Live. Die. Repeat.
And blast a bunch of aliens along the way.
A cynic might liken the premise to a standard video game; a more optimistic comparison would be to the excellent sci-fi drama Source Code of a few years ago. I’d place it between the two – more substance and much better effects than most games, less intelligence and emotional pull than Source Code… but a lot more action.
Those who dislike the idea of Tom Cruise as a bad-ass action hero can rest assured he plays a more vulnerable and believable character than the trailers convey – with modest amounts of bad-assery to boot. Costar Emily Blunt shows the same gritty resolve that she did for her character in Looper (another recent sci-fi great), along with some bad-assery of her own.
As in Source Code, the ending stretches the time-shifting premise a bit, but any dubious quantum-physical details are easy enough to overlook when the film as a whole is this solid.