13 Movies Like 'Mission Impossible' Everyone Should Watch
What Films Are Like Mission Impossible?
Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt has won every cinephile over with his charm and charisma on the big screen. Thanks to his nail-biting performances, Mission Impossible stands right alongside some of the best action movie franchise ever created.
If you have landed on this page, you're not here for my eulogy. Finding heavy-handed movies like Mission Impossible is your mission, so let's get right into it.
Movies Similar To Mission Impossible
- Jack Reacher
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- North By Northwest
- The Departed
- Body of Lies
- Atomic Blonde
- American Assassin
- The Bourne Identity
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
1. Jack Reacher
Based on Lee Child’s novel, ‘One Shot', Jack Reacher features our favorite Tom Cruise in this rough and gritty thriller. The film starts with a killing spree of five people by a sniper. After being caught, he demands to see Mr. Reacher instead of seeing lawyers. And then begins the twists and turns - something that'll certainly impress you.
Though the film (and the later franchise) faced backlash by novel’s fans for the non-resemblance of Tom Cruise to the protagonist in the book, Tom was arguably impeccable, thanks to his unmistakable charm.
The thriller takes time to get going, but there's no stopping this rollercoaster ride after the first few minutes.
If you like secret agents in death-defying action sequences, you'll love this film from the extremely popular James Bond franchise. The film goes back to the past tales of Bond to unravel a formidable foe. It offers a nuanced character depiction as much as it does the gritty butt-kicking action sequences. The story hinges on Bond’s humane side and his struggles to leave his past behind. Despite some setbacks, he responds to the call of duty, which spirals things out of control.
The background score is one of the best, if not the best in the franchise. And the Oscar-winning title song by Adele is just an added bonus.
Fun fact; James Bond has been shot more than 4,662 times since the franchise began.
Set during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1981, this heart-pounding true story revolves around a set of diplomats who were rescued from militants by CIA operatives disguising as filmmakers. As one famous critic put it, “it is a film about a fake film.”
Directed and by Ben Affleck, the film recreates the crisis in meticulous detail. Ben has used little details to juxtapose various emotions in this brilliant film. There are nail-biting moments galore, but Ben never sacrifices the heart of the story in favor of brain-dead action. The film doesn't rely on action sequences and gunfire but on its craft of exquisite timing and brilliant screenplay.
No wonder this won the Best Picture at the Oscars.
You can always trust Steven Spielberg to deliver a compelling film that will make your heart race. The story retells the Munich Olympics tragedy that set the world talking about terrorism.
This film challenges the false notion of war bringing peace. Violence breeds chaos and mayhem, not peace. And this masterpiece aptly depicts the grim reality of terrorism and war.
The targeted elimination of the assassins by the covert squad is audacious, captured in painstaking detail, thanks to the expert cinematography of Janusz Kamiński. It goes way deeper than just the chase of perpetrators, going as far as to question the aftermath - something that still remains relevant to this date.
Undoubtedly, this is a brilliant piece of filmmaking.
5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Usually, spy thrillers are driven by young actors. This is where the film stands out as it revolves around an old and decaying soldier’s mission to unmask a Soviet mole. Unlike Mission Impossible films, we see a different side of MI-6, unraveled by pulsating dramatic sequences. The highly absorbing cinematography of this film is a visual delight.
Gary Oldman delivers one of his finest career performances in the film. Don't miss out on this gem of a movie. If you're looking for some transfixing movies like Mission Impossible, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy should be your best bet.
6. North By Northwest
This one is a classic. Hitchcock’s name is synonyms with unparalleled thrillers. Alfred Hitchcock has crafted four masterpieces and this film is one of them. North by Northwest is a tale of mistaken identity and the events unfolding afterward.
This film packs action, humor, and some great soundtrack. It has been called ‘a thriller to beat all of Hitchcock’s thrillers.' Hitchcock’s mastery lies in how he builds tension with each scene. It's a slow build up, but well worth the wait. Once everything is in place, gears change and the ride never lets up once it gets going.
7. The Departed
Rarely do remakes turn out good, but The Departed departs from that tradition and stands as an outstanding film. A remake of Hong Kong film, Internal Affairs, the movie is a story about an undercover cop and mole trying to unmask each other. This film features a double-double cross, pulling off its twists and turns with perfection.
Scorsese draws inspiration from Hitchcock’s way of directing a masterpiece and has executed them with near perfection. The moral conflict both within and among characters adds another layer of tension in the film.
Often heralded as a modern classic, the film established Martin Scorsese as a brilliant filmmaker. While the film lacks high-octane action sequences, it more than makes up for it with a mind-bending storyline.
Not to mention, the stellar cast of the film, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg are a treat to watch.
8. Body of Lies
Body of Lies features two of the most talented actors of our generation - Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. Adapted from a David Ignatius novel, Ridley Scott’s Body of lies is a gritty and gripping espionage tale of a CIA agent to extract intelligence about Al-Qaeda.
The film is a showcase of how personal arrogance, ego, and agenda sometimes aggravate a national crisis. It is a familiar backdrop where boots on the ground contrast with decision makers sitting in ivory towers.
Scott has been known to deliver intense cinematic experiences, and this film is no different. Body of Lies delves deeper in the political set-up of secret agents and it does not sacrifice intelligence for the sake of entertainment - a charge many spy thrillers are guilty of.
9. Atomic Blonde
Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron weaves a tale of secrecy, savagery, and sensuality in this film effortlessly. She is sent to Berlin as an MI agent to investigate a murder, but a different sort of story emerges once she gets there.
Theron's character is seductively brutal and lethal, which may not have been pulled off well by many actors. Based on the 2012 graphic novel series ‘The Coldest City’, the film’s visuals are sleek and incredibly beautiful. The 80s theme has been rarely executed that well in any other film, but this David Leitch directional is a welcome exception. With its climatic car chases, rugged combat scenes, and breathless action sequences, this film offers a full-fledged entertaining spectacle that'll make you squirm in your seat, at least a few times.
Witty one-liners by Theron are sprinkled all over its runtime, making this feast all the more enjoyable. If you're looking for an action-packed film like Mission Impossible, Atomic Blonde should definitely be on your to-watch list.
10. American Assassin
Directed by Michael Cuesta, American Assassin is a borderline kitschy film but that’s exactly what I like. From gun battles to car chases, this film has everything to be a Hollywood masala thriller. Based on the first book of Vince Flynn's series, the story spins around Mitch Rapp, a fictional Assassin. Though the plot drifts from the original book, in no way it compromises the quality of this pic.
The story unfolds when a young agent and his mentor (played meticulously by Michael Keaton) investigate a series of attacks. In their mission, they unfold and discover a bigger threat - one big enough to change the course of their lives.
The graphical violence seems sadistic at times but never unnecessary. This movie wraps everything up with an explosive ending - a no-holds-barred, satisfactory conclusion.
11. The Bourne Identity
Bourne Identity needs no introduction. This slick feature has slowly morphed into one of the most successful action thriller series of all time, firmly establishing Matt Damon’s credential as an action hero.
Based on the best selling novel of Robert Ludlum, the film revolves around an amnesiac agent who is on a mission to uncover his true identity, while crossing paths with assassins and bullets. It is one of the most well-crafted action thrillers with a tightly knit script.
The kinetic energy in every frame is what makes this flick click with almost all kinds of audiences. If you're looking for some breathtaking movies like Mission Impossible, The Bourne Identity should be your best bet.
12. Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow was heavily marketed with the tagline "Live. Die. Repeat," so much so that it became an alternative title.
Tom Cruise plays a naive major with no experience of field combat. Thrown into the battlefield with aliens, he's no choice but to gear up for what clearly looks like a suicide mission. Soon he learns that he's the only one who might have an outside chance of saving the whole human race.
This film packs some solid punches when it comes to the storyline and vivid visual cinematography. A seemingly simple caper about a soldier fighting aliens is made thrilling by slick battle and action scenes. The disarming cinematic presence of Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise adds a lot to this action film.
It is not a classic spy thriller, not by a long shot. Edge of Tomorrow doesn't have the grandeur of the Mission Impossible series, but its head-scratching plot with a meticulously laid twist make a must-watch thriller.
13. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a classic spy tale with a twist. This film bends two genres to perfection, conjoining humor and suspense to create an indigestible cocktail. This plot revolves around a prodigious but clumsy young kid who is recruited to train with highly sophisticated agents. These agents soon face an imminent grand threat - something only this new trainee can thwart.
The witty repartee among characters makes the audience chuckle at every turn. Samuel L. Jackson, while playing the wicked villain, is more likely to make you grin than shiver with fear. The acrobatic action and full-fledged fight scenes with humor served in dollops are sure to keep you glued to your seats.
If you're looking for some breathtaking action movies like Mission Impossible, give The Secret Service a shot.
Did I miss out on any movie like Mission Impossible? Let me know in the comments section.