Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol



Spy franchise returns for more action-packed thrills.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: December 16, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 133 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 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.

What's the story?

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about action movies. Does this kind of movie 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

Theatrical release date:December 16, 2011
DVD release date:April 17, 2012
Cast:Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise
Director:Brad Bird
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:133 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense action and violence

This review of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent 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 positive message to boys in my opinion who are exposed to lots of video game violence for the sake of violence/entertainment only. This film is not gory. But for those sensitive to it, be aware it is constant gunfire/explosions/car crashes/etc. A little language, but less than most PG-13 films, and no f-bombs or over-the-top stuff. Great film for Imax to take advantage of the technology and sound system. However, I suggest sitting in the back half of the theater because rapid motion is hard to process from the front. Also be aware that it is EXTREMELY loud.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byJKB97 January 1, 2012

Mission: Accomplished

Brad Bird (director of Disney Pixar super-hero spectacular 'The Incredibles') makes his debut in the genre of thriller in the fourth installment of the 'Mission Impossible' series starring Tom Cruise as spy, Ethan Hunt. This film is a must-watch for children who love thrilling chases and fast-paced action from the recommended age of 11 and over. There are minor uses of bad language, but they are infrequent - the film succeeds to thrill from its chases and fast-paced storyline. 11 years of age is the perfect age for a child to watch with their parents in the cinema. Some children below the age of 11 can watch from the permission of their parents, if they can deal with violence. Finally, I can assure you 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is the ideal thriller to watch with children over the age of 11 and adults of all ages.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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