Mission Impossible
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This article is about the theatrical film. For other meanings, see Mission: Impossible.

Mission: Impossible
The theatrical poster for film
Universe Mission: Impossibe
Directed by Brian De Palma
Produced by Tom Cruise
Written by David Koepp
Robert Towne
Steven Zaillian
Based on Mission: Impossible 
by Bruce Geller
Starring Tom Cruise
Jon Voight
Emmanuelle Béart
Henry Czerny
Jean Reno
Ving Rhames
Kristin Scott Thomas
Vanessa Redgrave
Music by Danny Elfman
Cruise/Wagner Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80,000,000
Gross revenue $457,696,359
Preceded by Mission: Impossible (1988)
Followed by Mission: Impossible II

Good morning, Mr. Phelps. The man you're looking at is Alexander Golitsyn, an attaché at our embassy in Prague. He is also a traitor. He has stolen one half of the CIA NOC list, a record of all our deep-cover agents working in Eastern Europe. For security reasons, the NOC list is divided in two. The portion that Golitsyn already has contains code names, but this half is useless without its mate, which matches the code names with their true names. It is this half which Golitsyn plans to steal from the embassy during a reception tomorrow night. Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to obtain photographic proof of the theft, shadow Golitsyn to his buyer, and apprehend them both. We've already dispatched a team selected from your usual group. Sarah Davies is already undercover, Jack Harmon can hack into any security system, Hannah Williams will handle surveillance, your wife Claire will cover transport, and Ethan Hunt will be your pointman as usual. He is now in Kiev and will rendezvous in Prague at a safehouse of your choosing. As always, should you or any member of your I.M. force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim

–IMF mission briefing

Mission: Impossible (also known in the Blu-ray release as M:I) is a 1996 American espionage science fiction action film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Tom Cruise. It is the first installemtn in the Mission: Impossible film series

A sequel of the television series of the same name, the plot follows a new agent, Ethan Hunt and his mission to uncover the mole who has framed him for the murders of his entire IMF team. Work on the script had begun early with filmmaker Sydney Pollack on board, before De Palma, Steven Zaillian, David Koepp and Robert Towne were brought in. Mission: Impossible went into pre-production without a shooting script. De Palma came up with some action sequences, but Koepp and Towne was dissatisfied with the story that leads up to these events.

U2 band members Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton produced their own version of the original theme song. The song went into top ten charts around the world and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The film was the third highest grossing of the year and received positive reviews from film critics. The film marked the beginning of a film series, with sequels Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, Fallout, Dead Reckoning Part One and Dead Reckoning Part Two released in 2000, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2018, 2023 and 2024, the latter of which is expected to be the franchise's final installment.


Ethan Hunt is an agent working for the Impossible Mission Force. He, Jim Phelps, Claire Phelps, Hannah Williams, Sarah Davies and Jack Harmon are tasked with getting the NOC list from a party in the Czech Republic. However, the mission goes wrong and everyone except Hunt is killed.

Eugene Kittridge, who reveals that he is in Prague, meets with Hunt in a bar and suspects he is a mole that caused the deaths of his team. Hunt blows up the bar's fish tank and escapes back to the IMF safe house. As he investigates, he realizes that there is a person called Job and the NOC list was supposed to be delivered to this person. Claire shows up, and the two begin to continue investigating.

Hunt meets with Max and tells her the job is compromised. The next day, Hunt and Phelps meet Luther Stickell, whose only request is to keep the equipment when they're done, and Franz Krieger, a skilled knives man. They infiltrate the Langley Headquarters of the CIA to get the real NOC list. The NOC list is with William Donloe, a CIA agent. After a tense sequence in which Hunt gets the NOC list without touching the floor, Krieger drops a knife onto the table.

Heading back to base, Hunt figures out that Krieger was part of the sabotage plot, since the knife that was found on the body of Davies was similar to the one Krieger dropped in Langley. Hunt bluffs Krieger, gets the real NOC list, and arranges for Job to meet him on a TGV train the next day. Hunt tells Kittridge the plan, then finds Jim. Hunt also tells Jim.

On the TGV train, Jim is revealed to be the bad guy, with Claire as his assistant. Hunt confronts Jim, and Jim attempts to escape, shooting his own wife. On the roof of the train, Hunt battles Jim as they head into a tunnel. Hunt kills both Jim and Krieger with a bubblegum bomb, and Max is presumed arrested.