With Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Mission Impossible has become one of the most popular movie franchises in history—almost as popular as James Bond.
You might be wondering how to watch Mission Impossible movies in order, given the large number of films and upcoming ones. This article will help you.
Only a few people are better than Ethan Hunt at running a spy agency. Surprisingly, Tom Cruise’s iconic character consistently becomes the master spy in each film. And while he pursues evil characters across our screens, he keeps us on our toes.
So if you’re a fan or just getting to know this movie, I’m sure you’d want to know how to watch the Mission Impossible movies in order. This article is for you! Keep reading to find out.
Table of Contents
- How Many Mission Impossible Movies Are There?
- Mission Impossible Movies in Order
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
How Many Mission Impossible Movies Are There?
Altogether, there are six movies in the Mission Impossible series. These movies hit the big screen from 1996 to 2018.
Below is the full list of mission Impossible movies by release date:
- Mission Impossible (1996)
- Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
- Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
- Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
- Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
Mission Impossible Movies in Order
In all the mission Impossible movies, Ethan Hunt, the character Tom Cruise plays, is a man out of time. Every one of his missions places him and anyone who tries to help him in danger. However, some survive while others do not; but Ethan is always alive to tell the story.
The Mission Impossible movies have always kept quality because of the use of advanced technology and delicate equipment; plus, Hunt is not a man to back down.
In the league of John Wick, 007, and Agent 47, Ethan Hunt is no doubt an exceptional spy character. This is clear in his high-quality acting performance and witty sarcasm, which captivates the audience.
All the mission Impossible movies are exceptional. Stay glued to this article as I show you how to watch the Mission Impossible movies in order of release date.
Mission Impossible (1996)
Mission Impossible is the first installment’s title. It came to screen in the year 1996 with a younger Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) playing the character of an Impossible Mission Force (IMF) agent.
In addition, they showed viewers story twists, turns, and reversals, as is customary in spy films. The resourceful IMF also completes its mission by employing advanced technology tools, devices, disguises, and unconventional methods.
Here, Jim Phelps, a fellow IMF agent, Claire, his wife, and Hunt are in Prague on a mission to recover classified materials. However, things didn’t turn out well, leading to the death of everyone on the team except Hunt and Claire.
After the unfortunate event, Ethan Hunt turns to those above him at the agency. The leader of the IMF suspects Hunt to be responsible for the failed mission.
Before he knew it, his agency and friends had turned on him, leaving Hunt to his fate. Afterward, he sought the help of Max, an international arms dealer, Luther Stickell, and Franz Kreiger, two disavowed agents of the IMF, to complete his mission.
The mission “should he choose to accept it” is to locate the lost list and deliver it before the names of the agents listed on it are compromised and to expose those who attempted to frame him.
Breaking into the CIA’s most guarded vault while running from government agents and professional killers. Hunt furiously fights against time to finish his mission, clinging to the roof of a moving train and jumping from buildings.
Will Ethan Hunt come to terms with the fact that he is a Mission Impossible, or will he be able to clear his name?
Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
In the series’ second movie, Ethan Hunt returns to take on another challenging mission. This time, the IMF is hot on the heels of Chimera, a deadly virus with genetic modifications that are of German origin.
An international scientist is killed mid-air, and a person posing as Ethan Hunt steals the sole treatment. After the man makes off with his accomplices, the IMF summons the real Ethan Hunt to complete a mission. But first, he must solicit the help of international burglar Nyah Hall.
Hunt’s mission, “should he choose to accept it,” is to lead a group of IMF operatives into the metaphorical lion’s den. Here, he must locate and eliminate the virus before the terrorist group disseminates it. This would result in a worldwide calamity.
However, he’s not the only one after the virus. Sean Ambrose, a rogue IMF agent, is also in pursuit and was behind the assassination of the virus’s developer. What’s worse? He’s also with the cure.
Ambrose, however, intends to sell Chimera to the highest bidder in return for stock in the winner’s business.
Hunt must send Nyah Hall, Ambrose’s former lover, underground to infiltrate Ambrose’s group. Besides breaking into one of the most protected laboratories on the planet, they must also jump from buildings and dodge flying bullets.
Hunt also falls in love with the gorgeous international thief Nyah Hall, making his mission even more difficult. He also needs to destroy the disease’s samples and discover the Bellerophon to heal his lover, who has already contracted the deadly disease.
