Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

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

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 86 reviews

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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 bymesupermanreverse November 27, 2018

Could it be any better!

Amazing comedy + action movie! It is my favorite movie . When you are watching it, I dont think you will want to get your eyes of the screen. They do missions,... Continue reading
Adult Written byewy00 July 12, 2014

Fun movie

We watched this as a family. It was fun. Loads of action. Cool technology. It's long at three hours. We watched it over two nights and really looked forwar... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTARDIS Tourist December 28, 2015

This review will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

Tom Cruises is stellar in this epic action movie. Violence is common in this movie. There is a bloody assassination, several fist fights, neck snapping, explosi... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 11, 2021

best 4th movie

ghost protocol is a very fun spy film, with moderate violence such as knife fights, fistfights, and shootouts. Plus contains infrequent swearing like s--t, and... Continue reading

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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