All 6 Mission: Impossible films ranked

Scene from Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 (image via Twitter @MissionFilm)
Scene from Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 (Image via Twitter @MissionFilm)

The Mission: Impossible franchise has been at the forefront of the action-thriller genre, enthralling audiences for decades with stories of spies and high-stakes operations. These films have regularly provided adrenaline-fueled amusement, from nail-biting action scenes to perplexing story twists.

The seventh installment of the franchise is set to release on July 12, 2023, and is titled Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part 1. The lead star of the Mission franchise, Tom Cruise, announced that the seventh and eighth movies will be shot together and will be written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

The plot for Dead Reckoning Part 1 will revolve around the main character, Ethan Hunt, as he and his team track down a formidable new weapon that endangers all of humanity if it falls into the wrong hands. Ethan and his IMF team face a new mysterious, all-powerful enemy, and he is forced to consider that nothing matters more than his mission, not even the lives of the people he cares about.

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The trailer for Dead Reckoning Part 1 proved that this installment is set to be nothing short of an action-packed spectacle that will leave fans cheering and clapping toward the end of it. While fans wait in anticipation for its release, here are all six Mission: Impossible films ranked:


Every Mission: Impossible film ranked from worst to best as we prepare for the seventh installment

6) Mission: Impossible II (2000)

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Directed by John Woo, Mission: Impossible II is definitely not a bad movie, but it is divisive. Although it captivated audiences with stunning action scenes and mesmerizing cinematography, the plot isn't as well-developed as the other installments. Despite Tom Cruise's compelling portrayal of Ethan Hunt and outstanding cinematography, the movie lacks the richness and complexity that characterize the franchise.

With a plot that has Ethan Hunt journeying the globe to stop an ex-IMF agent from unleashing a bioweapon that may cost countless lives, it helped move the franchise towards one that was a little more action-focused than spy/thriller-centered. Critics praised the direction and action sequences of the film, and it became the highest-grossing film of 2000, earning around $546 million worldwide.


5) Mission: Impossible (1996)

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Mission: Impossible (1996) is the movie that kickstarted the franchise. The franchise's tone is established by Brian De Palma's direction, which also introduces us to the mysterious Ethan Hunt and the IMF (Impossible Mission Force). The film forms the basis for the franchise's subsequent popularity, even though it could seem a little old compared to its sequels.

The movie contained numerous enjoyable action sequences that enthralled viewers and left them wanting more. Tom Cruise did most of the stunts in the film, which helped cement him as one of the best action heroes of all time and set a precedent for the subsequent sequels.

Even though it wasn't well received by the cast members of the original television series, audiences thoroughly enjoyed it, which made it the third highest-grossing film of the year.


4) Mission: Impossible III (2006)

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With his first film as a filmmaker, J.J. Abrams breathes new vitality into the franchise with Mission: Impossible III. This installment goes more deeply into Ethan Hunt's private life as he is forced out of retirement to capture the intriguing antagonist played by the skillful Philip Seymour Hoffman.

This installment infuses fresh energy into the franchise and paves the way for its development with its phenomenal action sequences and psychological complexity. The film received positive reviews from critics and fans and was considered a significant improvement to its predecessor.


3) Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

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Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as Ethan Hunt battles a formidable black ops terrorist organization known as the Syndicate that contains rogue government agents from around the world.

Rogue Nation is a thrilling addition to the series because of its heart-pounding action scenes, captivating acting, and a breakout role for Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. The film also features stars like Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Sean Harris, and Alec Baldwin. The film's direction and action sequences were highly praised by critics and grossed around $683 million worldwide.


2) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

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The title for second place goes to Ghost Protocol, the franchise's fourth installment. In Brad Bird's entry into the movie franchise, Ethan Hunt and his crew embark on a journey that pushes the limits of what is conceivable in reality.

The movie's spectacular stunts and action scenes, such as the mind-blowing Burj Khalifa scene, make it memorable. Ghost Protocol enhances the franchise's standing as a producer of breathtaking cinematic exploits. It received positive reviews from critics and became the franchise's and Tom Cruise's highest-grossing film of all time until the release of the sixth installment.


1) Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

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The most recent entry in the franchise, Fallout, is at the top of our list. This exhilarating action movie, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, exceeds every mark and raises the bar for action filmmaking.

Fallout immerses viewers in a relentless exhilarating experience, from the electrifying HALO jump to the gripping helicopter chase. The movie achieves unprecedented levels of intensity thanks to Tom Cruise's commitment to executing his own stunts, making it an absolute masterpiece.

Fallout grossed around $791 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise and the highest-grossing film of Tom Cruise's career until the release of Top Gun: Maverick in 2022.


Fallout is the franchise's finest gem, leaving fans in awe of its amazing feats and compelling plot, even though each movie has its own distinct flavor. As we anticipate the seventh installment, we can recall the remarkable exploits that made this franchise a mainstay in the action film industry.

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Edited by Shreya Das