HomeMoviesThe Top 10 Movies of 1996

The Top 10 Movies of 1996


Release Date: May 22nd

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Ving Rhames, Jean Reno, Emilio Estevez, Kristen Scott Thomas, Henry Czerny, Vanessa Redgrave.

Random Cast Note: Andres Wisniewski, who appeared in Die Hard, would play a small bodyguard role in this film as well as a similar role nearly 20 years later in Mission: Impossibe – Ghost Protocol.

Director: Brian DePalma

Why I Love It (Bill Bodkin): The Mission: Impossible franchise has weathered the past 20 years rather well. In fact, it’s probably been one of the most consistent, and sometimes criminally underrated action franchises of the last 20 years. Sure, some may point to Bond and Bourne as the “go-to” espionage actioneers, but M:I has been able to evolve, adapt, and survive better than any of them. The series has had to overcome a horrid second installment directed by John Woo, and the fall-out of Tom Cruise’s hard left in the world of religion, marriage and film choices. The last two entrants — Ghost Protocol, and Rogue Nation were both awesome films — with many consider Rogue Nation to be a much better film than the final Daniel Craig-helmed Bond film, Spectre.

However, no M:I movie, can even touch come close to the original. The original Mission: Impossible film should have been a disaster. It came out in an era when Hollywood was obsessed with adapting classic TV shows to the big screen. Remember this is a time when Matt LeBlanc was headlining the vaunted Lost in Space adaptation, and Uma Thurman was the draw for the Avengers (no, not those Avengers). Both terrible, awful, bad movies. However, what M:I did so well was blend the cat-and-mouse Cold War-era spy game devices from the TV series, and blend them with the high gloss, big budget summer blockbusters the mid-to-late ’90s became known for. It was smart, it was well-written, and yet there’s enough thrills, chills, and spills to wow your pants off.


And for as much crap as people give him, this movie does not exist without Tom Cruise absolutely killing it as Ethan Hunt. This was the role TC was born to play — charming, witty, self-deprecating, tough, physical, and dangerous. It’s every role he’s ever played rolled into one, and outside of his super dramatic roles (e.g. Last Samurai, Magnolia, Jerry Maguire, etc.) this is the performance he’s been chasing for the past two decades.

Also, this was at the beginning of Jon Voight’s rebirth as a fixture in feature films. He’s the perfect person to play Jim Phelps — a fatherly, yet jaded CIA agent. How the writers of this film work this character, the star of the original series, into the fabric of this film is brilliant.

Best Line: “RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!” (Ethan)

This choice probably doesn’t do the film justice. The dialogue in this film is fantastic. However, this line is a great punctuation mark on the climax of the film. It’s a callback to Hunt’s fallen comrade (Estevez) who taught him about the “red light, green light” exploding gum, and it’s the perfect way to end the amazing helicopter/chunnel scene. It’s one of those red-blooded, pump your first in the air scenes that you easily get caught up in.

Best Scene: Wow. So many great ones. There’s the sabotaging of Hunt’s team. Theres the aforementioned chunnel scene where a helicopter chases after it. But, the best scene in the film has to be the excruciatingly intense “wire work” scene. In it, Hunt is lowered into a secure CIA computer room by wires being held by Jean Reno’s character. He cannot touch the floor, alter the temperature in the room, or make a sound over a whisper. The tension built throughout this scene is INSANE. It’s shot, and constructed beautifully. If you haven’t seen it, stop everything, and push play on this YouTube link below.

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Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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