American Made
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action, Biography, History, Comedy
IMDB rating:
Doug Liman
Benito Martinez as James Rangel
Fredy Yate Escobar as Carlos Ledher
Alejandro Edda as Jorge Ochoa
Morgan Hinkleman as Christina
Lola Kirke as Judy Downing
Domhnall Gleeson as Monty 'Schafer'
E. Roger Mitchell as Agent Craig McCall
Robert Farrior as Oliver North
Jed Rees as Louis Finkle
Jesse Plemons as Sheriff Downing
Sarah Wright as Lucy Seal
Tom Cruise as Barry Seal
Jayma Mays as Dana Sibota
Storyline: Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, 'The gringo that always delivers'.
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Cruise is back!
Cruise is back! After two bad movies, Tom usually makes a solid movie as a comeback. What I liked about American Made is true stories or based on true stories are more entertaining than made up fiction! The over unbelievable can not be made up. How much the CIA knew and or wanted to know is left to the viewer's interpretation in American Made. The film starts out with strong character development with a bored, risk taking pilot aka Tom Cruise fits the profile for a CIA operative and is recruited. Cruise nails down the alpha male con man perfectly. Memorable scenes in the middle with the drug cartels, dangerous missions and reverting back to normal family life. The Beary Seal/Tom Cruise character theme is once Seal got in the dirty business, one can not say no and becomes deeper and deeper involved. Not that the shady character did not enjoy the benefits of the job and adrenaline of being an operative. Much humor is added to the middle of American Made with small town Arkansas with the C I A and drug money changing the town overnight during a recession. American made has a strong ending with the reality of an operative being told there is a risk and you will be left on your own. Nine stars.
American Mess
It's foolish to expect anything close to the truth from most 'based-on-true-story' projects, but it's not unreasonable to hope for coherence. 'American Made' plays like a movie trailer throughout its two-hour length, randomly tossing together the standard ingredients of 1980s cocaine smuggling sagas like 'Blow'. A procession of mustachioed Colombian cartel bosses, DEA agents and undercover pilot couriers haul drugs, rifles and bags of cash around jungle landing strips, vulgar hotel lobbies and small town banks in their ugly fashions.

Tom Cruise portrays the protagonist Barry Seal as an easygoing coke-smuggling, gun-running, Caddy-driving adventurer. His wisecracking charm and aerial dare-devilry are supposed to hold the film together, but both charisma and exploits seem stale. After the CIA persuade Seal to aid their anti-communist misadventures in Central America, this sophomoric operator fends off the various demands and suspicions of his CIA handlers, drug dealers, crooked associates and hot blonde wife. The script never bothers to develop any of these stock characters as the muddled story unfolds with the depth and lucidity of a music video. By the film's end, even if one has managed to stay awake, there's little reason to care what happens to any of them.
remember Reagan, Iran contra, Madonna. then this flick is for you. based on lies/truth? tom is a flyer who deals in smuggling, cigars, drugs, whatever. he gets in more scrapes that you can shake a stick at and unbelievably smells like a rose. cliché after cliché go on for what seems like a long time. 2 hours. the reviews keep pointing out how charming tom is in this role. if you say so.
Tom Cruise At His Very Best
Whether or not you choose to believe Tom Cruise is still an A-List star or not, people still flock out I droves when he makes a good film. While American Made isn't a film that's going to appeal to a mass audience, I believe that the addition of Cruise's charm will sell a few more tickets than if someone else had been cast in this role. This is a movie that unravels the harsh realities of a story line that's definitely too good to be true, and it's based on a true story. You've definitely seen this style of filmmaking many times throughout the years, but director Doug Liman brings a fun, as well as visceral accompaniment to this crazy premise. I can't say that I loved it, but here is why it's still a great film that's worth seeing in theatres.

Not knowing the conclusion of the events that actually happened definitely helps when watching a film that's based on a true story, but I have to admit, this is a story that has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, even if you already know how the story ends. As Barry Seal leaves his day job as a pilot, he's recruited to work for the CIA, where he must deliver drugs and guns to cartels in the south. If that notion alone doesn't peak your interest, I'll just say that he's given opportunities that will have you either shaking your head and smiling about how things work out for him, or being scared and along for the ride due to his choices. There are surprises around every corner, which is why this movie works so well.

When being a smuggler, no matter how hard or often you must travel, a family life is always going to be a struggle when you're dealing with the drug cartel, there's no way around that. What worked out for this film was the fact that the clichés of kidnapping family members never happened throughout the true story, so you won't find yourself rolling your eyes, thinking the film is coming up with a way to manipulate the story. Sure, there are other surprises that I won't spoil for you, but if there's one thing I can compliment this film on, it's the fact that it's original. That being said, hardly any film is perfect, and where I feel American Made may annoy some people, is its happy- go-lucky feel throughout 80% of its duration.

