American Made (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

American Made (2017)



Critic 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.

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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 that spawned the birth of the Medellin cartel and eventually almost brought down the Reagan White House with the Iran Contra scandal.

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Tom Cruise
as Barry Seal
Domhnall Gleeson
as Monty Schafer
Sarah Wright
as Lucy Seal
Jesse Plemons
as Sheriff Downing
Jayma Mays
as Dana Sibota
Lola Kirke
as Judy Downing
Alejandro Edda
as Jorge Ochoa
Benito Martinez
as James Rangel
E. Roger Mitchell
as Craig McCall
Jed Rees
as Louis Finkle
Fredy Yate Escobar
as Carlos Ledher
Mauricio Mejía
as Pablo Escobar
Robert P. Farrior
as Oliver North
Alberto Ospino
as Manuel Noriega
Daniel Lugo
as Adolfo Calero
Jayson Warner Smith
as Bill Cooper (Snowbird #1)
William Mark McCullough
as Pete (Snowbird #2)
Lauren Boyd
as Secretary
Mike Pniewski
as Willie (State Police)
Frank Licari
as DEA Agent #1
Connor Trinneer
as George W. Bush/Texan
Alpha Trivette
as Judge Linkletter
Kevin L. Johnson
as Agent Horace Wainwright
Devere Jehl
as Plain Clothed Man
Emilio Sierra
as Hector (Colombian Driver)
Leon Lamar
as Elderly Man
Tony Guerrero
as Federico Vaughan
Maria Howell
as NSC Woman
Darla Delgado
as Customs Agent
Justice Leak
as DEA Agent Winter
Robert Pralgo
as Gary (Cubicle Mate)
Mickey Sumner
as North's Aide Fawn Hall
Daniel May
as CIA Man
Trip McCarthy
as Dean (As James McCarthy lll)
Byron Diaz
as Sandinista Soldier
Byron Wigfall
as Contra #1
Carlos López
as CIA Station Chief
Jeffrey Olsen
as State Trooper
Stephen Conroy
as Military Police/Advisor
Juan Esteban Ramirez Toro
as Antonio (Bull Fighter)
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Critic Reviews for American Made

All Critics (208) | Top Critics (44)

But by the time the movie roared to its shockingly grim, remarkably embittered ending, American Made had won me over.

October 13, 2017 | Full Review…

It skitters and jumps, shivers and boot-scoots, never, ever sitting still. You could say it's like "Blow," on well, blow. But there's a breezy sunniness to this film, which looks like a faded snapshot reclaimed from an '80s photo album.

October 6, 2017 | Full Review…

One assumes that Cruise got this film made, yet he's a terrible fit for the role: he's always done his best work portraying smart, insightful characters in dramatic stories, but Seal was a yahoo whose sorry escapades are played here for cynical laughs.

October 5, 2017 | Full Review…

Without realizing it, American Made is a wincing metaphor for Tom Cruise's movie career-which, come to think of it, is exclusively and embarrassingly American made, too.

October 2, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The impetuous pace of the film is at one with its moral shamelessness, and, without thinking, we sign up for both.

September 29, 2017 | Full Review…

[Tom] Cruise gives his energetic all to the role, but he, too, doesn't seem to be quite aware that Seal was morally compromised far beyond the shallow confines of this film.

September 29, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for American Made

