Strengths: One thing this series has lacked so far is a compelling villain. That wasn't the case here. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Owen Davian) is phenomenal. He's a guy who isn't physically intimidating, yet commands the screen and feels threatening because he's so confident in everything he does. It's a wonderful performance that makes an averagely written character into something much more. As I said in the last installment, Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) has figured out the character. It's even more of a case here. It's the best he's been and the most comfortable he's seemed in the role. Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell) was fun again, but what really helped was adding likable characters to the team who served a purpose. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Declan Gormley), Maggie Q (Zhen Lei), and Simon Pegg (Benju Dunn) embody that. Laurence Fishburne (Theodore Brassel) was another strong addition to the cast. I thought this plot was mostly laid out well and featured some great twists. At one point, I thought they telegraphed a twist too obviously, only to have it turn into a red herring, which I appreciated. As always, the action scenes were well done.
Weaknesses: It's nowhere near the level of part two, but this is another one with a thin female lead. Michelle Monaghan (Julia Meade) isn't bad in the role, but the character is nothing. She's simply just a love interest and damsel in distress. Though she gets one decent moment near the end, she's ultimately just motivation for Ethan. The final scene that wraps things up feels kind of out of place and it's a bit jarring.
Overall: J.J. Abrams came in and helped save this franchise. This was a big turning point thanks to a chilling performance by Hoffman, fun side characters, great action, and some really interesting plot twists.