If it wasn’t competing with Brian De Palma’s audacious visual prowess, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ would be my favorite film of the franchise. As it is, it’s definitely my favorite action film of 2011.

What it has in spades is the spirit implicit in the very title – impossible feats rendered with such a palpable feeling of fun that we’re only too eager to suspend our disbelief.

At its best, the film contains moments that make you giddy – true movie moments. None more so than the centerpiece (and highlight) of the film as Tom Cruise scales the world’s tallest building; a jaw-dropping sequence that triggers the senses so viscerally that you feel elevated by its end.

The film suffers a bit from diminishing returns after this section, but continues to raise the stakes enough to maintain enthusiastic interest.