ASS WIDE SHUT - My Review of AMERICAN MADE (4 Stars) When's the last time you can recall saying, "I enjoyed the fuck out of a movie starring Tom Cruise?" It's been a few years for me, going back to EDGE OF TOMORROW and maybe WAR OF THE WORLDS before that way back in 2005. He's one of our greatest stars and somehow his crazy energy rarely gets tapped. His extended cameo in TROPIC THUNDER made good use of it, but in recent years, he's seemed hampered by CGI-driven blockbusters with little soul. He used to make daring choices, such as COLLATERAL, MAGNOLIA, and EYES WIDE SHUT, earning a spot alongside some magnificent directors. For me, he, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt would often feel like character actors trapped in a leading man's body. Cruise has great skills as an actor, and when he gets to show it off, it's a joy to behold. Doug Liman proves a good fit, a director who takes chances and doesn't like a lot of fat in his films, such as his past collaboration with Cruise on the aforementioned EDGE OF TOMORROW. Coupled with Gary Spinelli's thrilling, nervous, hyper kinetic script, AMERICAN MADE is a propulsive, hugely enjoyable return to form for all involved. Loosely based on a true story, Cruise plays Barry Seal, a TWA pilot stationed in late 1970s Louisiana with his wife Lucy (Sarah Wright from PARKS AND RECREATION, and a revelation here) and young daughter. Bored with his repetitive job, he smuggles in Cuban cigars on the side for the extra cash and perhaps to once again feel "the need for speed" in his life. From here, he attracts the attention of Pablo Escobar and company, who would go on to be notorious as the heads of the Medellin Drug Cartel in Colombia. They want him to transport cocaine into the U.S. and they offer substantial amounts of cash to do so. He eventually catches the eye of the CIA when a man named Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson, loose, menacing and downright scary at times) corners him one day and proposes he transport guns to the Nicaraguan Contras who are fighting the Communist Sandinista regime. Following me so far? I know, it's a lot. It gets even more complex, but suffice it to say, Seal is in way over his head and doesn't even know how to properly stash the mounds of money he's making. Despite a complicated storyline, AMERICAN MADE is so swift, clean, and in every frame has such forward momentum. This is a fun movie to watch as Seal risks his life running artillery and drugs all over Central and North America. Cinematographer César Charlone (CITY OF GOD) gets some gorgeous images across, but everything feels alive and in sync with the energies of the story. One jaw-dropping shot in particular shows Lucy straddling Barry as their private plane hits an air pocket, sending anything not tied down up in the air and then crashing down. It's the kind of expressive shot that makes movies a joy to behold. The final image of the film is also a stunner of a fading freeze frame. Veteran editor Andrew Mondshein's previous work doesn't suggest what he's done here, which is make something so complex so easy to follow and a fast, furious blast. As Barry goes from one insane scenario to the next, I was reminded of GOODFELLAS, which feels like a 2nd cousin to AMERICAN MADE. As we did with Ray Liotta's character, we understand the kick Barry gets from being in such dangerous but lucrative situations. Cruise's desperation in these scenes works wonders, particularly when he needs to move his family in the middle of the night. In fact, Cruise has a lightness throughout, whether he escapes a crashed plane with coke covering his entire body or when he's mooning his family. There's a lot of Tom Cruise ass in this movie, exposed or covered in period appropriate tight slacks. He's playing like he's still making TOP GUN or RISKY BUSINESS, but there's more gravity in his work now. It's easy to dismiss this film as a crazy lark, but AMERICAN MADE mines territory that got us to where we are today as a country. All of the crazy behind-the-scenes deals, having a dialogue with criminals or ideologies we cannot begin to comprehend, all in the name of protecting our "interests" brings us right to this very moment in our history. It asks the tough questions, such as what are you willing to overlook in order to make money? Seals is a morally compromised character, who charmingly pleads ignorance every step of the way. He's a modern day Chauncey Gardner, who will bend in the direction of whoever is paying attention to him at any given moment. He's a lovable stooge who manages to wriggle his way out of the most dire of circumstances. I loved seeing GLEE's Jayma Mays as a frustrated D.A. who can't quite get Seals in her grip. I wish there was more to Jesse Plemons' role and I suspect there was, but got cut for time. Caleb Landry Jones (GET OUT) shines, as usual, as Barry's in-law, a trashy fuckup who could potentially spell the end of Barry's good times. All told, AMERICAN MADE fits wonderfully into that "they don't make them like they used to" category. It has that renegade quality of the best of the Golden Era 1970s thrillers. Despite the era in which it takes place, it reminds us how easily a total idiot can come around and fuck everything up for this country.

Glenn Gaylord
Glenn Gaylord

Super Reviewer

In the mood for a wee bit o'fun at the flickers, then go no further as Cruise breezes through this 'based on a true story' tale as a bored pilot who's offered some unbelievably profitable sideline action working for the CIA. You'll wish you had a pilot's license by the end of it. Or at least a blonde wife. The most fun Cruise movie in awhile.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

An interesting (supposedly true) story told erratically with the wrong actor in the lead. Cruise hasn't done it for me since Tropic Thunder and I thought of a handful of actors who would have acted it better (a Woody Harrelson or Matthew McConaughey for instance) However we all need to see more of Sarah Wright however. (10-6-17)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer

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