Mission: Impossible III ★★★½

I had given up on the Mission: Impossible franchise after the second movie; both had disappointed me dismally. After taking a chance on, and being impressed by, the fourth movie, I doubled back for Mission: Impossible III, and found myself sucked in.

This outing begins to bring the team back into the spotlight, and that was the shining accomplishment of the TV series: the Impossible Mission Force, despite a wild card or two thrown into the mix, rewrote reality in small doses to bring down the wicked. Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt is still the most improbably indestructible secret agent since James Bond, but his support crew begins to get the attention they deserve, instead of being sidelined or killed ten minutes into the story.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman also gets special kudos for a realistically sociopathic and intelligent opponent.