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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 280,277 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?


The character name Alexander Golitsyn is a nod to Soviet KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn. See more »


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 »


[over the phone]
Ethan Hunt: They're dead.
Eugene Kittridge: What? Who's dead?
Ethan Hunt: My team. My team is DEAD. They knew we were coming, man. They knew we were coming and the disk is gone.
Eugene Kittridge: Are you intact?
Ethan Hunt: Do you read me! The list is in the OPEN!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits contain several plot points from the movie. 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

A tense thriller that is not (despite popular belief) impossible to follow.
8 December 1998 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I would like to reiterate what "Anonymous of Derby, England" said about this film (20th November). The fact that so many people have complained that they "didn't get it" is proof that our brains are being atrophied by so many movies that do all our thinking for us. I had no trouble in following the plot and found the fact that I actually had to concentrate and think things through quite refreshing. Okay, so a lot of the stunts were a bit far fetched but what does it matter when they were so entertaining? After all, it is only a movie; nobody expects us to believe that these things could really happen any more than they expect us to believe that King Kong really existed or that there's a Volcano ready to errupt in L.A. Besides, with the inspired casting of David Schneider as the train driver, Brian de Palma must have had his tongue in his cheek for at least some of the time. He's created a masterful boy's own adventure story, an original "ripping yarn" and that brilliant comic touch added to this perfectly.

"Mission Impossible" is a visual and cerebral treat. Tom Cruise is excellent as Ethan, Vanessa Redgrave makes a superb villian and Jean Reno is watchable in ANYTHING he does. The only weak link is Emmanuelle Beart, who did a good job of looking beautiful but very little else. What a shame Kristin Scott Thomas couldn't have taken a more central role; she makes the gorgeous but bland Beart look like a waste of space.

I give this 8 out of ten and it would have been more if it wasn't for Beart's character.

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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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