Collider - 15 years ago, Brian de Palma turned Mission: Impossible, a well-regarded spy TV series into an exciting action-thriller, and Tom Cruise earned a career franchise he could call his own. Then something went seriously wrong with John Woo‘s Mission: Impossible II, but J.J. Abrams‘ Mission: Impossible III picked the franchise back up with a fun, albeit empty-headed installment. The only consistent element was Cruise, but sometimes even his charisma couldn’t overcome dull action scenes or shoddy storytelling. Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) doesn’t do dull action scenes or shoddy storytelling. He never has, and he’s at the top of his game with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Bird has always put story first, but he never forgets to give the audience the brash, bold excitement only a big screen can bring. Bolstered by a quick, sharp script, and a terrific ensemble, Bird delivers bone-crunching action, fleet-footed pacing, and the best Mission: Impossible yet.