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Movie Review

Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation also known as “Mission: Impossible 5,” “Mission: Impossible V,” “Mission Impossible 5,” “M:I 5”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Spy Action Adventure Thriller Sequel IMAX
2 hr. 11 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 31, 2015 (wide—3,956 theaters)
DVD: December 15, 2015
Copyright, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

spies in the Bible

importance of bravery, courage, self-sacrifice and dedication

lying and deceit

value of friendships

morality / goodness and righteousness

Featuring: Tom CruiseEthan Hunt
Jeremy RennerWilliam Brandt
Simon PeggBenji Dunn
America Olivo … a villainess
Alec BaldwinHead of the CIA
Ving RhamesLuther Stickell
Rebecca Ferguson … Ilsa Faust
Sean Harris
Hermione Corfield … Shop Girl
more »
Director: Christopher McQuarrie—“Jack Reacher” (2012)
Producer: Bad Robot
Skydance Productions
more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“Desperate times. Desperate measures.”

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns to the big screen once again on one of his largest missions yet: “Rogue Nation”. Being chased by the CIA, Hunt is on the move to prove the existence of a strong terrorist organization called the Syndicate. Intercepting nerve gas being sold to this yet unproven group causes great threats to not only America, but the entire world.

Hunt, as in all “Mission” films, is not alone on his adventure. His great friend Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) returns to help, with the addition of a new female agent named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson—“Hercules” 2014). After witnessing the existence of the Syndicate, Hunt begins his investigation of the group and what goals they are trying to achieve. However, the Syndicate reaches many of their goals before Hunt catches on to their evil plans.

Due to its reliability being questioned, the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) has been closed down, which causes Hunt to be a wanted fugitive. Hunt, however, begins to learn the secrets behind the Syndicate’s mission and goes to great lengths while not only being pursued by the CIA, but the Syndicate itself. The Syndicate is just as highly trained as the IMF, which brings a great challenge to Hunt and his cohorts, as many lives are at stake, double agents are being exposed, and time clocks are winding down.

Piece by piece, the IMF pieces together the goals of this international rogue, but find themselves in great danger as this very intellectual group attempts to outwit them at every turn. Can the Syndicate be proven? Can Ethan Hunt clear his name and save the IMF? Can the Syndicate be destroyed? Get ready for a thrill ride, as Hunt and his crew embark on a mission where trust is questioned, secrets are revealed, and friends and enemies are made. Welcome to “Rogue Nation”.

Three years after “Ghost Protocol,” Tom Cruise continues on in this popular series performing in fine fashion. This film is filled with solid performances and believable acting from its leads. Tom Cruise proves that, even at the age of 53, he can still handle performing his own stunts and taking down bad guys, punch by punch. This is director Christopher McQuarrie’s third feature film of his career, and he displays some great direction here as the audience is taken through this just over two hour actioner. However, McQuarrie’s direction is not quite as stylish as Brad Bird’s in “Ghost Protocol.” The film is very upbeat, contains steady pacing, and has a strong, witty script.

But “Rogue Nation” does contain its faults. Light continuity errors, some unrealistic action, and some incoherent elements are weaved into the film’s plot. During this fast thriller, audiences may lose track of what is going on, at times. But, regardless, you will not find yourself bored as the story alone is very engaging and keeps the audience guessing throughout. Although the action sequences are well executed, some moments are a bit unrealistic, as characters survive insane car crashes, dodge mounds of bullets, and make it through an intense motorcycle crash (without a helmet, mind you) with hardly a scratch. You must be aware, though, that some of the action really isn’t meant to be taken seriously but is just added to amp up the thrills, which the writers and director greatly achieved. At times, the film overemphasized product placements, with very clear brand names on computers, cell phones, and, of course, cars.

“Rogue Nation” is a fast-paced film that contains intense action sequences, brief language, and some brief sexual content. In a handful of shots we see a woman wear a high cut dress, revealing most of her thigh. Her skirt twirls around as she takes down bad guys, but only her legs are exposed during these very quick action sequences. The same woman is seen in a bikini in one scene and a standard swim suit in another. We briefly see her bare back as she changes out of her swim top. Some viewers may catch a very brief glimpse of the side of her breast as she changes. If you blink, you’ll probably miss it. 1 Timothy 2:9 (ESV) comes to mind, though:

“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…”

Although nothing is seen, the same woman is quickly searched by a man making sure she’s carrying no weapons. A man is seen shirtless in a couple of scenes and an unfocused lingerie ad in a phone both may be caught by observant viewers.

