Mission: Impossible III

Mission: Impossible III
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG-13
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames
Director: J.J. Abrams
Screenwriter: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
WorkNameSort: Mission: Impossible III
Our Rating: 4.00
J.J. Abrams' take on the high-tech espionage franchise is not only the best of the three films, it's the one that credits its audience with the greatest intelligence. (When was the last time you heard a Ralph Ellison joke in a summer blockbuster?) Smart suspense reigns as superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team try to keep a mysterious MacGuffin called the Rabbit's Foot away from an international criminal (Philip Seymour Hoffman, keepin' it real ' and really frightening). The fan base Abrams has built up with Alias and Lost should love the dramatic intensity he brings as director and co-writer, imparting a gravitas that has us gladly lapping up even the more preposterous developments. A parallel plot about Hunt's marriage to an unsuspecting nurse (Michelle Monaghan) is the low point, somewhat messily integrated into the main story and gradually attaining a prominence that makes the last act feel more ordinary than the ingenious skullduggery that's preceded it. But if the film isn't a complete godsend, it's still well worth your money.