Like the character he plays in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Tom Cruise has worn a variety of different masks over the years—Tom the Teen Heartthrob, Tom the Box-Office King, even Tom the Oscar Nominee. In recent years, though, most people—and by people we mean the paparazzi—have preferred to keep poor ol' Tom confined to just one personality: Tom Cruise the Psycho-Crazy Guy You've Probably Read About in the Tabloids.

That designation might finally be taking its toll. Early box office reports indicate that the third Mission: Impossible film doesn't have nearly the legs that its two predecessors had. You certainly can't say they're not trying, though—M:I3 boasts not only the return of Cruise as secret agent Ethan Hunt, but it's also got a hot new director—J.J. Abrams, of TV's Lost and Alias fame—and a newly-Oscared character actor playing the diabolical villain—Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie also features franchise stalwart Ving Rhames and newcomers Billy Crudup and Keri Russell.

This time around, Hunt isn't just another anonymous action hero; he's got a home and a fiancé e now—an actual life. He's no longer a field agent, but a trainer of new agents. That doesn't stop the Impossible Mission Force from enlisting his help for an especially tricky case, however, and it isn't long before Hunt is back in action, hot on the trail of weapons dealer Owen Davian (Hoffman). Explosions and gunfights ensue.

Abrams has said that his goal with the film was to breathe new life into the series by fleshing out the characters, but Christian film critics are split on how successful he is.

Todd Hertz (Christianity Today Movies) writes, "Because M:I3 trumps up the film's heart and fun ...

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