American Made

7.3 IMDb
18 August 2017 Release
$ 50 000 000 Budget
Genres:Action, Biography, Comedy
Director:Doug Liman
Writer:Gary Spinelli
10 Votes

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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'.

Movie Comments

  1. R2PO, 2 months ago
    Based on / inspired by true events, this movie augments the grimness of drug trafficking and covert operations involving civilians, and unravels the perils caused by a combination of boredom and an unchecked thirst for adventure. Doug Liman has artfully converted a serious storyline into an entertainer. The vintage cinematography very boldly displays accentuated colors, which underscores the seriousness of the story even through seemingly lighthearted scenes. And Tom Cruise has delivered yet another classic performance as a cavalier pilot (reminds you of something?). The screenplay is decent but the camera work can at times feel nauseating. The cast did a good job, but those depicting the drug cartel were less compelling ("Narcos" has set a very high bar here...). Overall, an enjoyable, must-see entertainer.
  2. Claudio Carvalho, 1 month ago
    In 1978, the skilled and ambitious TWA pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) smuggles Cuban cigars to increase his income. Out of the blue, he is contacted by the CIA agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson), who asks him to work for the CIA photographing facilities over Central America using a state-of-art small plane. Soon Barry contacts General Noriega as a courier for the CIA and is contacted by the Medellin Cartel that wants him to transport drugs to the USA. Then Schafer asks Barry to carry weapons for the Contras in Nicaragua. Barry invites pilots that are his friends and plots routes to smuggle drugs for the cartel. The CIA closes eyes to the scheme and Barry becomes richer and richer. He uses the Arkansas town Mena to laundry his money. But the DEA and the FBI are tracking him down. When the CIA shuts down the scheme, Barry is left alone and arrested by the agencies. What will happen to his family and him?

    "American Made" is an American action movie based on a true story and told like a comedy despite the seriousness of the situation, with the American government interfering this time with the Central America nations. The plot is engaging and entertaining and the despicable Barry Seal is depicted as a family man by Tom Cruise that has good performance. The background of corruption, political interference, trafficking of weapons and drugs are treated like something usual by the story that can not be taken seriously. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Feito na América" ("American Made")
  3. Gordon-11, 1 month ago
    This film tells the story of a pilot who is chosen to work for the American government, running covert operations with Central American drug lords.

    The story is fast paced, entertaining and fun. It is always uplifting to see someone loving a high life, with millions of cash hear stashed away in every cupboard in the house! The leading man is charismatic, confident and is so at ease with the potential deadly situations he finds himself in. The wife handles the changes in family fortunes very well too. I enjoyed watching this film.
  4. ElliesWonder, 1 month ago
    Just some unorganized thoughts, kept them down in case I forgot. :)

    One thing I like America the most is its freedom of speech, and thismovie has highly applied this amendment, no other country would havesuch things, to disclose government scandals and make a movie to makefun.

    American is paying back to Uncle Sam's political meddling now, from theVietnam War to nowadays ISIS, countless money, death, and disagreedvoices from the public, yet peace still hasn't come.

    Anyway, enter the movie, I was quite agitated with the shaking camera.But considering many scenes were filmed in real words and the realperson, so it makes it acceptable. Also, short words to grieving overthe death of the 2 pilots who sacrificed earlier during the filming.

    Also, the relationship of the Seal's is very impressive.

    1) The brother in law was a dumbhead, but Barry only got mad when hecursed Barry's wife in the "c" word before the car explosion.

    2) Countless kisses and hugs, that's very sweet and warm. I usuallythought Barry would have some drama like an affair after he becamerich. But it looks like he was faithful to the family all the time(during the movie).

    3) When Barry was caught, the wife took off her jewelry and said she isnot leaving without Barry.

    4) The wife worked in KFC to support their kids after Barry's death,which is a follow up to the beginning when Barry just move their familyto a new place without explanation. The wife said she would work in KFCif Barry doesn't have a job.
  5. Jithin K Mohan, 1 month ago
    A fun thrill ride that doesn't waste a second of its time. Tom Cruise was able to rise up from the backlash of The Mummy. Even though the plot is highly glamorized from the true story at least Cruise isn't made into an invincible figure. Inspirations from Scorsese to the Narcos series is evident which kept the mood of the film consistent. If only that zero gravity scene was a bit more graphic ;).
  6. gavondo, 1 month ago
    American Made begins with the familiar text, "Based on a true story." Movies based on true stories, which are not vetted by any type of historical regulatory agency to my knowledge, often end with a prologue containing additional historical information about the subjects. Photographs of the real-life individuals are sometimes shown on screen at this point in the film. There are no such photographs in this film. I took this as a sign that the real Barry Seal, a DEA informant and drug smuggler, didn't bear much resemblance to the actor portraying him, Tom Cruise. A post-credits image search confirmed this suspicion. Doug Liman, director, addressed this, saying, "Tom Cruise doesn't look like Barry Seal. His character is inspired by the stories we learned about Barry. " He added, "You know, we're not making a biopic." Unfettered by history, writer Gary Spinelli was free to tailor the story for Cruise, and in this he was successful.

