Comparing the “Mission: Impossible” films

Seven days into the theatrical release of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” the summer sequel and Paramount Pictures tent-pole is a certified hit. The Friday-Sunday opening release garnered $61.5 million in domestic ticket sales, a series-best and career second-best for star and producer Tom Cruise. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an “A” rating, and critics have almost universally praised it as well. With so much goodwill surrounding the film, it seems hard to believe that Cruise was almost written out of the series after the third film, released in 2006, was considered something of a box office disappointment.

But even though his Hollywood star doesn’t shine quite as brightly as it did in the 1980’s and 90’s, his “M:I” movies now seem bomb-proof, with three mega-hits in a row, starting with the 2011 sorta-soft reboot, “Ghost Protocol.” And to his credit, he brings 200% commitment to whichever film he is shooting, even cinematic turkeys like “Jack Reacher” and “Rock of Ages.” (Well, maybe not to “The Mummy,” but the less said about that film, the better.)

Does “Fallout” live up to the hype? More on this several paragraphs down, but in a word: Yes. And as we near the second weekend of domestic release for the latest “Mission: Impossible” film, I thought I’d wax critical about the series as a whole. Oh, and you’ve been warned: There may be SPOILERS.

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Top Ten Films of 2015

Although there are good movies every year, it seems that we have a banner year for cinema roughly once every two or three years. 2014 was one of those years, with “Birdman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Whiplash,” and “The Imitation Game” being just a few of the year’s stellar releases. 2012 was another; “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Amour,” “Skyfall,” “Django Unchained,” “The Avengers, “Wreck-It Ralph” and one of my personal all-time favorites, “Cloud Atlas,” were among that year’s better releases.

2015 cinema, as a whole, wasn’t nearly as memorable. We had another Bond movie, another Tarantino film, and the first true sequel to “The Avengers”…yet none of these films were quite on par with their predecessors. Sure, a small film called “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” continues to slay box office records like Kylo Ren’s lightsaber as it plunges through _____’s stomach, but I wasn’t as taken by its unoriginal story as some fans were.

Still, I’ve been on a major movie-watching kick of late. I have finally seen most of the 2015 releases that interest me, and I’m fairly certain that I’ve caught up on the majority of Oscar contenders. (I will find out for certain once the nominees are announced next week.) There certainly are enough good films to compile a top ten list, something I am wont to do. Here goes…without spoilers!

GringoPotpourri’s Top Ten Films of 2015:

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