Violence is the most concerning issue in “Rogue Nation,” as there are multiple intense fistfights, car and foot chases, sequences of gunplay, and some wild explosions. Multiple characters get punched and kicked, cars crash and spin out of control, airbags release after an intense crash, and one car explodes with victims inside. The violence is almost completely bloodless, though. One character does get stabbed in the chest after an intense knife fight (no blood). Broken necks and bones can be heard crunching. Characters fly through broken windows, get hit by cars, and crash and fly off of motorcycles. A man chases after a plane and holds onto the side as it takes off, struggling to hang on. One character is shot point blank in the head, but we only the body fall to the ground from a distance. Another person is shocked in the back with CPR shock paddles. There are attempts to assassinate a character, a couple of characters collapse from knockout gas, and another nearly drowns after being pummeled by underwater machinery. A man is tied to a pole and takes a few blows from a thug. Various tools and blades are seen, as his captors plan to torture him, but he escapes before they can do any major harm. A man is seen wearing a timer/pressure vest that can kill him at any moment and stun guns and tranquilizers are used, as well.

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)

The language is brief and scattered, with a few profanities used during intense situations. “God” (paired with d*mn) and Jesus’ names are abused, once each, but are muffled and can be hard to make out due to very noisy backgrounds. Both the s-word and the word h*ll are used about three times each and the word “bull” is uttered once, as well. There is no smoking, drug, nor alcohol consumption. A few glasses of wine do get some screen time, though. As I mentioned above, tranquilizers are used and the effects are seen. Lying and deceit come into play, and a few characters get in some heated arguments. Jeremiah 17:9 says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The deceit is clear on both sides of the story, and the lying to cover up the truth can be questioned.

Although the deceit by some characters is used to protect the lives of the innocent, one may also bring into question if it is morally right to do so, if it’s for a worthy cause. “Rogue Nation” appears to indicate that it is okay. But what does God’s Word say? Consider the story of Rahab in Joshua chapter 2. She hid spies in her home and lied to the enemy when they came searching for them. There are mixed opinions about whether lying is always a sin, but I strongly recommend that you read through this story in the book of Joshua. One must also keep in mind the 9th Commandment in Exodus 20:16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” This again is open to a number of Scriptural interpretations, but this Commandment can be compared to the word “lie.”

There are positive themes that can be taken from “Rogue Nation,” as the value of friendship is cherished, morals and dedication are respected, and characters fight for what they believe in with great courage. One character realizes the mistake he made in judging another, and, instead of a typical romantic kiss, two characters embrace and share a friendly hug instead. Regardless of being pursued by both the CIA and the Syndicate, Ethan Hunt shows great loyalty to his country and will stop at nothing to bring the terrorist organization down. Characters are willing to sacrifice their own lives for others, and, although the CIA is chasing Hunt, they still have good intentions as they also pursue the Syndicate. Hunt just has to gain their trust and prove that the CIA most definitely needs an Impossible Missions Force.

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

Proverbs 17:7 says that “A friend loves at all times…” and in 18:24 “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Hunt and Dunn’s relationship applies to these verses, as they look out for each other constantly and are always willing to take that extra step to keep those whom they love safe.

The content contained within “Rogue Nation” is fairly mild, in comparison to most PG-13 action films of this day, due to lighter language, near bloodless violence, and no strong sexual content. However, this film does have its flaws, as scattered profanities are uttered, brief partial nudity is on display, and some intense sequences of violence may make some audiences cringe.

Although “Rogue Nation” contains these faults, I think the pros still outweigh the cons, as friendships are honored and justice prevails. I recommend this film with caution for ages 15 and up, due to the nature of its violence and brief sexual content. But if you look past the moments of intensity in this film, one can see the true solid core behind Ethan Hunt and the IMF: to protect innocent lives and bring justice to evil-doers in this very corrupt, sinful world. This fifth mission, if you choose to accept it, is one of the biggest thrill rides of the year.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. (Proverbs 21:15)

Violence: Very Heavy / Language: Moderate—“Jesus” (1), “God” (1), “God-d*mn” (1), “hell” (3), s-words (3) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—My wife and I were well entertained (she is not a big “Mission: Impossible” fan) and said she left the theater feeling she got her money’s worth. Fast moving, good humor, unusually decent (maybe a few seconds of backside exposure in one scene), and the good guys win. Lots of great action shots without trash to offend. Highly recommended for those who still enjoy action spy movies; yet, are terribly limited in today’s highly offensive movie making.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Buff, age 66 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this movie as much as “Ghost Protocol.” It was exciting and entertaining. Most certainly PG-13 for violence. A bit unbelievable in parts, and I could have done without the partial nudity, but, overall, I enjoyed the ride. Smart plot, great acting, and very entertaining. Best movie I’ve seen this summer.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Trina W, age 47 (USA)
Positive—This was a very good movie. Entertaining and lots of action, and I don’t recall a cuss word! I was really impressed they didn’t cuss and that they didn’t have sex in it, not even kissing! That was surprising. There was a scene where a woman was undressing, but I shut my eyes. They had a few swanky dressed people, but certainly nothing compared to most movies. Of course, to watch a movie like this, you have to actually act like what they are doing is possible, because it’s SO far fetched—what they do, it’s insane. But you just get into the action of the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stephanie Smith, age 40 (USA)
Positive—This is a really awesome movie. I would rank it second best of the series, just behind “Ghost Protocol”. It’s truly a complete package, with a compelling storyline, surprising plot twists, and nice (heavy sometimes!) doses of action and humor spread throughout. Tom Cruise, as always, does a superb job in the role of Ethan Hunt and has a great supporting cast to boot. The cinematography is excellent, with the opera house and motorcycle scenes standing out in particular to me.

Also, it is so refreshing to see a modern movie in this genre stay away from sexual immorality. Who would have guessed that a fifth entry in a long-running, Hollywood movie franchise could be so entertaining and fresh?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Nathaniel Taylor, age 19 (USA)
Positive—The fifth entry in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE FRANCHISE opens with airborne suspense-literally-and does not let up from there. Tom Cruise returns for another round of high-octane action, intriguing plot twists, and a dash of light comedy. There is a masterful sequence set in a place you’d almost never think of, and Academy Award winner Christopher McQuarrie (who wrote and directed this installment) does not disappoint. There are action sequences galore, heart pounding suspense, a doozy of juicy crosses and double crosses, a nefarious villain who is every bit Agent Hunt’s equal, and clean humor.

Biblically speaking, there is plenty of violence (mostly bloodless), a brief and partial view of a lady’s breast and barely any profanity. Not only is it refreshing to see that the franchise has kept it light on the cursing and swearing, but that each installment (except for the mindless third film, in my opinion) does not disappoint, giving fans answers to the questions posed within the film. Your Mission, should you choose to accept it: See it in IMAX. That is the best way to get the true experience of a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—D, age 29 (USA)
Positive—It should come as no surprise that the new Mission: Impossible 5 (Mi5) is a good movie. But then again, its lead actor, Tom Cruise, could make a Saturday morning infomercial into an action thriller. A better question is how does Mi5 compare to the rest of the movies in the Mission series?

Well, let’s start by reviewing the plot summary. The Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is shutdown by the CIA who is convinced that the unorthodox methods used by IMF does more harm than good. Sound familiar? That’s because Mission: Impossible 1 and 4 follows an almost identical plot. So you’re probably thinking Mi5 is just a played out summer reboot from a played out movie series. But you’d be wrong; because nobody goes to see a Mission movie expecting a dynamic plot and plausible action. You watch the Mission movies because of its unfailing ability to thrill as you feel concerned for the safety of its characters, and nobody does this better than the Mission series and Mi5 certainly does not disappoint. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rob Mackay, age 22 (USA)
Positive—“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” is probably the lightest PG-13 action film of the 21st century. There is no sexual content whatsoever, not even by implication, despite a leading male and female character who often meet and have opportunity to sin. They share a chaste HUG (!) at the end of the film after saving each other’s lives. What a pleasant surprise! The MPAA must be in the business of tricking people with their inaccurate rating descriptions. Tons of movies (which I haven’t seen, but whose content description I read: that’s why I don’t see them) get away with tons of innuendo and various shots of carefully angled nudity, and yet the MPAA says nothing. Here they decide to list something in this film that is not even there! (My wife saw this and can verify.) Yes, those careful to guard their eyes, like me, must not look at a woman in a bikini or changing her shirt, but there is no “partial nudity.”

