Reviews Say Tom Cruise's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION Is "Relentlessly Thrilling"

Currently boasting a 96% certified fresh rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes, it sounds like Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is the must-see action movie of the summer!

Following the worldwide premiere on Thursday, the first set of reviews for Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation were released Friday and just like the previous installment, the first set of critical reactions are pretty phenomenal! Chris McQuarrie's direction and the unbelievable action sequences receive near universal acclaim. As for performances, franchise star Tom Cruise looks to be in top form for his fifth turn as Ethan Hunt and proves once again why he's at the top of Hollywood's A-list. It also sounds like the rest of the team, which includes Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames, also get more than enough time to shine. However, if there's any one performance that's singled out by nearly everyone, it's Rebecca Ferguson, and it really sounds like she steals the show. 

Check out the reviews below and keep scrolling for two brand new TV spots:


The Hollywood Reporter
Thanks to a sharp script that springs a real surprise or two and a pace that never slackens, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation rates as the second-best of the numerous franchise titles of the summer, after Mad Max: Fury Road. Armed with an absorbing mystery plot that does more than just connect the dots between action set-pieces (the most outlandish of which is dispensed with in a Bond-like opener), writer-director Christopher McQuarrie maintains the uptick in M:I quality established by the last two entries, and should land this entry within the series' customary range of a half-billion bucks worldwide.

The theme that runs like a quick-burning fuse through “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is the tricky relationship between inevitability and chance — or luck, rather, as signaled by the brief appearance of a rabbit’s foot in one of Tom Cruise’s more brutal action sequences. It’s a dynamic that applies to the film as well: If the robust commercial performance of 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” made a follow-up inevitable, then luck turns out to be very much on the side of this unusually spry and satisfying fifth entry, which finds the surviving members of the Impossible Missions Force trying to neutralize an insidious global threat, while struggling to convince their skeptical overlords that there is such a threat to begin with. The result is an existential quandary that writer-director Christopher McQuarrie negotiates with characteristic cleverness and a sly respect for the sheer durability of genre; at once questioning and reaffirming the pleasures of cinematic espionage, this is the rare sequel that leaves its franchise feeling not exhausted but surprisingly resurgent at 19 years and counting.

The Wrap
“Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” never pretends to be anything but a solidly entertaining collection of fighting, chasing, driving, falling and going-to-the-place-and-getting-the-thing. But at that level, it delivers completely. Choose to accept it. 

Easily, almost nonchalantly, best in franchise, Rogue Nation dispenses with the dead weight of realism or relevance for state-of-the-art thrill-making in a classical mould. The series has finally found its voice. Rating: 4 out of 5

Oh… and you know that plane stunt that has been the cornerstone of the entire campaign for the film? That's the first eight minutes of the film. It's hilarious. It's gigantic. And it's not a spoiler. That's how you do it, studios.

As with most of what he does, Cruise always feels like he's giving it everything he's got, and he continues to make Ethan Hunt's adventures interesting after two full decades in the role. I was delighted by this one end to end, and I plan on seeing it again in IMAX as soon as possible.

Rating: A

To his credit, and to the credit of everyone around him, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation goes extremely well, maintaining the levels of thrills, suspense, espionage and impossible stunt work that were established by previous directors Brian De Palma, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird. (The John Woo one really didn’t happen right? We can all agree on that?) But on its own, it mixes the glamour and prestige of its international settings with the IMF agents doing what they need to do to get their hands dirty and complete the assigned mission. If action’s your game, I can’t imagine overlooking this riveting, breathlessly-paced sprint through some inspired set pieces. Oh, and Cruise runs. A lot. Seriously, Rogue Nation solidifies the fact that Tom Cruise is the quintessential action star, carrying the quintessential action franchise. With all due respect to 007, at the moment, nobody does it better. Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Entertainment Weekly
Can Ilsa be trusted to work both sides against the middle while Hunt and his crew work their way up the Eurobaddie food chain to Lane and clear their names back at home? Cruise’s franchise is too valuable to Paramount to ever put that question in doubt. But like all Mission: Impossible films (of which there’s yet to be a dud), it’s not so much about the outcome as it is the breathlessly thrilling journey Cruise takes us on to get there. Rating: B+

Instead, "Rogue Nation" plays out like a sufficient rejigging of the same variables tossed around many times before, which is just enough to both celebrate the material and demonstrate its limitations. Of course, that may be beyond McQuarrie and Cruise's formidable efforts. While the "Mission: Impossible" series may no longer feel fresh, it also shows no signs of self-destructing anytime soon.  Rating: B

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Expertly building on the renewed energy injected into the Mission: Impossible franchise with 2011’s Ghost Protocol, this fifth episode roars along like a sleek, well-oiled machine. Sure, it’s much the same recipe as before: thrilling action in international locales, spectacular stuntwork by its fighting-fit superstar Tom Cruise, dazzling style loaded with visual flair and easy-going ensemble cast camaraderie. But under director Christopher McQuarrie’s keen eye and casual aplomb, which adds enormous likeability to the seamless events no matter how outlandish, Rogue Nation keeps the pulse pounding and the plot machinations breakneck without sacrificing laughs or nonstop excitement.  Rating: 4 out of 5

It’s great to see all the IMF team get something to do and do their usual best, but Ferguson is a revelation to me. Usually when a character plays both sides they really show their hand which side they’re really on. Ilsa is a true wild card and an equally vital asset to both sides. Tom Cruise is at his best having fun at high stakes. Franchise Fred approves big time. 

The Playlist
A classic sentiment in movie criticism gaining traction lately is the “do not turn off your brain” maxim. But arguably the crucial key for maximum ‘Rogue Nation’ enjoyment is doing exactly that, because otherwise you’re forced to reckon with a narrative that holds little water (and is fairly silly). In this case, for once, that’s largely ok. The plot is really beside the point; any twists or conceits are pleasurably ludicrous, and ‘Rogue Nation’ possesses a self-aware sense of humor. As far as very entertaining (though inessential) blockbuster filmmaking goes, with outrageously outlandish feats, and over-the-top thrills, ‘Rogue Nation’ is probably the summer film to beat. Ultimately, as inconsequential as it all is, ‘Rogue Nation’ is not pretending to be anything it isn’t. And as a sensory escapist experience with laughs, pleasures, and excitement, ‘Rogue Nation’ will likely be a most satisfying mission audiences choose to accept repeatedly. Rating: B 

If you’re looking for the Mission Impossible series to evolve or use the team it set up at the end of Ghost Protocol, then this feels more like a detour. One which toys with the idea of exploring the psychology of Ethan Hunt, the man who doesn’t know how to give up, and the anachronism that is the IMF, but really all it wants to do is celebrate that by strapping him to a plane. The movie that emerges is a lot fun, with silly, suspenseful missions, espionage fantasy, and enough humour to poke fun at itself. Rogue Nation was perhaps an opportunity to advance the series, but nothing much changes for Ethan. It’s a ride, an often exhilarating one, but ultimately like most rides it ends exactly where it began. Rating: 7 out of 10 

L.A. Weekly
Cruise enjoys playing humble. That's the secret behind the biggest movie star in the world: He's always an underdog, even when we don't think Ethan Hunt can lose. (And that's why you'll never see him playing an effortless comic book immortal — his characters are at their best when their backs are to the wall.) The game is how close he can get to death. Here, he's battered, buffeted and strung up like St. Sebastian. In one breath-sucking scene, he tumbles into a water tank that tosses him like a gyroscope. What sells it isn't just the feat's one wicked gag but his tiny, toothy inhalation before he takes the plunge. Cruise even permits himself to be dwarfed by every lantern-jawed goon flung his way by the Syndicate, an anti-IMF network hell-bent on triggering world havoc. Rating: B- 

The Verge
Not that anyone else in this movie matters except Tom Cruise. Mission: Impossible is and has always been about Cruise wanting to push the limits of what an action star can do for the camera. But for all its style — and there is a lot of style, not to mention more than a little luck at some precarious moments — Rogue Nation feels lacking in substance. With Skyfall, Sam Mendes gave us a reason to care about James Bond, a flawed killer. The Fast & Furious franchise, which at this point is just pretty much a good vs. evil thriller with cars, has turned into the new high point for ridiculous stunts (some practical, some CG) and yet still manages to tug on our heartstrings every time Vin Diesel says the word "family." There’s no reason we can’t be blown away by big explosions and strong emotional choices, and Cruise is more than capable at delivering such a nuanced performance. Rating: B- 

Digital Spy
Cruise is, conversely, the Mission: Impossible franchise's biggest asset and drawback. The films have evolved to a point where they're servicing their leading man's adrenaline junkie tendencies, but to the detriment of a compelling whole. Though Rogue Nation is perfectly serviceable old-fashioned summer entertainment, this is starting to feel like a series in need of rejuvenation. Rating: 3 out of 5 

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation doesn't quite have the scale of Brad Bird's fourth outing, its villain can't match Philip Seymour Hoffman's franchise stand-out in J.J. Abram's part III, and Ethan Hunt continues to be little more than a startlingly capable cypher. But this is a fun entry in an enduring series that's never failed to deliver a lively night out, and you should accept it, gladly.