    In Top Gun, Cruise plays a handsome, cocky, talented pilot. In American Made, Cruise plays a handsome, cocky, talented, drug and arms trafficking pilot. It feels familiar, but it's a good "seeing an old friend" familiar. Cruise is at his best when he is somewhat frantic, and there is a lot of frantic in this film. In fact, frantic is likely the best word to describe the camera-work here. Cinematographer César Charlone (City of God) zooms in and out with the speed and erraticism of an octogenarian photographing a grandchild at graduation. Seal is always moving, and the camera rushes to keep up with him. As cash continues to roll in, Barry Seal frenetically searches for an empty closet, a fresh piece of ground, but to no avail. There is plentiful comedy in the ineptitude of Seal, because he isn't entirely inept. At times he is shrewd and scheming, adept at evading his enemies. But, the true comedy and tragedy are in the excess, the scale of Seal's operation. The mere existence of such a "business" and the associated connections, if not only tenuous, to the U.S. government is laughably inconceivable.

    Seal's recorded confessions serve as plot perpetuators, interspersed among the action. This is an effective plot device, and the achieved feel of the home videos is authentic and somewhat endearing. Sarah Wright, as Seal's wife Lucy, provides a lukewarm contrast to her husband's mostly unwarranted confidence. She repeatedly declares her distrust for Seal, but brushes aside all concerns once sufficient funds have been brought home. Her patience could exist only in the imagination of Seal, who, in reality, married three times. But again, this is not a film about reality. Suspending history, it is a thoroughly entertaining, energetic romp that capitalizes on the strong points of its male lead.

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  7. Movie_Muse_Reviews, 3 weeks ago
    Next up in the lengthy cinematic lineage of based-on-true-stories centered on quirky characters that rise to fortune through shady means and then come crashing down is "American Made." The latest collaboration between Doug Liman and Tom Cruise (who previously made "The Edge of Tomorrow") has a similar fun, energetic pace and goes down smooth — the Budweiser of historical biopics, or perhaps something with a notch more flavor.

    Cruise stars as Barry Seal, an airline pilot recruited by the CIA to gather intel and fly contraband to Central and South American countries rebelling against communist regimes. It doesn't take long, however, for Seal to realize he can use their cover and protections to smuggle cocaine for his new acquaintances atop the Columbian drug cartel. Between the CIA's paycheck and his drug money, Seal begins to make more cash than he and his wife, Lucy (Sarah Wright) know what to do with.

    Cruise's performance contains his signature fervor, but even though he plays a pilot, his default action hero affect is well-disguised as Seal, a thrill-seeking southerner who isn't smart but who's definitely not stupid. It's a fun role, and Cruise channels his underrated comedy instincts to create a likable character. He only gets a couple different notes to work with in the film, but he hits them.

    The film shakes out as about 80 percent entertainment, 20 percent drama (and that's being generous to drama), but either way it's clear why Gary Spinelli's script made the Blacklist of top undeveloped screenplays, especially given the story is steeped in political context but isn't adapted from a singular source. Rather than deliver a two-and-a-half-hour biopic, Spinelli keeps things moving with a lot of pithy dialogue and brief snippets/windows into Seal's experiences (smartly conducted by Liman). We're familiar with this rise-and-fall narrative, so Spinelli opts to give us the highlights and moments that illustrate how over the top and around the law the whole scenario was.

    Liman's action instincts (he also directed the first "Bourne" film) serve him well here as he brings a degree of style and excitement, as if at any moment something big could happen. At the least, he provides a great filmmaking lesson in how to effectively make a montage. The film's swift pacing necessitates that skill, but there's also a lot of good stuff being communicated in these scenes as opposed to the typical montage, which usually is little more than a stylized transition from point A to point B.

    One central montage occurs once the Seals move to Mena, Arkansas and Barry's operation really takes off. We get bits and pieces of the whole process and one of the film's challenges is to show the accumulation of wealth. There are only so many ways to show this, but Barry's wife getting frustrated when she can't find a pair of heels because every other shoebox is stuffed with money provides a unique detail that really conveys the ridiculousness of their financial situation.

    "American Made" strings together these clever moments and that's what makes it such an easy watch. Cruise's non-serious performance also gives us permission to relax, enjoy and appreciate the story's likely exaggerations of the truth because of the perspective they put on the United States' unwise meddling in these countries during the '70s and '80s. It could have easily gone the heavyweight route and still been a great film, but the lightweight approach will give it a longer shelf life with a wider audience.

    ~Steven C

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  8. slightlymad22, 3 weeks ago
    Finishing off my plan to watch every Tom Cruise movie in order, I come to American Made (2017)

    Plot In A Paragraph: 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.

    Easily Tom Cruises best non Mission Impossible movie since Collateral, and his best performance since the same movie, some 13 years ago.

    Very similar to Blow with Johnny Depp, back when he made good movies. I can not believe this movie did not find an audience. I think if it had maybe a more famous supporting cast, it may have helped bring the fans in, but truthfully I don't think anybody could have done better than those cast. Great performances all round, a fun soundtrack and a well told story. Since I didn't know it, it was a tad better to me.

    American Made grossed $50 million at the domestic Box Office (recouping its budget) and is currently the 39th highest grossing movie of the year.