Mission: Impossible Movies (mixed)
With Mission: Impossible — Fallout coming to theaters, the first five Mission: Impossible movies are all on home video in spiffy 4K/Blu-ray editions — but the value of the films varies.
Brian De Palma’s 1996 Mission: Impossible has the iconic CIA break-in sequence, but kills off a terrific team in the first act and turns the hero of the original TV series into a traitor. John Woo’s 2000 Mission: Impossible II features stylish slo-mo action sequences, but is otherwise boring and inert. Both can be skipped.
J.J. Abrams’ 2006 Mission: Impossible III is noteworthy for Catholic elements: a Catholic burial and a Catholic wedding, and even some talk about the indissolubility of marriage, plus a Vatican City set piece with Cruise in a cassock and biretta. On the down side, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s villain is too oppressively evil.
The series finally kicks into high gear with Brad Bird’s ridiculously entertaining 2011 Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, with highlights including the Kremlin break-in and especially the Burj Khalifa sequence in Dubai.
Christopher McQuarrie’s 2015 Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is a fully worthy follow-up, with a crackerjack opening involving a Russian military jet and a magnificent set piece at the Vienna State Opera during a performance of Puccini’s Turandot.
Caveat Spectator: All of the M:I films feature lots of action violence and occasional harsh language. There is also occasionally some suggestive content.