Five Mission Impossible Movies Ranked

First things first – can we all agree that Tom Cruise is an indestructible android sent from the future to conquer the world through action movies? Since we have gotten that out of the way, the ageless daredevil will be returning this July to his mega popular action franchise Mission Impossible.

In the latest installment Fallout Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his merry band of IMF spies will be dodging the CIA and a band of assassins as they try to avert a global catastrophe. You know, your regular Tuesday afternoon. Also returning is Rebecca Ferguson, who debuted in 2015’s Rogue Nation, veterans Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg and newcomers like Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett. Check out the trailer below:

So we just looked forward, now it’s time to go back. Way back. Back into time. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read a ranking of all the previous Mission Impossible installments. With a huge SPOILER ALERT let’s get dangerous:

#5 Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

I am a flower on the breeze, I am unicorn in the forest…

If you want some cool slo mo double-gun brandishing action and some sexy, sexy dove flying scenes John Woo is your go-to director. But for a Mission Impossible movie, not so much. The franchise’s second installment ditched most of the intrigue and spy suspense for shoot outs, explosions and hand to hand combat.

How can you love him? You’re supposed to love meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Cruise is still energetic and Thandie Newton is her ever charming self but Dougray Scott’s villain is a tad hammy. The film also lacks the team dynamic of most of the films. While not a bad movie it is a bad Mission Impossible movie, and for any binge of the franchise this action-heavy entry will be quite jarring.

#4 Mission Impossible (1996)

What am I doing? Just hanging out, checking my email

How do you bring a late 60s, early 70s super spy TV series to the big screen in the mid-90s? You slap some Tom Cruise on that sucker! The very first entry is a decent enough spy flick and features some nail biting scenes like the iconic computer break-in and the explosive train finale. But unlike other entries this is pretty much a one-man show with tech and vehicle support. And did they really have to make the main character from the series, Jim Phelps, the villain? It was an okay enough twist but also felt like a slap in the face to the tv fans, and an unnecessary one at that.

#3 Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Well hello Mr Bond

Firstly, a handful of bad guys does not make a nation. A gang, a club maybe. But definitely not a nation. Misleading titles aside Rogue Nation is a pretty good time. Ferguson’s undercover Mi6 agent Ilsa Faust is delightful and the most intriguing of the all the franchise’s lovely ladies. She has a strength and fortitude that makes her a fine foil for Cruise’s Hunt, and that is likely why they decided to bring her back for the next installment.

MI Rogue Nation 2
It was at this point that Agent Hunt realised he had made a terrible mistake

The film features Cruise’s wild do-it-yourself stunts including the wild plane hanging opening. Pegg’s IMF tech field agent Benji is at his most comedic though Jeremy Renner’s field operations director William Brandt had already started to feel redundant. I could barely remember the main villain but the series does not do all that well when it comes to memorable big bads.

#2 Mission Impossible III (2006)

Don’t look at her boobs, don’t look at her boobs, don’t look at her boobs…

And speaking of big bads nobody did it better than the late Academy Award- winning Phillip Seymour Hoffman as arms dealer Owen Davian in the franchise’s third installment. What a chilling, powerhouse performance. Cruise is also superb this time around and having to rescue his fiance added some extra emotional weight to the spy drama. The movie also features some of the best action scenes in the franchise. That scene on the bridge where a rocket hits a car and flings Hunt – ermagerd! So good. After the gun-fest of part two director J.J. Abrams wisely returned to a more spy-centric affair and helmed one of the best entries of the franchise.

#1 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

paula patton
I don’t have a funny comment. I just wanted to share the gorgeousness that is Paula Patton in Ghost Protocol. You are welcome

I say one of the best because the gold medal has to go to Ghost Protocol. This movie was just mind blowing good. Director Brad Bird, known for awesome animated fare like The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, finally nails the balance between the team spy fare of the TV series and testicles to the wall action. Renner, Pegg and the drop dead gorgeous Paula Patton make up a formidable team that actual feels like a team, and not just some characters for Cruise to talk to.

MI cover
Impossible Man, Impossible Man, does whatever Impossible Men can

The action set pieces in this entry are breathtaking. The massive Kremlin explosion, the daring Dubai building climb (yes he was secured by cables but it was still shot really well) and the climactic automated car park battle will all knock your proverbial socks off. The villain is again forgettable but the awesomeness in every other area more than makes up for that.

So that’s my list. What’s your favourite MI movie?

For my ranking of the top Die Hard movies you can click here. And if you want updates about our latest posts all up in your mailbox then feel free to subscribe.

To purchase the five film Mission Impossible collection you can Buy it Amazon.


  1. Ur order is 2,1,5,3,4. Mine is similar, but I think they get better each time (except 2), so can’t wait for no 6. My order is 2,1,3,4,5

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