Tom Cruise returns, and reliably so, to his role as gadget-happy superspy Ethan Hunt, but the real star is director Brad Bird, trying his hand at live action after a successful stint in the animated world. Happily, he brings the best parts of his cartoony past with him, creating wild set pieces on a par with anything Goofy & Co. ever imagined. Alas, the villain here is cartoony as well — a Russian version of Dr. Strangelove. Jeremy Renner and various architectural marvels costar. (2011) — Matthew Lickona
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