How does this compare to the trashy James Bond movies with rampant womanizing and garbage-filled credits sequences? As for language, there is one bad word that is uttered three times in a 2 hour 10 minute movie! I noticed something else: there is not one dirty joke in this film. All the humor is 100% innocent, and families can laugh together without anyone feeling awkward. How common is that in 2015? more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mark, age 35 (USA)
class="overall">Positive—A clean solid action movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Luke, age 26 (USA)
Neutral—Saw the movie and hoped for the best—not as good as “Ghost Protocol,” but OK. Less “team chemistry” positive work and more booms and bangs. Great sequences—loved the banter with Dunn and Ethan—but could have done without the extra “leg” scene at the Opera and the “why now” partial nudity. Language better than most films now—not that this should give it a pass, but perhaps a reflection on how bad other film language is. Listened hard for blasphemies—thought there was one time (car chase down the stairs) when I may have heard G** D***, but perhaps not. Could have used less gratuitous violence during final chases—mean vs. Other fight scenes. Probably won’t go see again—might see on DVD release.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Casey, age 50 (USA)


Movie Critics

…“Rogue Nation” is immersive, unpredictable and crammed with more sharp plot hooks than a fishing basket. It’s one of the best wide-release movies of the summer. …[3½/4]
—Colin Covert, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

…This is the rare sequel that leaves its franchise feeling not exhausted but surprisingly resurgent at 19 years and counting. …
—Justin Chang, Variety

…one of the most fun, exciting popcorn movies in the last few months, but there’s a lot of mature content, including too much killing and some innuendo, so extreme caution is advised…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

…The chance of a love connection between these rival spies fascinates more than the predictably entertaining car and motorbike chases, ticking time bombs and “impossible” action set pieces… [3/4]
—Peter Howell, Toronto Star Newspapers

…“Rogue Nation” is not the series’ best, but it’s not bad either. …the film embraces the series’ identity as a cinematic stunt show held together with a handful of gnarly plot twists. …
—Peter Suderman, The Washington Times

…Tom Cruise scores big… You leave feeling like you found a film that gave you your money’s worth. These days that can seem like the most impossible mission of all.
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

…foul language, sex and violence coming in at a restrained level for a 2015 actioner. It may even be marginally less violent and profane than your newest favorite superhero movie. …
—Paul Asay, Plugged In

…Best mission yet is one you should choose to accept… I did try to think of something I didn't like about the movie but... that appears to be impossible.
—Susan Ellingburg, Crosswalk

…an absolute blast - for a while… “Rogue Nation” becomes flat and self-important, demanding that we take it at face value. …Cruise wants to have it both ways, feeding the Hollywood blockbuster machine while trying to squeeze in respectability. The movie is better when it’s poking sly fun at Cruise’s superheroic screen persona… than when it asks you to buy into its far-fetched antics. Nobody wants a campy “Mission: Impossible” picture, but I don’t think anyone wants to see a grave “Mission: Impossible,” either. …
—Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald

…Ferguson does well as a female badass, quite capable of deftly punching the lights out of any man in the room. …The cast is good fun, particularly Pegg, whose comic looseness helps balance Cruise’s, well, Cruise-ness. The Intense Tom Cruise Face… [3/4]
—Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

…Once again, the action sequences are outstanding. …Rebecca Ferguson… brings more gravitas than usual to the lead female role in a spy thriller. …
—Clint O'Connor, The Plain Dealer

…High-speed hijinks more business than fun… There's a difference between velocity and momentum, and while the chases, shootouts and close quarters combat rarely flag, our interest does. … [2½/4]
—Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

…It’s a giggle and a thrill, and after all these years (and whatever you think of him), Tom Cruise still does it exceptionally well. …
—Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

…Best of the series… The thinking person's mindless entertainment. …
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

…“Rogue Nation” gets convoluted in its series of twists, though McQuarrie offers a surprising amount of welcome humor, sometimes with the gadgetry… and other times in the exhaustion that comes after one death-defying episode or another. …
—Brian Truitt, USA Today

…Cruise has played Ethan Hunt so often it would be understandable if he phoned it in, but one of the pleasures of “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is that he doesn't. As the film’s plot gets twistier and twistier, as knowing who you can trust becomes increasingly difficult, Ethan Hunt never wavers. …
—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

…Better than Bourne, Better than Bond… It’s official: Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” is now my favorite ongoing espionage action franchise. …
—Scott Mendelson, Forbes

It’s a giggle and a thrill, and after all these years (and whatever you think of him), Tom Cruise still does it exceptionally well.

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO