Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Tom Cruise

Fans now know critics' initial reactions from the first official screenings of Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1.

Paramount is set to bring the longest Mission: Impossible movie to date with Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 7, serving as the first of a two-part finale for this 27-year-old action saga.

Featuring an incredible cast of actors with credits in other massive blockbuster franchises, Tom Cruise looks to bring the heat with Ethan Hunt for a seventh time before the franchise officially ends in 2024.

Mission Impossible 7 Earns Rave Critic Reviews

Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell

But how are critics reacting to the first Mission: Impossible outing in five years?

Critics took to social media to share their first reactions to Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1 after the movie had its world premiere event.

Screen Rant's Joe Deckelmeier called this his new favorite movie from the series, offering plenty of praise to franchise newcomer Hayley Atwell in the process:

"'Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning' this phenomenal! Hayley Atwell STEALS ever scene she’s in. This is now my favorite 'Mission: Impossible' film. With the AI being the villain, this feels like a cautionary tale. The action had my heart rate elevated. That train scene is mind blowing!"

Collider's Steven Weintraub described Mission Impossible 7 as "incredible" and "one of the best films" he's seen in 2023, noting that fans need to see it on the big screen if possible:

"'Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning' is incredible. The fastest 2 hr 30 min movie I’ve seen in a long time. One of the best films I’ve seen this year and Tom Cruise has done it again. Demands to be seen on the biggest screen. Cannot recommend this movie enough."

Weintraub was also surprised at how much he enjoyed Atwell's performance, calling her "a fantastic addition" to the Mission: Impossible movies:

"Big surprise was how much I loved Hayley Atwell in the film. I’ve always been a fan but she is a fantastic addition to the franchise and is a HUGE part of the movie."

BackstageOL described the sequel as "a culmination of the highlights" of everything in the series so far while also being a perfect set-up for its 2024 sequel

"Can confirm.... 'Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning' is a PURE ADRENALINE RUSH!! 'Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning' feels like a culmination of the highlights in the 'MI' series while delivering on the important story beats and sets up part 2 BEAUTIFULLY! The action set pieces will BLOW YOUR MIND"

Collider's Perri Nemiroff called Mission Impossible 7 "another winner for the franchise" and highlighted how good the production value and set pieces were, praising the way the team "[captured] things in camera" visually:

"'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part 1' is another winner for the franchise. Yet again, the production value is THROUGH THE ROOF with some of the most well-defined and exhilarating set pieces photographed in ways that truly make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. The emphasis on capturing things in camera makes a HUGE difference, and you can feel it. Also really dug the mission this time around and how the technology they’re after factors into the characters' individual arcs."

Nemiroff continued to praise Cruise and Atwell's performances, along with Rebecca Ferguson, teasing a scene with Ferguson and Cruise that "had [her] in tears [from] laughing so much" while celebrating the 2-hour-43-minute epic:

"Tom Cruise is A+ as always and Rebecca Ferguson continues to be a favorite, but franchise newcomer Hayley Atwell wound up being the MAJOR standout for me. She can do it all. Action, comedy, a capable hero in many respects while trying to get her sea legs in others. One of the most captivating performances/arcs, and just a hugely enjoyable character to watch. She’s got a scene with Tom that involves a Fiat 500 that truly had me in tears I was laughing so much. One more set piece shoutout — there’s a particular scene within the sequence on the train that had my jaw on the floor. 2 hours and 43 minutes that I will happily watch over and over.

Uproxx's Mike Ryan gave props to director Christopher McQuarrie for his "ambitious examination of/meditation on AI" as it shines a light on how the technology may affect the real world:

"'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE' works as Christopher McQuarrie’s ambitious examination of/meditation on AI and the dangerous path we might be on. (He doesn’t like it) With the inherent nature of being “part one” (said that a lot lately), not as satisfying as 'FALLOUT'"

Gizmondo's Germain Lussier saw Mission Impossible 7 as a "dynamite, timely story" with an excellent cast of characters, and he teased that the film's final set piece is one of the top three moments in franchise history:

"'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1' is fantastic. Dynamite, timely story. Excellent new characters. Huge variety of action and a final set piece that ranks top 2-3 all-time for the franchise. It gets a little dense at times but its pace & intensity more than cover that.

Fandango's Erik Davis "had the absolute best time" with this new movie, complimenting the sequel for feeling complete while also leaving fans "dying for what comes next:"

"I had the absolute best time watching 'Mission: Impossible' - an impeccably made action film that does not stop entertaining. Each action sequence is long, crazy & intense. The story is big & sprawling, but I like how it both felt complete & left you dying for what comes next"

Davis also praised "the Rome chase & the train sequence" as his favorite parts of the movie, offering specific praise to Pom Klementieff for playing "a wicked villain with a cool arc:"

"I watched 'Mission: Impossible' in a Dolby house, and DAMN! The sound on this thing is incredible - fav parts are the Rome chase & the train sequence. Biggest scene stealer goes to Pom Klementieff, who plays a wicked villain with a cool arc. Pom having a great summer!"

The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez added his own praise for the set pieces and the villain, urging fans to see this movie on an IMAX screen for the full experience:

"'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning' is FANTASTIC with insane set pieces & a very timely villain. It demands that you see it in IMAX."

The Ankler's Jeff Sneider felt Mission Impossible 7 didn't have the same emotion that made Cruise's work in Top Gun: Maverick great, also hinting at some minor issues with the villain's backstory and "Ethan’s rushed bond w/ [Hayley Atwell's] Grace:"

"'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7' is VERY good, though it lacks the emotion that made 'MAVERICK' great. The climactic train sequence is AWESOME & the entire cast RULES, from my man Tom Cruise to the great Shea Whigham. There are 2 minor issues: Villain backstory & Ethan’s rushed bond w/Grace."

Will Mission Impossible 7 Be a Hit For Fans?

With Tom Cruise fighting for Mission Impossible 7 to get its shine in as many premium theaters as possible, these reviews certainly mark a great start for the latest entry in his spy/thriller saga.

And even though it will face plenty of stiff competition this summer, coming two weeks after Indiana Jones 5 and one week before both Barbie and Oppenheimer, the MI7 team likes its chances to be a hit this summer blockbuster season.

While none of the Mission: Impossible movies have broken $800 million at the global box office, almost every film has surpassed the totals of the one before it, with 2018's Mission: Impossible - Fallout ranking at the top with nearly $787 million.

And with Cruise still riding the immense highs he earned from Top Gun: Maverick, which is currently the 12th-highest-grossing movie ever made, he could have a real shot at making waves this summer with yet another legacy series.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1 will hit theaters on July 10.

- In This Article: Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning
Release Date
July 12, 2023
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.