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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 280,320 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 369 user | 149 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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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3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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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
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Did You Know?


"Mission: Impossible" film directors are always different. The sequel (Mission: Impossible II (2000)) is directed by John Woo, Mission: Impossible III (2006) by J.J. Abrams, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) by Brad Bird, and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) by Christopher McQuarrie. Among those directors, only J.J. Abrams is attached in other films ("Ghost Protocol" and "Rogue Nation"), acting as a producer. See more »


(at around 33 mins) When Ethan arrives back at the safe house, he steals a light bulb in the hallway and crushes it. The amount of glass he then spreads on the floor (as a warning device) is far more than the bulb would've provided. See more »


Eugene Kittridge: Good morning, Mr. Phelps.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (2011) See more »


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

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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Terrible acting and story-telling gerhajdu
Still the best MI movie of the series harryster
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How smoking was Max in this movie? Neelchim_Edsue
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Danny Elfman score heisenberg83
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