Indiewire‘s Todd Gilchrist had judged Mission: Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol to be “a fun but mostly empty adventure story that operates with the rote predictability of a middling ’90s James Bond movie rather than a benchmark-setting actioner or even seasonal ‘event movie.'”

The film “is constructed as a series of sequences in which Cruise reads a description of something they all have to do together, observes how freaking impossible it’s going to be, and then tells everyone to get to business. Afterward, they recap their successes and failures, engage in a bit of emotional banter, and then repeat until a sufficient volume of stuff has been beaten up, damaged or otherwise destroyed that the filmmakers can call it a complete story.

“That said, director Brad Bird does a wonderful job of executing these action scenarios in ways that communicate energy and drama but never succumb to undue self-seriousness. The opening scene, for example, where Hunt breaks out of prison, is marvel of storytelling economy, as Bird uses almost no dialogue to communicate what’s happening and why, but the audience is never at a loss not just for what’s happening, but how they’re meant to feel about it. And later – and certainly augmented by Cruise’s own commitment/ fearlessness — his photography of Hunt scaling the outside glass of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa some hundred or more stories in the air is truly a breathtaking, palm-sweating spectacle to behold.

And yet “ultimately, with so much talent behind and in front of the camera, and the continuing promise of a series authored by filmmakers with distinctive voices, Ghost Protocol fails to provide thrills unique enough to truly celebrate, even if it still offers a Mission: Impossible that’s worthwhile for audiences to accept.”