Mission Impossible 3 (2006)
Ethan Hunt is now a trainer for fresh IMF recruits after retiring from active service. Besides retiring from the service, Hunt ties the knot with Julia Meade, who is oblivious to his secret identity.
However, his former protege, Lindsay Harris, gets captured. The IMF director John Musgrave approaches Ethan, forcing him to lead a squad on a rescue mission. The problem is that Harris was apprehended while looking into global arms dealer Owen Davian.
The squad travels to Berlin and successfully rescues Harris, but as they attempt to escape, Hunt finds a bomb implanted in her head. He makes a rapid move, but it explodes before he can disarm it.
Lindsay sent Ethan a postcard before her capture, which he finds out when he gets back to his house and sees Julia and the IMF.
However, Hunt uses the digital postcard to track Davian to the Vatican, where he goes to get a device called “the rabbit’s foot.”
Torn between remorse and loss, Ethan Hunt organizes an unauthorized operation to find Davian. But before departing, he marries Julia on the spot in the hospital chapel.
Later, the team sneaks into the Vatican and arrests Davian. However, he won’t reveal anything despite Hunt’s intense questioning. Professional mercenaries attack and liberate Davian as the convoy is crossing the Chesapeake Bay.
This concerted assault warns Hunt that Julia might also be in danger. But they have already abducted her before he can rush to the hospital where she works. Currently, it appears like Davian’s men are behind it.
As he goes deeper into the mission, he discovers that the true perpetrator is an IMF insider. Can he fish out this betrayer and complete the mission successfully?
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2011)
The fourth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise has a much simpler plot than the first and third movies in the series. Here, Ethan Hunt is back in full force, and his mission is to establish the Impossible Missions Force and his own innocence.
Hanaway, an IMF agent, is assassinated in Budapest by someone who stole his Russian nuclear launch codes. However, Sabine Moreau, the assassin, plans to offer them to Cobalt, a global terrorist.
Given the dangerous situation, Hunt knowingly locks himself in a Moscow prison to learn more about Cobalt. He finally gets access to Bogdan, the information source. Hunt can, however, escape with Bogdan with the help of Hanaway’s handler and a few other operatives.
The IMF assigns Hunt to infiltrate the Kremlin to learn more about Cobalt. The IMF receives a warning about a bomb during the Mission. Unfortunately, the Kremlin police also get the information.
However, Hunt’s crew is able to cancel the mission and flee just before the bomb decimates most of the Kremlin. SVR agent Anatoly Sidorov, who accuses him of destroying the Kremlin, apprehends Hunt.
Ethan flees despite this setback and eventually runs into the IMF secretary. The secretary informs him that the president has activated the ghost protocol. Currently, the United States has abolished the impossible Missions Force after accusing it of being responsible for an attack on the Kremlin.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Now that the IMF is no more, will that be the end of Ethan Hunt? Are Ethan Hunt’s days of scaling skyscrapers, dodging bullets, and completing impossible missions finally over?
Far from it, as the franchise’s fifth movie has the chief spy undertaking yet another crucial mission. However, Hunt must have faith in his team this time because the company is no longer.
Now, Hunt must compete with another organization, a mysteriously named group of people called “The Syndicate.”
This Syndicate is a team of highly skilled assassins eager to usher in a new era of global governance. They plan to achieve this through a series of well-planned terrorist strikes.
Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
Mission Impossible – Fallout, is the series’ largest adventure yet. It follows Hunt, Faust, and the rest of Hunt’s recognizable crew as they attempt to stop what’s left of the Syndicate.
The group has reconstituted as the Apostles under the leadership of John Lark. They head for a mission to recover stolen plutonium, which went sideways. CIA Director Erika Sloane then assigns Henry Cavill’s August Walker to supervise Hunt’s subsequent missions.
If you can, it’s better to watch Rogue Nation and this movie together because their stories are closely related and are set two years apart.
Frequently Asked Questions
The rabbit’s foot is a biological threat with significant destructible potential. It was kept and manufactured by, a private Chinese company that hired a top Chinese ex-military to protect it.
There are two Mission Impossible films currently in production. Christopher McQuarrie will direct Mission Impossible 7 and 8. Mission Impossible 7 is slated to come out in 2023.
And that’s how to watch the Mission Impossible Movies in order. This widely loved movie franchise will surely keep you glued with its well-choreographed fight scenes. And if you’re a lover of spy tech, the series doesn’t disappoint in that aspect. You should definitely watch the Mission Impossible movies in order this weekend.