest?
Eugene Kittridge: Let's not waste time chasing after him, just make him come to us. Everybody has pressure points, Barnes. You find something that's personally important to him and you... squeeze.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References Rififi (1955) 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

Slick and stylish action flick
30 August 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Based on the TV show of the same name, Brian De Palma's stylish thriller stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt; a James Bond-esquire secret agent working for a certain section of the government. As the title suggests, many of the scenarios in the film are extremely unlikely; but then again, the film wouldn't be living up to it's title if they weren't. It's one thing to criticise it's stunts for being overblown, but if they weren't, critics would be on it's back and calling it things like 'Mission Possible', so really you've just got to go with it. Brian De Palma makes it easy to just 'go with it' by way of an intriguing plot line, a constant array of high-octane sequences and lots of his trademark style! The plot does get a little too convoluted for it's own good at times, and sometimes it's a little hard to follow; but it gives the film a good basis for all manner of impossibilities, so it serves it's purpose. We follow Ethan Hunt and his team. After a botched mission, Hunt finds himself on the run from his employers after being accused of disloyalty. Hunt must now pull out all the stops to stay one step ahead of his pursuers and get to the bottom of why their mission went wrong.

The film features a number of stunts, the best of which sees Tom Cruise breaking into the CIA via the roof. This sequence is brilliantly executed, with De Palma managing to inject bucketloads of suspense into the scene. This scene fits the tone of the film as it's brooding and cerebral, but the film ditches that idea for it's conclusion, which sees a bullet train, a helicopter and the Channel Tunnel combine to great effect! The problem with all these stunts is that the parts between the action sequences aren't all that interesting, and at times can slow the film down to walking pace. This isn't a big problem, however, because there's always more action around every corner and that keeps the film going. Tom Cruise obviously has charisma and can lead a film, but I often find it hard to buy him in action roles. This one suits him, though, as although his character is still more than capable, he comes off as being quite vulnerable, and lucky at times, and that suits Cruise's persona. On the whole, while this isn't a great film; it makes for good entertainment and if that's what you're in the mood for, Mission: Impossible wont disappoint.

34 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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