I'm all for a film trying to have fun and lighten the mood, but when a film that should be taking itself seriously, fails to hardly ever do that, I found myself wondering if the consequences even mattered. Yes, Cruise delivers a noteworthy performance once again, and the secondary cast all play off him wonderfully, but I found myself wondering where the stakes were at times, due to the fact that Barry always seemed to make the best out of a bad situation. This isn't necessarily a flaw with the film itself, but it distracted me more than enough to slightly harm my experience with the movie as a whole.

In the end, there isn't much to complain about here if I'm being honest, but like I mentioned, it's filmmaking that you've seen many times before, with some questionable editing choices in its quick cuts or fast zoom-ins, and the fact that the tone is a little too happy for the story at hand. Still, the premise is interesting throughout, the surprises are worth the price of admission alone, and Doug Liman directs this film as well as any other that he's put his touch on in the past. American Made won't be winning any awards this year, but it's a really enjoyable time at the movies and I highly recommend checking it out.
American Made has a nostalgic tone and along with it's comedic storytelling, make it a fun drug smuggling movie
You have to admire the people that will do anything to provide for their family. There are those that work the long hours and ones who steal to feed their starving ones. I understand one has to do something in order to be sure that you kids can sleep soundly knowing they'll have breakfast in the morning, but if someone is breaking the law or getting involved with the wrong people, is it still about the family or does it become a selfish need? A lot of that depends on what it is your providing. I guess that line should be drawn if you know there's a chance that your own choices can get the people close to you hurt.

Today's movie focuses on a real person who originally went to work for one thing, only to end up with more from the other side. It may have meant a bigger home, more cash, and a happier wife, but like a lot of darker stories involving a crime family, eventually gets too over their own heads. What makes these stories fascinating is how much is explored of their personality that gives them the impression that this is okay. Let's see how American Made can do with this.

In 1978, airline pilot Barry Seal (played by Tom Cruise) is put into contact with the CIA through agent Monty Schafer (played by Domhnall Gleeson). Seal is asked to fly missions over Central America to take pictures of rebels and possible Soviet guerrillas. He accepts, and is given a fast plane with cameras. Though he ends up getting shot at half of the time, Seal is a good enough pilot to fly there and back. During one of his flights, he's taken by a Colombian cartel who offers him big cash to smuggle cocaine to the states. The greed gets the best of him and he accepts.

When the DEA starts to track him, the CIA moves Seal and his family to Arkansas, giving him a home along with a airport and two thousand acres. As the years go into the eighties, he ends up doing more such as exchanging information with rebels and even flying some of them to the states for military training. This gives Seal so much money that even the banks are running out of space to put it. How long will the CIA continue to turn the other cheek as Seal continues his mission? I will not dare reveal that.

Though I've seen drug smuggling stories before (I'm not even a big fan of them), American Made is not only very funny and informative, it's actually a smart parody of the 1980's obsession with materialism and Yuppie lifestyles. The film is shot a lot like a documentary, which gives it an edge to sell this guys story, which sounds like a Hollywood story (though it seems to insane to be made up). Intercut is a lot of explanation with ties to the White House and how this even connects to the Cold War and Gulf War.

Typically, Tom Cruise is the kind of actor who is rarely playing a part, and lets his charisma become the character. American Made doesn't slip him into a role, but he seems perfect anyway as this kind of guy would have to be a Tom Cruise-type. As a matter of fact, I liked a good chunk of these actors like his wife, the cartel leaders and the CIA agent. They all sync in line with Tom Cruise and the comedy that this story entitles.

I'll say though that as interesting as the story is, it suffers a lot of the same issue that I have with stories of people on top that eventually fall; them enjoying the riches. Had the movie cut at least fifteen minutes, this might have been one of my favorites of the year, but a lot of the movie is Tom Cruise using his money to build his home and the Arkansas town…and that's it. It doesn't show many of the characters questioning him (though it does get a subplot going that continues the film's story) nor does it even show his character devolving. Despite the pacing, I can say that I still had fun with this.

I'll give this seven beta cameras out of five. American Made feels like a documentary from the eighties that was just found now. It has a nostalgic feeling, but is cinematic enough to feel a bit timeless. Tom Cruise fans and history fans should have a good time with this.
Entertaining, but quickly fades
American Made was a good watch - the story keeps a good steady momentum, the direction and editing are vibrant and dynamic. It has the vibes of something like Wolf of Wall St or a Guy Ritchie film, where despite the nature of the events you find yourself rooting for a criminal and laughing at the black comedy of how things unfold.

But it stays firmly in the mode of fast-paced 'zany' without ever really digging into emotions, desperation, or any human reflection. Barry Seal as a character remains a breezy, zany blur. Its just that kind of film. I think Cruise has a lot to do with that - his vanity as an actor, having to be seen as either confused- smiley or cool-intense in any given moment limits his courage to do anything else (Born on the Fourth of July was a real anomaly for him in terms of range).

