Everyone is talking about Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.  That airplane scene!  That theater scene!  The underwater scene!  Their excitement isn’t unfounded.  But, this weekend, how would the action in MI 5 stack up to a drama like The Gift when it comes to deciding which one to see at the box office?

Mission Possible

In Mission Impossible, Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Jeremy Renner as William, Simon Pegg as Benji, Ving Rhames as Luther, and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa) are after the Syndicate who is after IMF.  If that’s not bad enough, CIA Director Hunley (Alec Baldwin) is leading an all-out manhunt to find Ethan and bring him in for his reckless behavior; like blowing up the Kremlin in the last film

I didn’t think there were any more films in the Mission franchise or Cruise, but it’s nice to be wrong sometimes.  Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie , this latest Mission is better than the last.  It’s clear that Cruise, a fan of doing his own stunts, shows why he’s still a bankable star after all of these years.  He also owes his trainer a fat bonus.

Likewise, Ferguson, whom we all know and love as the queen in Starz’s The White Queen, is in pretty good fighting form herself and brings some much needed estrogen to this franchise without being a damsel in distress.  Ilsa actually does the saving, rather than being relegated to the typical girlfriend role.  Between Cruise and Ferguson and their awesome chemistry, Mission is a fast-paced caper that proves to be the best yet of the franchise.  But, what about The Gift?

Return to Sender

In The Gift, Gordon (Joel Edgerton) stalks married couple Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and childhood friend Simon (Jason Bateman) with gifts.  However, Gordon’s motives may be more sinister than Robyn and Simon realize and Gordon’s presence becomes more of a curse than a gift.

Writer and director Edgerton is making his debut with a dark plot that is sure to have its audience triple checking the locks on all of their doors and windows at night.  While his writing is a bit predictable, Edgerton still delivers a solid work of art where at the end of the film, no one knows who to believe, audience and characters alike.

Just when you think you have the film all figured out, you don’t; which makes for a good film going experience for the audience and quite detrimental for the characters within the film.  This film tackles the idea that words spoken in a brief moment can drastically alter someone’s life for the worse or better.

In the case of The Gift, Simon and Robyn learn that there are reactions and consequences to their actions.  This film also makes you wonder how well you know your mate.  Have they told you every meaningful story of their life?  Can you trust everything that they tell you with conviction?  Are they just really good actors?

You Decide

Between the two films, it’s easy to decide which one deserves your well-earned box office dollars.  If you’re looking for something light that tests your eyesight for plausibility (read: riding on the outside of a plane as it’s taking off), then Mission is the way to go.  However, Mission already made its box office gold last weekend.

You want something with a deeper meaning that is intriguing and gripping and will make you think about how we treat each other.  This Gift is definitely worth the purchase.  It’s a small film that packs a big punch with its subject matter and will have you replaying the whole film in your head to figure out how you missed the clues.  It’s also a breakout film for Edgerton, who has just solidified his position as a great filmmaker.  Looks like drama won this round.