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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Movie Poster Image
Spy franchise returns for more action-packed thrills.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 133 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 76 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a pretty straightforward good-versus-evil story. Teamwork is what really makes Ethan's team successful; they all watch one another's back and are loyal to the group. Another notable takeaway: Gadgets can fail, so human relationships and resourcefulness matter more.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ethan is definitively on the "good" side, though there are allusions to him having gone off-mission and killed six men. He appears to be a dedicated guy, though clearly one with a few demons. Everyone on his team is pretty well-intentioned and principled. There's a strong female character on the IMF team.


Plenty of action/thriller violence, with high body counts resulting from gunfights, bombings, hand-to-hand combat, and the like. There's an assassination, and characters end up bloodied, maimed, and killed. One spy is shot point blank. Some of the fight scenes make you wince. Some characters refer casually to having killed others. The villain wants to detonate a nuclear missile.



A lingering kiss; a spy attempts to get information from someone by flirting with and seducing him.


Infrequent use of words including "s--t," "hell," "ass," and "damn." Also "my God," etc. as exclamations.


Brands/labels in the movie include Ford Motors, Porsche, Maserati, Dell, LG, and plenty of Apple products, including the iPad and the iPhone.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking at parties; some characters smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the popular Mission: Impossible franchise, has all the hallmarks that made the previous incarnations successful: a twisty plot, a motley crew (led by Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt) on a spying mission, and lots and lots of jaw-dropping stunts and high-tech gadgetry. Expect tons of thrilling-but-violent action sequences, including assassinations and weapons that maim, bomb, and kill. The body count definitely adds up, but blood is minimal. There's also some swearing (including "s--t"), as well as some kissing and flirting, social drinking, and smoking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHMC69 December 16, 2011

perhaps the most action-packed movie I've ever seen

Saw this in an Imax theater - the sound and video were incredible. The action is nearly non-stop and very exciting. Theme of save-the-world, good v evil is a p... Continue reading
Adult Written bytwilly December 22, 2011

A welcome treat.

What a huge treat to see an entertaining and compelling action movie which does NOT contain the usual gratuitous nudity, sex, potty humor, recurring bad languag... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylololee December 16, 2011

Mission Possible

Great movie no bad language nothing bad at all except this one character named John.He is a very bad actor
Teen, 15 years old Written byRobbyboyfye16 January 12, 2012


spy team thriller is fun and entertainment

What's the story?

In MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCAL, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is locked in a Russian prison, but not for long. His new team (Paula Patton and Simon Pegg) assists him as he executes a flawless escape that lands him on the other side of the wall and smack into his next mission: to capture Cobalt, a terrorist determined to cause global havoc. The villain has found a way to make it look as if Hunt and his crew, which now also includes a mysteriously skillful analyst (Jeremy Renner), are rogues, leaving the U.S. government with little recourse but to put them on "ghost protocol" -- untethered and unassisted as they attempt to put a stop to Cobalt and his nefarious plans.

Is it any good?

Ethan Hunt is back, and so is Tom Cruise; any fans who were put off by his tabloid-fodder exploits will be lured back by his considerable charms, which are all put to good use here. Though Cruise certainly isn't the only game in town this time around. Renner is a formidable addition (and if, as rumor might suggest, he does take over the franchise from Cruise someday, it could work), and Patton takes her heroine duties seriously, while Pegg keeps the patter light and chuckly.

Director Brad Bird, a veteran of memorable animated movies like The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, knows how to spin a thrilling yarn. The storyline is vintage Mission: Impossible -- international conspiracy, high stakes, ticking time bomb -- and includes enough high-tech wizardry to make any gadget fanatic swoon. Yes, the resuscitation of Cold War theatrics feels a mite too retro, and the ending borders on maudlin. Not that it makes a whit of difference. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol clearly accepted a mission to entertain, and it does so with flair.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about action movies. Does a movie like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol need violence in order to be thrilling?

  • How does the filmmaker handle the violent missions? Are they glamorized? If so, what effect does this have?

  • Is Ethan a role model? Why or why not?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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