The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
There's an aspirational pleasure in seeing Cruise, now in his mid-50s, jump through these hoops. He knows we prefer him when he shades his easy charm with self-doubt, and Barry has a pleasingly sweaty desperation. But not enough ...
The film may be fact-based but that doesn't stop it from feeling generic, like you've seen it all before. The big difference is that Cruise is spreading his starshine over this one and that (still) counts for something.
"American Made" is a smart, nervy film, a very modern entertainment made with energy, style and a fine sense of humor that keeps us amused until gradually, almost imperceptibly, the laughter starts to stick in our throats.
Though sanitized here, Seal's story is riveting; his life was as duplicitous as the country he sometimes represented. Cruise flying his drug-packed plane in American Made is like a weird extension of Cruise flying for glory in Top Gun back in the '80s.
American Made sells a toxic, shallow, anti-American Dream bill of goods for anybody looking to shake their head about exceptionalism without seriously considering what conditions enable that mentality.
Unable to present a protagonist that makes sense, "American Made" tries something else. It insists that the world doesn't make sense; thus, Barry is just going with the flow and getting carried along by events.
American Made points out an unfortunate time in our history when government shenanigans ran amok internationally and people did bad things in the name of greed and power. But hoo-boy, does Tom Cruise have fun with it.
Cruise's latest is the smart, zippy American Made, a movie that plays very much like your type-A Tom Cruise movie before it yanks the rug out from beneath you and reveals the B-movie Cruise we've been missing.
Doug Liman's electric film is clear-eyed about the cynicism and corruption beneath its hero's anxious grin. It voraciously breaks down both the star and the country he has symbolized for so much of his career.
It gives Liman a chance to stage a few tense aerial sequences ... it gives Cruise the opportunity to re-establish his brand of aggressive good humor and carefree - make that careless - adventure. They know what they're doing.
The draw, however, remains Cruise, figuratively walking out on a wing; whether multiplexers rejoin him there will be seen, but after endless formula runouts, it's encouraging to see him being properly exercised again.