Christopher McQuarrie keeps the franchise fuse fizzing with machinations a go-go and some precision action.Rating: 4 out of 5 

Even the coolest of action sequences are hard to enjoy when you have such a bland and unoriginal plot and a movie that feels dated and redundant due to the lack of originality and innovation that’s defined the franchise. Rating: 6 out of 10 

The Guardian
You can shoot him, stab him, drown him, blow him up or pair him with Thandie Newton, but you can’t stop Ethan Hunt, because he’s played by Tom Cruise. Returning to make a mockery of the series title for a fifth time, Cruise ploughs through Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, a sequel that is slick with silliness, but peppered with enough wit and peril to sustain the franchise’s momentum. Rating: 3 out of 5 

The best addition to this franchise is Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, a disavowed British agent who we never quite know what side she’s playing for. She’s basically another Ethan Hunt, only she may or may not be evil. The guessing game is fun and it’s about time this franchise introduced a woman who is every bit as talented at Hunt. Honestly, I’d watch an entire movie about Ilsa Faust.

If I had to rank the five Mission: Impossible movies, which I don’t, but I guess I will, I’d put this one about equal with Ghost Protocol. My favorite is still the first film, partially just because it’s so ridiculously complicated, I just can’t help but love it for being so. But, again, Rogue Nation works in the spirit of the first film, although it’s slightly less complicated. Rating: 8 out of 10

McQuarrie knows his bread is buttered on the side of fun, so the pace doesn't let up. There are some wonderful group planning scenes with cutting at the speed of sound. And for a film series that inherited one of the greatest television theme songs in history, it's never been put to better use.

It's rare that an opening title sequence gets thunderous applause, but Rogue Nation's did and deserved it. For spectacle and flash, this one is tough to beat.

How about this for an impossible mission: a film franchise on its fifth chapter — and nearly 20 years removed from its first instalment — that actually gets better over time? Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation succeeds on that front and several others, proving to be the most satisfying, gripping and intelligent film yet in the series. At this late date, it’s hardly news that Tom Cruise brings his dependably combustible, kinetic energy to the character of Ethan Hunt, but writer-director Christopher McQuarrie has fortified him with a ripping yarn, expanding on the can-you-top-this? scope of 2011’s very fine Ghost Protocol and adding a noir-ish moodiness. The action scenes are predictably magnificent, and an excellent supporting turn from fetching new cast member Rebecca Ferguson helps make this a sexy, propulsive, top-notch thriller.

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in this overlong yet undeniably thrilling action sequel. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation confirms that its main star still sits on top of the Hollywood A-list and it’s where Cruise deserves to be.

The fifth film is the franchise is something of throwback to the first one. Perhaps its the extended sequences in London, or just the deliberate tone set by writer and director Christopher McQuarrie, but there is a warm nostalgia in amongst all the fake smog drifting across the streets. Rating: 3 out of 5

Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation is action from start to finish. That crazy shot from all the trailers and posters of Cruise holding on to the door of a flying airplane? That’s the very first thing that happens in the movie. Cruise starts running after that plane and then basically never stops for the next two hours. Rogue Nation is pure, distilled Tom Cruise: All energy, intensity, and forward momentum. There’s one extended portion in the middle that’s like three huge setpieces stacked one on top of the other; a wild heist flows seamlessly into a car chase into a motorcycle chase. Rating: 7 out of 10

Stylish and exhilarating, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a great movie. It’s not a life-changing experience but it’s impressively entertaining and it doesn’t insult your intelligence. It’s the kind of blockbuster that audiences deserve to see more often. Your mission is to see this film. Just accept it. Rating: 9 out of 10

Plus, check out these two brand new TV spots:

With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation will feature:
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust
Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley
Sean Harris as Solomon Lane
America Olivo in an undisclosed role
Simon McBurney in an undisclosed role
Zhang Jingchu in an undisclosed role

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation lights the fuse July 31

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