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Based on a true story, CIA operative Monty Schafer, Barry's point man in the bureau; as FBI special agent Craig McCall; as Mena, Arkansas, Sheriff Downing, who is more than slightly suspicious of Barry's side-gig; Judy Downing, the sheriff's wife; Jorge Ochoa, Colombian grand drug trafficker; James Rangel, the head of the DEA; Medellin narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar; JB, Lucy's manipulative younger brother; and attorney Dana Sibota, who is out to lock Barry up for good.
Action Comedy Drama - This is not an action film as most would associate with star Tom
Cruise and director Doug Liman, but a fact-based satire set mostly in
the 1980s. This is largely a showcase for Cruise, with the only
other substantial roles played by Domhnall Gleeson and Sarah Wright
Constant language, some violence, drug content, and sexual content
make the film not for kids.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good American Made is breezy and fun and makes its points without subjecting the viewer to a browbeating. I'm tempted to label American Made as a (dark) comedy because, at times, it is laugh-out-loud funny and the humor is intentional. Tom Cruise is in fine form here with a charismatic, high-energy performance...
Roger EbertFull Review Average ...it's mostly a sensational, sub-"Wolf of Wall Street"-style true crime story that attempts to seduce you, then abandon you. The alarming pace of Barry's narrative, designed to put Cruise's charisma front and center, keeps viewers disoriented.
USA TodayFull Review Good ...awesomely absurd real-life morality tale... The usual Cruise charisma is in high gear, yet he exudes a sense of desperation that's both palpable and hilarious: Every time you think he'll finally get his comeuppance, he lucks out in some crazy way...
NY PostFull Review Good ...Cruise, in one of his best performances in recent years, makes Seal a plausible if not especially sympathetic anti-hero. ...the film levels off midway through, its gun-and-drug-running anecdotes blending into one another, details as to what he's delivering where and to whom becoming increasingly blurry.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 83 moviegoers:
TEENS: The two teen males, both loved it.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS: Two males loved it and one rated it "average" (enjoyable but nothing special or memorable). One female loved it and one rated it "average."
ADULTS: Overall, these are good, but not great reviews from adults. Half the males loved it with another 35% enjoying it very much. About 10% rated it "average" with 5% rating it "below average." The female reviews are slightly lower. About 45% loved it with another 20% rating it "above average" which indicates a movie that they enjoyed very much. Unfortunately, 30% felt it was only an "average" movie (enjoyable but nothing special or memorable). Less than 10% actually disliked it, which is unusual, especially for a Tom Cruise movie.
Smuggler. Informant. Patriot. One of the wealthiest men in 1980s America is
someone you've never heard of. With his devilish swagger and zest for life, TWA
pilot Barry Seal (Cruise) is the hero of his sleepy Southern town.
Much to the surprise of his wife, Lucy (SARAH WRIGHT OLSEN), the
charming entrepreneur has gone from a well-respected TWA pilot to a key figure
in one of the greatest scandals in modern history. Little could they grasp that
what started out as transporting contraband would lead to Barry's help in
building an army and funding a war.
Once the hotshot airman gets caught up in a shadowy division of the
government-running crates of AK-47s and kilos of cocaine-he makes a fortune as a
key player in the Iran-contra affair. From trading arms for hostages to training
forces of Central and South American kingpins, Barry becomes an improbable hero
working against the system. So, how does he sleep at night? It's all legal if
you do it for the good guys.