Mission: Impossible ★★★★★

It's all about the scene in the third act when Ethan and Jim reunite and have a drink together. Jim is trying to convince Ethan that Kittridge is the mole, not knowing Ethan already figured out it was Jim because of the Drake Hotel bible. So Ethan, having the upper hand, narrates a flashback where he pretends to realize how Kittridge did it, all for Jim's benefit -- meanwhile, DePalma's visuals tell a different story: the way Ethan is seeing it, watching Jim take out the IMF team. And even in that sequence, there's a shot of Claire taking out Hannah, and then one of Jim taking out Hannah, because Ethan isn't sure yet of Claire's loyalty. And he can't bring himself to truly condemn her yet.

That is just magnificent storytelling not only on a narrative level, but as a thematic representation of DePalma's career to this point. From his '70s masterpieces to the '90s ones and beyond, things are not what they seem, and people can't be trusted -- yet the camera can see everything, and it does not lie.

This is a movie whose opening shot is a man watching a "movie" on a TV screen, though it turns out to be a monitor of security footage showing Ethan (dressed as someone else) doing his spy shit. And everything in that room is a lie. It's a fucking movie set.

Goddam. Seriously, SOMEBODY show me a better, smarter, richer, more philosophically sound piece of suspenseful studio-made popcorn entertainment released in the last 30 years. Spoiler: You can't.

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