Dead Reckoning Part One Is Critics' Favourite Mission: Impossible Film In Almost 30 Years

Tom Cruise's latest outing as Ethan Hunt has been branded “outrageously enjoyable” and "one of the best action films of the summer".
Tom Cruise at the Australian premiere of Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
Tom Cruise at the Australian premiere of Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
Don Arnold via Getty Images

Reviews for the latest Mission: Impossible film, Dead Reckoning Part One, are positively glowing ahead of its release next week.

The latest film, which is due for release on 12 July, is the seventh in the Tom Cruise-fronted franchise, and has already racked up an impressive score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, the highest rating since the first movie almost 30 years ago.

Co-starring Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson, this chapter follows Tom’s character Ethan Hunt as he and his team embark on their most dangerous mission yet – to track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens humanity.

Here’s what the reviews are saying...

“This outrageously enjoyable spectacle has compelled my awestruck assent with its sheer stamina, scale and brio [...]

“In the past I have been agnostic and a nay-sayer about M:I, but the pure fun involved in this film, its silly-serious alchemy, and the way the franchise seems to strain at something crazily bigger with every film, as opposed to just winding down, is something to wonder at.”

The Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning poster
The Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning poster
Paramount Pictures

“For a series now well into its third decade – and continuing next summer with Dead Reckoning Part Two – Mission: Impossible has remained remarkably consistent, with ups and downs but never an outright dud.

“Some of us might lament the madly busy overplotting at the expense of more nuanced character and story development, but that’s endemic to Hollywood studio output these days, not just to this franchise. And as one of the few relatively grownup big-budget alternatives to comic-book superhero domination, I’ll take it.”

FT (5/5)

“Seven films into the franchise, it is clearly impossible to picture Ethan Hunt played by anybody else. But it’s just as hard to see anyone but Cruise doing so much to keep the whole business of high-end, mass-appeal cinema afloat.

“A little craggy now in close-up, he still radiates vim in long-shot, sprinting across the mothership curve of Abu Dhabi airport or down Venetian alleys, fuelled by his zeal for our big-screen entertainment.”

“The action sequences are consistently dynamic, and always adapted to their environment: a shoot-out in a sandstorm focuses on stealth and precision, while a Vespa chase down Rome’s many staircases is all cartoon chaos.

“It all culminates in an absolutely insane stunt in which Cruise drives a motorcycle off a cliff and then parachutes down onto a moving train. You will leave Dead Reckoning the same way you always do: wondering how Cruise could possibly outdo himself in the next one – until inevitably, he does.”

“It is all tremendously enjoyable, a summer blockbuster worthy of the name.”

“At the core, this is still just an elaborate game of hot potato, as everyone chases the two-part key that went down with the Russian sub, and which keeps changing hands over the movie’s 163-minute running time. The action builds to the film’s best set-piece, as Hunt finds a novel way to board a speeding train — and an even more unconventional way to disembark once it starts sliding off a bridge, one car at a time.

“This outing may be one-half of a two-part finale, but it gives audiences enough closure to stand on its own, and every reason to expect the last installment will be a corker.”

“Dead Reckoning Part One is plenty of fun, and one of the best action films of the summer by far, but coming five years after Fallout, it’s hard for this seventh film to not feel like a bit of a disappointment. Again, comparing Dead Reckoning Part One simply to other Mission: Impossible films means you’re essentially holding it up against some of the best action films of the 21st century [...]

“Dead Reckoning Part One shows that there’s still plenty of gas in the tank, but maybe we’re seeing that this series needs a shakeup to keep it as thrilling as it has been.”

NME (3/5)

“Dead Reckoning’s spectacular finale does well to bring things back on brand – seriously, the closing action tableau is as impressive as any you’ll see – but by then most will have stopped caring because their heads hurt. When’s Barbie out again?”

The Times (2/5)

Well, he had a good run. After 27 years, six wickedly entertaining instalments and £2.75 billion at the box office, Tom Cruise has smashed his unstoppable Mission Impossible franchise into the immovable object of a global pandemic, with unfortunate results.”


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