When an IMF agent is killed for Russian launch codes that he has just obtained, Ethan Hunt is broken out of a Moscow prison and recruited to a team who are tasked with entering the Kremlin to retrieve the files. When a bomb explodes, the team (and the US government) is framed for the attack, leading to the IMF being disavowed. Being the only few people who know the truth, Ethan and his team must work alone to find ‘Cobalt’; a man who wants to start a nuclear war.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) – Director: Brad Bird

Is Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 133 mins

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist

Genre: Action, Thriller



Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ is the fourth movie in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise and, while the second and third movies made a superhero of Ethan Hunt (and were purely vehicles for Tom Cruise), this is much closer to the first movie in tone. ‘Ghost Protocol’ brings Hunt back down to Earth; he may be very adept in his role as a secret agent but he is still capable of making mistakes, relies heavily on the team around him and isn’t always enthusiastic to throw himself into dangerous situations. The futuristic gadgets are all very impressive but even they can go wrong or simply stop working at the worst possible moment!

As always, Cruise is very watchable as the charismatic and intelligent Ethan, a role that he has made his own over the course of the four movies. Simon Pegg reprises his role as the loveable Benji from ‘Mission: Impossible 3’ who has now passed his field exam so he is no longer just sitting behind a desk. Making up the rest of the team are Jane Carter (played by Paula Patton) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), both newcomers to the franchise who pull their weight and add plenty of depth to their characters. The villain, Kurt Hendricks (played by Michael Nyqvist) is a little underwhelming but the dynamic of the team is what drives this film so having a lightweight bad guy doesn’t really do it any harm.

Ghost Protocol’ is a massively enjoyable action film with plenty of humour to keep the audience smiling all the way through. While the franchise seemed to lose its way after the first movie, this definitely shows a return to form and, with ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ having recently been announced, we have high hopes for the future of the franchise.


While the violence is realistic, it is not too graphic. Towards the beginning of the movie, a female agent is involved in a fight with two men. One has a knife but she quickly disarms him and stabs him in the stomach. She approaches the second man who she has already subdued and asks him for information. Having to get the information quickly and the man not willing to co-operate, she looks back to the body of the first man and sees the knife sticking out of his stomach. The scene then shifts to another character who can hear what is happening; pained groaning can be heard and while nothing is shown on camera, it is clear that the woman has caused the man a lot of pain in order to get the information she needs.

There are a few other moments of violence which are a little strong. One character is shot several times in the chest. The shooter holds him as he drops to the floor then shoots him twice more and his body lurches with each shot.

An incidental character is strangled; he struggles against his attacker for several seconds before falling to the floor, off-screen. A loud crack is then heard to show that the man is dead. Later in the movie, another character is shot in the head and a small, slightly bloody wound is seen.

There is also a fist fight between two characters. This is quite brutal and involves heavy punches, kicks and each person being thrown or falling heavily against solid objects. This fight causes bloody wounds on their faces as well as bad injuries to arms and legs. One of the characters falls from a height, hits an object on the way down and lands on the ground. From a distance, his foot is seen to kick once by reflex.

The female member of the IMF team, Carter, is at one point used as a honeytrap to try and obtain information from a wealthy (and womanising) businessman. This never becomes sleazy and the situation resolves itself without any coarseness or nudity, but we mention it purely because Carter is ill at ease with the plan and does not particularly want to use her femininity in this way.



Ghost Protocol’ is a fun and exciting action movie which will keep the audience laughing and on the edge of their seats from start to finish. We feel that, while the violence is a little strong at times, this movie should be appropriate for most children aged 8 and over.

  • Violence:  3/5
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (an incidental character is killed but a more established character mourns their loss due to them having a close relationship with them)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (an innocent character is forced to help Hendricks when he threatens to kill his wife and young son)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (a female character acts as a honey trap and acts seductively around her intended target) 
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (mostly mild cursing, a couple of stronger words are used but not excessively. A Russian curses and the subtitles censor the word with symbols but it is shown to be a long word, starting with an ‘M’. The word ‘anus’ is used as part of a joke)
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of teamwork, revenge, stopping evil despite the dangers involved and working without the support of superiors.

Words by Laura Record

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