American Made

2017, Drama/Adventure, 1h 55m

270 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

American Made's fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier -- and delightfully watchable -- energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.

Cast & Crew

Tom Cruise
Barry Seal
Domhnall Gleeson
Monty "Schafer"
Jesse Plemons
Sheriff Downing
Jayma Mays
Dana Sibota
Lola Kirke
Judy Downing
E. Roger Mitchell
Agent Craig McCall
Benito Martinez
James Rangel
Jed Rees
Louis Finkle
Gary Spinelli
Screenwriter
Kim Roth
Producer
Terry Dougas
Executive Producer
Brandt Andersen
Executive Producer
Eric Greenfeld
Executive Producer
Michael Finley
Executive Producer
Michael Bassick
Executive Producer
Ray Chen
Executive Producer
César Charlone
Cinematographer
Saar Klein
Film Editor
Christophe Beck
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for American Made

Audience Reviews for American Made

  • Jun 09, 2018
    The combo of director Doug Liman, writer Gary Spinelli and actor Tom Cruise all deliver huge in a film that serves as entertainment and a peek inside the corruption factory of the Reagan presidency.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2018
    American Made is a fascinating biopic about Barry Seal, a commercial pilot who worked with the CIA to run drugs and guns in South America. Set in the early 1980s, to combat the spread of communism the CIA recruits Pan Am pilot Barry Seal to fly recon missions in South America and eventually to run guns to the Contras; but things soon start to spiral out of the control. Tom Cruise gives a pretty strong performance, and director Doug Liman does a good job at giving the film a unique style; blending a political thriller with a crime drama, with some lighthearted comedy mixed in. Also, the sets, costumes, and soundtrack are all well-done, giving an authentic early '80s look and feel. Entertaining and fun, American Made is an interesting look at a little known chapter of the Cold War.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2018
    It's a pretty poor imitation of Scorsese, mostly because of the overly frantic editing and the fact that we just don't get a good sense of who Barry Seal is.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2018
    Say what you will of Tom Cruise as I'm fully aware that some don't take to him at all but, personally, I've always been a fan. That said, it's been some years since I've fully embraced a film of his as nothing has really showcased his abilities. As good as they were, I turned a little cold on the Mission: Impossible series where Cruise seemingly focused on being an action star for a while. American Made, however, sees him return to what he does best. This is a tailor made role for the likes of Cruise's cocksure mannerisms and shit-kicking grin. In fact, the film thrives on him in the lead which makes this very enjoyable entertainment. Plot: In 1978, skilled airline pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) is contacted by CIA agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleason), who employs him to photograph communist facilities over Central America. Barry accepts but it's not long before he's contacted by the Medellin Cartel to transport drugs back to the USA. Before he knows it, Barry is making millions in drug and gun-running which involves everyone from the FBI, the ATF, the CIA and the the Contras in Nicaragua. The longer it goes on, however, the harder it becomes for Barry to get out. I've now lost count of the amount of films that portray a character that spirals out of control once involved in some drug running or criminal activity. Tv's Breaking Bad became a critically acclaimed phenomenon for a start but the ones that spring to mind, when comparing American Made to anything, are the 70's set Johnny Depp film Blow and, in terms of its style and vibrancy, Scorsese's Goodfellas. Now, I wouldn't put this in the same class as Scorsese's masterpiece but it's equally as good as (if not better than) the aforementioned Ted Demme film. There's a lot of style and pizazz to Doug Liman's portrayal of this very interesting time in American history. He gleefully exposes the political machinations behind the events and doesn't pull punches in indicting President Ronald Reagan, Governor Bill Clinton and the CIA in there involvement with such a huge drug running cartel and their intentions to quash a South American uprising from the Sandinistas. Put simply, everyone had their fingers in a lot of pies at this time in America and Barry Seal happened to be "the gringo that always delivered". It's serious stuff but what makes it so enjoyable is because Cruise injects such a tongue-in-cheek zaniness to the whole affair while Liman confidently handles the material with a great eye for the 70's and 80's period detail and intercuts the film with news footage of the events as and when they came to public knowledge. It's a good case of truth being stranger than fiction and that's what grabs your attention as you roll with the ridiculously over-the-top scenarios. Cruise is hugely appealing here. His southern accent adds another dimension and character to his resumé that's refreshing to see. He can play these characters in his sleep but it's been a while since we've seen it. It feels like old school Cruise and it's a pleasure to have him return. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer

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