What’s it about? 4th in the line of Mission: Impossible movies, this one involves the IMF team being framed for a break-in at the Kremlin gone horribly wrong.  As a result of escalating tensions between nations, the U.S. disavows the entire team, leaving them completely on their own to discover the identity of the true bad guy and clear their names. 

What’s good about it?  The producers pulled off a masterstroke by hiring Brad Bird, director of Pixar animated classics “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”, to make his live-action debut here.  Bird delivers a movie that is full of energy, suspense, humor, and jaw-dropping action sequences.  Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Paula Patton make an appealing team, and the “team” aspect is played up better in this movie than the others–it’s not a one-man show.  Cool spy gadgets abound, and just about every sequence set in Dubai is amazing.  See it in IMAX if you want the full vertigo-inducing effect of watching Cruise clinging to the edge of the Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world.

What’s not-so-good?  Just picking nits here.  The villain is mostly a background character and doesn’t really stand out as a huge threat.  And after the sensational scenes in Dubai, the finale in Mumbai seems a little less spectacular in comparison.  But these are minor complaints.

What age would be appropriate for kids to watch this movie?  8 and up should be ok.  There’s standard action-movie violence, some people are killed onscreen, but little blood or gore.  Maybe a couple of curse words.  Overall, it’s a fairly tame PG-13.

Is there anything a Dad can teach his kids from this movie?  I wouldn’t call this a “deep” movie with any sort of message.  It’s simply out to entertain you for 2 hours.  But no dad will ever turn down a chance to show his kids how awesome explosions and cools stunts/gadgets are.

Thumbs up or “not thumbs”?  Two thumbs way up!

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