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Mission Impossible franchise completes 25 years: A definitive ranking of MI films

Your mission, should you choose to accept it… It all began a quarter of a century ago. The Mission: Impossible franchise completes 25 years today. The first film in the popular action spy series, Brian de Palma’s Mission: Impossible, released on this day in 1996.

There have been six Mission: Impossible films so far. The original was followed by Mission: Impossible 2, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

There are at least two more movies in development.

The franchise, based on the TV show of the same name, revolves around Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, an operative of Impossible Missions Force (IMF). Cruise has carried forward the franchise with sheer dedication and perseverance.

Here is a ranking of Mission: Impossible movies, from worst to best.

6. Mission: Impossible II


Easily the weakest film in the franchise, Mission: Impossible II is still a lot of fun. Some of the action scenes work, the rest not so much.

5. Mission: Impossible III

JJ Abrams’ directorial debut is not a bad movie at all. It has one of the best villains in the franchise, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s arms dealer Owen Davian. But the rest of the film doesn’t quite live up to it, including Cruise, who seems to be in bad form here.

4. Mission: Impossible

22 years on, Mission: Impossible remains a classic. Although some of the action scenes look dated, there is still enough to enjoy this movie.

3. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

The last Mission: Impossible movie brought Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie, and it became a huge critical and commercial success. When most franchises begin to die a slow death by the time they reach their fifth installment, Rogue Nation showed that Mission: Impossible was only getting stronger.

2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Ghost Protocol has one of the best action scenes in any Mission: Impossible movie – perhaps in any Hollywood movie. In a franchise that is known for death-defying stunts, Tom Cruise scaling the tallest skyscraper in the world was a sight to behold. In case you did not know, Cruise did the stunt himself.

1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

The latest and (according to this scribe) the greatest Mission: Impossible film, Fallout combined the franchise’s now-familiar fast-paced, world-endangering plot with magnificently mounted action set pieces and a great cast. Fallout is the best Mission: Impossible movie so far. The bathroom fight scene is easily one of the best no-holds-barred brawls portrayed in cinema.

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