Tom Cruise has reigned as one of the biggest movie stars on the planet for almost 35 years, but despite showing such impressive staying power and longevity to remain at the pinnacle of his industry for so long, the diminutive actor rarely makes sequels to his most successful efforts. In fact, with the exception of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and next year’s Top Gun: Maverick, the only role that the 58 year-old has ever played more than once throughout his illustrious career is Mission: Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt.
The blockbuster espionage franchise has been going strong for close to a quarter of a century now, and given the enduring popularity of the series, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that five of Cruise’s six highest-grossing star vehicles are Mission: Impossible movies. The globetrotting actioners are arguably more popular than ever, too, with the last three entries, Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation and Fallout being the most lucrative projects in both the Mission: Impossible back catalogue and Cruise’s filmography.
While the movies have been marked by inconsistency over the years, as you’d expect from any six-picture franchise that’s roped in five different directors, Fallout is arguably the cream of the crop. Returning director Christopher McQuarrie crafts the first genuine sequel, continuing several major plot threads from Rogue Nation while doubling down on the spectacular set pieces.
The action is among the finest committed to film in the modern era, with Tom Cruise once again suffering for his art by leaping from moving planes, sprinting across rooftops, taking the wheel for high speed car chases and even learning to pilot a helicopter for the stunning third act climax. And after earning almost $790 million at the box office, Mission: Impossible – Fallout continues to prove massively popular and is currently one of the most-watched titles on Netflix around the world, sitting comfortably in tenth place today on the global charts.