The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.
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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Very few directors have tapped the clown in Tom Cruise the way Doug Liman has. He had directed Tom in Edge of Tomorrow which was humorous and was set amidst a post-apocalyptic alien invasion. American Made is just as humorous and is also set amidst an invasion of sorts except this movie is a true story. Captain Barry Seal had the adventure of a lifetime before falling prey to a monster of his own doing. But what an adventure it might have been for this man to smuggle contraband into and out of the States.
I felt Tom Cruise did a great job portraying the pilot in an extremely light-hearted and funny way. Cruise is known for playing roles that ooze oodles of dare-devilry. But most of those roles are of fictitious characters. For once Tom plays a real man whose daring knew no bounds. Captain Barry Seal was like a real-life Ethan Hunt. Hence I feel casting Cruise as Seal was an extremely appropriate decision and should help in filling Universal Studios Entertainment's coffers.
If you were awed after seeing the aerial sequences in Dunkirk, wait until you have seen this film. The planes are subjected to go through some intense acrobatics which will please you. If you were disappointed with Cruise after watching The Mummy, I can assure you that you will heave a sigh of relief after watching this film. The film's story is not only engaging but also witty and hilarious. There are hardly any stagnant moments so the probability of you getting bored is very low.
A very ironic thing about American Made is that in 1986 when Barry Seal must have gone through whatever turmoil he did, a young Tom Cruise played a pilot in Top Gun which released that year. Did he know he would pay a real-life pilot who was very relevant during those days almost 31 years later ?
Watch American Made . Don't watch it for Tom Cruise's stardom. Watch it because you deserve to watch an entertaining and great film on the big screen that coincidentally has a superstar playing the leading man. I humbly apologize for the length of this post but sometimes I just can't control myself from pouring my thoughts out
Reviewed by bob-the-movie-man9 / 10
Cruise Flying High Again.
If you ask anyone to list the top 10 film actors, chance is that "Tom Cruise" would make many people's lists. He's in everything isn't he? Well, actually, no. Looking at his IMDb history, he's only averaged just over a movie per year for several years. I guess he's just traditionally made a big impact with the films he's done. This all rather changed in the last year with his offerings of the rather lacklustre "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (FFF) and the pretty dreadful "The Mummy" (Ff) as one of this summer's big blockbuster disappointments. So Thomas Cruise Mapother IV was sorely in need of a upward turn and fortunately "American Made" delivers in spades.
"Based on a True Story" this is a biopic on the life of Barry Seal, a hot shot 'maverick' (pun intended) TWA pilot who gets drawn into a bizarre but highly lucrative spiral of gun- and drug-running to and from Central America at the behest of a CIA operative Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson). All this is completely mystifying to Barry's wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) who is, at least not initially, allowed to be 'in' on the covert activities.
The film is a roller-coaster ride of unbelievable action from beginning to end. In the same manner as you might have thought "that SURELY can't be true" when watching Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can", this thought constantly flits through your mind. At each turn Seal can't believe his luck, and Cruise brilliantly portrays the wide-eyed astonishment required. This is a role made for him.
Also delivering his best performance in years is Domhnall Gleeson ("Ex Machina", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") as the CIA man with the (whacky) plan. Large chunks of the film are powered by his manic grin.
As an actress, Sarah Wright is new to me but as well as being just stunningly photogenic she works with Cruise really well (despite being 20 years his junior - not wanting to be ageist, but this is the second Cruise film in a row I've pointed that out!)). Wright also gets my honorary award for the best airplane sex scene this decade!
Written by Gary Spinelli (this being only his second feature) the script is full of wit and panache and - while almost certainly (judging from wiki) stretches the truth as far as Seal's cash-storage facilities - never completely over-eggs the pudding.
Doug Liman ("Jason Bourne", "Edge of Tomorrow") directs brilliantly, giving space among the action for enough character development to make you invest in what happens to the players. The 80's setting is lovingly crafted with a garish colour-palette with well-chosen documentary video inserts of Carter, Reagan, Oliver Stone, George Bush and others. It also takes really chutzpah to direct a film that (unless I missed it) had neither a title nor any credits until the end.
The only vaguely negative view I had about this film is that it quietly glosses over the huge pain, death and suffering that the smuggled drugs will be causing to thousands of Americans under the covers. And this mildly guilty thought lingers with you after the lights come up to slightly - just slightly - take the edge off the fun. Stylish, thrilling, moving and enormously funny in places, this is action cinema at its best. A must see film.
(For the full graphical review of the film please visit http://bob- the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)
Reviewed by Vicky Martino9 / 10
A welcome return to Form for Tom Cruise !!!
I have to Confess i am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, but when i got a chance to go to an Advanced Press Screening of his latest movie with my Brother, who works in the press i reluctantly gave it a shot. I surely had a pleasant surprise in store, with the movie being a blast from start to finish and had a ton of retro 80's music. After the disaster that's THE MUMMY, Tom Cruise returns to form with some of his best work in the last 10 years outside the Mission Impossible franchise. Its a story based on the real life events of Barry Seal, a pilot who plays a crucial role in the Iran-Contra Affair, here we see Tom Cruise return to familiar territory where he makes us fall in love with a Semi-good guy who does bad things but we are not quite sure and root for him, because Tom Cruise makes us fall in love with him with his 1000 Watt Smile. The supporting cast was serviceable but make no mistake this is a Tom Cruise vehicle purely designed to show everyone he still has it !!!