A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is Tom Cruise's fifth Mission: Impossible adventure as Ethan Hunt. It's built on the same foundation as the four preceding films, meaning there's lots of thrilling action, death-defying stunt work, and violence (stabbing, shooting, explosions, hand-to-hand combat), though much of it is stylized and choreographed, and it's relatively bloodless. Swearing is infrequent, though "s--t" is used, and there's not much in the way of drinking/drugs (a bit of social drinking by adults). Some partial nudity; there's a bare back of a woman with a partial view of her breast. Teamwork and loyalty are running themes of the series.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION, the IMF loses its standing after the head of the CIA (Alec Baldwin) proclaims that the covert organization is outdated, far too expensive, and uncontrollable. Unmoored, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) -- who's leading the search for the so-called Syndicate, a rogue band of former spies now working as terrorists -- is left isolated from the rest of his squad (Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg). But Hunt won't stop until he finds the leader of the syndicate and a mysterious British spy, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who's either working for the good guys, for the Syndicate, or only for herself.
Is it any good?
Make no mistake, this predictable movie is clearly part of the Mission: Impossible franchise -- by which we mean it checks off all the usual boxes. There are high-octane action sequences (one in which Hunt danges from the side of a plane as it takes off is pretty gnarly), glamorous locales (Morocco and Belarus), comedic banter between Hunt and Benji (Pegg), and super-complicated missions that require death-defying entrances with Hunt as the centerpiece.
But it's also undeniably entertaining -- and genuinely thrilling. Yes, the geopolitics are scrambled and confusing, and the villains are non-specific and generic. But by the time you hear the strains of that world-famous theme song, you'll be salivating like a Pavlovian dog. Resist all you want, but you'll be hard pressed not to succumb to Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation's charms from the first scene.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Ethan Hunt and his band of brothers, who 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?
What role does violence play a film like Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation? Does its glossy nature distract from the brutality on the screen? Is it glamorized? Do different types of movie violence have different impact on kids?
British agent Ilsa Faust goes toe-to-toe with Ethan. How often is a woman shown holding her own against a formidable male lead in an action film? Does any hint of romance detract from their equality?
- In theaters: July 31, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: December 15, 2015
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson
- Director: Christopher McQuarrie
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 131 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
- Last updated: December 18, 2019
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