Parents' Guide to

Mission: Impossible

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

First M:I movie starts off with a bang; violence, peril.

Movie PG-13 1996 110 minutes
Mission: Impossible Poster Image: Tom Cruise's face in profile, with a smaller image of him jumping in an action shot

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 13+

Excellent...Enough Said!

This film is incredible! Surprisingly, every film in this franchise is very good...except for the second one. My favorite part, though, is definitely the first mission. That’s where the whole group is alive and working together, and it is probably one of the more complex, well-made parts of the entire film. Who knew that Ethan Hunt would go from being an ordinary group member to the star of the series! Excellent film! My favorite movie in the franchise! Highly recommend to people 13 or older.
age 13+


MISSION IMPOSSIBLE reminds one of the old Bond movies than recent pictures like the Bourne films. In these movies, spies fist-fight on subways, helicopters fly inside train tunnels, and oven-sized aquariums break with enough water to flood a whole room. None of that should matter. When we watch this film, we're not asking ourselves "why" or "how"...we're asking ourselves "what will happen next". MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE succeeds as a heart-pumping and engaging thriller, but don't expect believable thrills; expect fun. Violence is really the only issue in the film. Numerous people are shot and two are stabbed. Blood is seen on hands, weapons, etc. and that may be unsettling for some, but discerning viewers can tell it's fake. There are several big booms and explosions, and the opening sequence is intense (Hunt's team is killed off; one by one). Language is limited to "d**n"s, "a*s"s, and "SOB"s, and sex consists of two couples kissing. Mention is made of Hunt coveting Jon Voigt's wife (who is at least 15 years younger than him), but nothing happens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (74 ):

The Cold War may be over, but the spy genre is alive and well in Cruise and director Brian De Palma's thriller. It's sometimes confusing and implausible, but Mission: Impossible still has great production values, tense high-tech espionage, and three thrilling set pieces that will keep action lovers on the edge of their seats. The movie unfortunately forgoes plot coherence in favor of flashy scenes and escapes. (The CIA headquarters break-in, while exhilarating, is particularly dubious.)

Mission: Impossible certainly has a great opening, breaking the rules of the Hollywood thriller by (seemingly) killing off most of its stars (Jon Voight, Emilio Estevez, Kristin Scott Thomas) right off the bat. De Palma also does a fine job of creating an atmosphere of suspicion; nobody with whom Ethan comes into contact is completely trustworthy. And the action sequences -- especially the helicopter in the Chunnel -- are some of the best Hollywood has to offer.

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