An unnerving sniper killing five people kicks off the action in “Jack Reacher,” a heartbreaking reminder of the tragic Newtown massacre. Once this difficult-to-watch scene ends, a well-written detective procedural follows, except that title character Jack Reacher isn’t a detective, which makes the plot all the more intriguing.
The Mission Impossible film franchise certainly does not draw viewers for deep philosophical ideas. Instead MI promises a lot of physical action and escapist entertainment, which is exactly what Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol delivers with spectacular inventiveness. Give credit for that to director Brad Bird, the engaging storyteller behind Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille, now making his live-action debut.