Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Movie review by
Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
Mission: Impossible - Fallout Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Cruise's sixth M:I action adventure is most intense one yet.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 147 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 74 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Plenty of the usual spy-movie betrayals and killings, but the good guys are consistently willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. Also a theme of valuing not only many lives, but also individual ones -- and not hurting others unless you absolutely have to.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ethan Hunt operates in a world of violence and destruction but always tries to do the right thing, is brave and self-sacrificing. He cares about his team. The female characters are highly capable and brave; Erika Sloane is in a position of significant power (deputy director of the CIA), and Ilsa is core to the story.


Many intense action-movie stunts with unrealistic outcomes (for example, a character is thrown from a motorcycle at high speed without a helmet, rolls a few times, and is OK). The action is stepped up from previous chapters in the already famously stunt-heavy franchise, with more intense hand-to-hand combat and vehicle chases (cars, motorcycles, helicopters, etc.). Blood is rare, but a character does get a disfiguring burn/wound. Shootings, knife fights, frequent peril. Deaths. A confusing bathroom situation could come across as a potential incident of violent gay-bashing that's thankfully nipped in the bud.


One unexpected kiss. Suggestive comments about men who are locked in a bathroom stall together.


Infrequent strong language includes one use of "f---ing," plus "s--t," "pr--k," "hell," "ass," "damn," "bitch," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation). Middle-finger gestures.


BMW featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking almost occurs at a nightclub.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mission: Impossible -- Fallout is the sixth movie in Tom Cruise's hit spy action franchise -- and the most intense. It steps up the action from previous entries in the series, which is quite a feat. The vehicle chases are much more intense than in previous episodes, and the fighting feels more visceral; blows look like they actually hurt. There are also shootings, knife fights, and deaths, but blood is rare (typical for these movies). And there's still humor; the movie doesn't feel slow or heavy, despite its nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time. Expect a bit of strong language ("s--t," "bitch," etc., plus one use of "f---ing"), but there's not much in the way of sex or substance use content to worry about. Main character Ethan Hunt (Cruise) remains a stand-up guy in a world full of betrayal; in general, the good guys are consistently willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. Henry Cavill and Rebecca Ferguson co-star.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bySelfMade1011 July 21, 2018
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byAvril S. July 27, 2018

It’s Possible

This movie is more intense than previous Mission Impossible films with lots of dangerous stunts. Ethan is a brave character and cares about his teammates. There... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byrishi123 July 22, 2018
Teen, 17 years old Written byMatmat123 July 15, 2018

The best one yet!

The movie was really cool and in my opinion, it was the best of all! But their could be too much swearing and violence for your younger kids.

What's the story?

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE -- FALLOUT is a direct sequel to its predecessor, Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation. The villain from that movie, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), looms large over this one as superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) races against the clock to stop Lane's followers from acquiring and detonating nuclear weapons. Hunt is helped/hindered by CIA bruiser August Walker (Henry Cavill) and enigmatic British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who also appeared in Rogue Nation.

Is it any good?

This may well be the best Mission: Impossible movie yet. Mission: Impossible -- Fallout steps up the action -- as impossible a mission as that might sound -- and the stakes, with the personal screws tightened on Hunt and horrible consequences for failure. Though spy-movie watchers will expect the requisite twists, betrayals, and MacGuffins, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie's compelling filmmaking grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Fallout delivers the death-defying stunts the series demands. The execution of, for example, the series' best car chase -- really, a car/motorcycle chase -- is so expertly done that you're less aware of the slickness than the jeopardy. Fallout also has the best fight of the series thus far (hint: it takes place in a bathroom). It's exciting and visceral, with real emotional impact. Cruise's performance is lean and focused, and hopefully Ferguson is now a fixture in the series; she can act and fight. It's also fun to see Superman (Cavill) brawling like an utter brute.

Rob Hardy's (Ex Machina) cinematography captures everything we need to track the action while also conveying different atmospheres, moods, and textures. Each of the film's locations -- exotic, dingy, or otherwise -- is well-served. Eddie Hamilton's editing is superb; he's amassing a spectacular resume (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Lorne Balfe's versatile score builds on previous entries while recalling Hans Zimmer's Bat-music and Jóhann Jóhannson's nerve-rattling Sicario. Fight coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann and stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood pull rabbits out of their hats. So does featured fight performer Liang Yang; let's see more of that guy! Given the deeply ingrained habits of this genre, it's hard to surprise veteran fans. But McQuarrie and company get fresh reactions with the effective and thrilling Fallout by involving us in the dilemmas, making us feel the atmosphere and ticking clock, and hitting every action beat, dead center. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Mission: Impossible -- Fallout. Does it seem more intense than in previous M:I movies? Was there any difference in its emotional impact as a result? Is it what you expect from this type of movie?

  • Were you surprised by any of the movie's twists and betrayals, or have you come to expect them after seeing other spy movies?

  • Did the stakes seem different to you here than in other M:I movies? If so, why? Did the way the filmmakers treat Ethan's personal relationships have an effect on the stakes?

  • Ethan and his team are technically operating outside of the law. Are they still "good guys"? Where are the lines that separate them from their enemies? Do you consider Ethan a role model?

  • Talk about Ilsa. How often is a woman shown holding her own against a formidable male lead in an action film? What message does it send that Ilsa does that here?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate