3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Every Mission: Impossible movie ranked - Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt climbing the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

The fourth entry into the franchise, subtitled Ghost Protocol, saw the IMF blamed for an international incident on Russian soil. Naturally, it falls to Ethan Hunt to clear the agency’s name, prompting a globe-trotting adventure that took the franchise to new heights (quite literally). It sees the return of Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn as well as Ving Rhames’ Luther Stickell, and introduces Jeremy Renner as William Brandt.

What makes Ghost Protocol great is the way that it brought the franchise to where it is today. It’s the first film that featured Tom Cruise engaging in an absolute spectacle of a stunt (in this case, climbing the Burj Khalifa freehand), establishing a formula that the franchise hasn’t deviated from since. It’s well-paced, well-acted, and introduces a couple of interesting characters to the franchise.

The overall plot of Ghost Protocol might not be the best in the series, but when considering the ranking of every Mission: Impossible movie, it’s a truly great film. There’s a number of tense and memorable sequences, including all the staples of the franchise that fans had come to expect. It also did away with the slightly ridiculous subplot about Ethan’s marriage, righting the ship for the franchise’s future.