During the final moments of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation:

Ethan watches the disk they stole, revealing a list of bank account numbers and instructions to access the money. He then drills a hole through the disk to destroy the data.

He then tells the main baddie that he memorized all of the account numbers.

Is that really possible? Or was Ethan bluffing? Did he just transfer all the money into a single account/few accounts? OR was he just completely bluffing, only remembered one or two account numbers, and the rest of the money is gone now?

I don't remember the movie really addressing it, and it seems like too big of a thing to gloss over. Or I guess I should turn off my brain and just go with "Ethan is basically the strongest/most intelligent/most skillful person on the planet."

  • This is an interesting question because it will likely require some info from outside the film. It's possible something in a previous film explained his ability to memorize really quickly... or that there was a scene left out that explains it... or he could have been lying.
    – Catija
    Aug 7, 2015 at 15:27
  • Well, I guess he just bluffed. Afterall neither he nor enyone else really need that money, only Solomon. So he learned the one account he gave. He didn't plan to reveal anything more to Lane anyway.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 13, 2015 at 21:43
  • I don't remember how many numbers there were on the list but there exists tricks to memorize quickly numbers with about 20 digits (like an international bank account number). Also, Ethan is known to be a master for impersonating people, which implies good memory skills to remember information on these people. That of course doesn't answer the question.
    – Taladris
    Aug 15, 2015 at 12:17
  • I guess one thing I should mention -- I was asking this question under the assumption that he'd want to potentially try and not lose all that money. If the money doesn't matter, then this question can be answered pretty simplistically. Aug 17, 2015 at 15:08
  • It's worth noting that the account number in question had a number of repeated digits. Which made it easier to memorize, which is why he chose it. (Unfortunately I couldn't find a screen shot of the scene in question; anybody got a copy of the movie who can find out the actual number?)
    – Kyralessa
    Apr 14, 2016 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


In the beginning of the film, Alan (Alec Baldwin) talking to Senate about how the IMF missions were successful only because of some LUCK.

In another scene, when Ethan goes underwater to plant the chip, he almost runs out of oxygen and is not able to think clearly. And (what it looked like) he randomly chooses one of the two identical chips and inserts it into the machine.

So, in the end, I think, he memorized just one or two account numbers and was totally bluffing. And as they say, fortune favors the brave!

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