Its as entertaining as any two episodes of Narcos - but without Narcos' complexity and variance. Good but not great, definitely worthy of a viewing.
The music was bizarre!
movie tempo was quick and the music made it very bizarre! It could have been a good movie without this music.There was not enough dialogue and it was all action and action. Tom Cruze seemed to be not taking it seriously and was always smiling. But it was fun after all. It would have been to mention this is a true story. I saw none.
American Made was American made well!
American Made was a perfect blend of comedy and thrills that always had me entertained. All the performances were great, with Tom Cruise standing out as the best. It has been said that most of the budget went to Tom Cruise, but I don't think that's the case. Because Tom Cruise has worked with Doug Liman before, and I think that this movie was made to look low budget. It makes this almost fictional story somewhat realistic. This movies is insane by the way. The only real problem I had was that the during first 20 minutes, I had a hard time getting into the movie. It was because I wasn't quite connecting with Tom Cruises character, but as the movie went on I was into it, and I think with a re-watch this won't be a problem. Overall, American Made was a blast and I highly recommend you see it.

9/10 - Amazing Movie
Satirical bio from Doug Liman
'American Made' is about a US pilot who managed to work both for the CIA and for the Medelin cartel in Colombia, and later – for the DEA. The CIA received valuable pictures of military bases in the South America and supplied weapons to the local anti-communist groups, while cartel sent drugs to the US. These illegal operations allowed Seal to gain wealth, but it has not guaranteed him long and easy life. One needs to know one thing about the movie. Doug Liman is a director here. A director with recognizable style. He has authored famous actions movies, including 'The Bourne Identity', 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' and 'The Edge of Tomorrow'. Tom Cruise starred the latter one, by the way. Contrary to the previous works in 'American Made' Liman is forced to put up the level and to discuss serious topics in his light manner. This is not the first time, when the director refers to complicated themes ('Fair Game'), but before it looked less persuasive. The joint mostly creates associations with another satirical bio, 'Wolf of Wall-Street' from Scorsese. Well, one can hardly compete with Scorsese in deepness and multidimensional coverage, but still methods used here by Liman very much remind those ones Scorsese used earlier. Of course, a reservation has to be made that some real facts were changed to simplify the plot and to give the movie more artistic attractiveness. Also this movie would hardly become the most favorite one for the audience as it could happen to 'Bourne Identity' and 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'. Nevertheless, this is one of the best movies of the year and a praiseworthy return of Tom Cruise into dramatic acting (after 'The Mummy').
A seriously fun Cruise lead comedy/thriller
While we all eagerly await the release of the recently announced Top Gun sequel, Tom Cruise's latest slice of polished Hollywood entertainment American Made, allows us all to see what it's like when Maverick becomes a little naughty in his retirement from flying fighter jets, verbally sparring with Iceman and making out with Kelly McGillis.

Re-teaming with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, American Made is a relentlessly energized and seriously fun examination of the true life story of American Airlines pilot Barry Seal, who gave up his life as an everyday pilot to not only become a CIA recruited pilot delivering messages, guns and various other treats to South American contacts, but a drug runner for the Pablo Escobar Columbian drug trade, which makes for a wild ride that would be utterly unbelievable were it not in fact based on truth.

Fair warning to all, Liman and his leading man are totally uninterested in giving a dry history lesson of Seal's exploits, as American Made sees the two Hollywood heavy hitters instead turn their trajectory towards delivering a heightened and often over the top examination of these events and with Liman bringing his Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow expertise with him to the event and with Cruise seemingly having the most fun his had in years, the risk to go for something different other than an awards baiting or dialogue heavy expose has paid off hugely, with American Made easily becoming one of the year's most purely fun and enjoyable rides.

At almost 60 years of age you'd be rightfully thinking it's about time that Cruise take a seat back and enjoy a more quiet time in his career but the unstoppable and enthusiastic leading man is having a blast here bringing Seal to life.

In almost every scene of the film, Cruise and Liman continue on with their rapport that they built in Edge of Tomorrow and Liman should be commended for bringing out Cruise's natural talents for comedy and when mixed with his easy going charisma that has made him such a beloved acting figure, Seal offers Cruise one of his best and most interesting roles in his long and varied career, no small feat when you consider the quality of his often underestimated C.V.

American Made's frenetic and sometimes scattered focus may detract from some viewers experiences and those looking for a more sombre take on a no doubt very serious topic may be disappointed but Liman and his cast's (that includes great bit turns from the likes of Sarah Wright as Seal's wife Lucy and Caleb Landry Jones as Lucy's dim-witted brother Bubba) ability to extract the absurdness and craziness of this whole situation and turn it into such a fun piece of entertainment should be a winner in the majority of cases, much like Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street did.

Final Say –

With Cruise on top form and Liman instilling his film with a breathtaking amount of energy, American Made is a pure piece of cinematic entertainment and an awesomely fun companion piece to Cruise's other well-known plane centred star vehicle.

4 future presidents out of 5
See Also
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