Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down Mission Impossible III. Mission: Impossible III (marketed as M:i:III, M:I-3, or Mission: Impossible 3) is a 2006 American action spy film co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, his first film as a director, starring Tom Cruise, who also served as a producer, in the role of IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The film was first released on April 26, 2006, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and widely released in the United States on May 5, 2006. The film was a box office success, and it received mostly positive critical reviews. The film is the third installment of the Mission: Impossible film series and was preceded by Mission: Impossible II (2000) and followed by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015). Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from field work for the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) and trains new recruits. Ethan is sent back into action to track down the elusive arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman).