MOVIE REVIEW: American Made

Tom Cruise stars in the story of the pilot that the CIA, FBI, and the drug traffic supremos relied on to bring drugs, money, and arms in and out of America, Colombia, and the rest of Central and South America.  From his time as a pilot for TWA, to his so-called employment with the CIA, to his money laundering efforts, and the downfall that always happens we follow in what has to be one of the most entertaining films of the summer.

As you know I’m a fan of Mr. Cruise, not the religion stuff, I don’t know any sane person that could be, but when it comes to his films I’m there.  I must have been among the few who enjoyed The Mummy this year, for the sheer crazy nonsense that it was.  But even before The Mummy hit the screen this year there were more posters around Ireland, North and South, for this American Made, which made me think that this would have to be better.  As much as I enjoyed The Mummy I saw each and every flaw in that.

Here Barry Seal, Cruise, is the pilot that the film makers do everything in their power to make likeable and I’ll admit it that the character in the film is a likeable rouge.  Doing some research on him though and he’s not a nice character, so the writers and director did an amazing job, Cruise also helps with his damn charm.  He goes from TWA to the CIA to the Drug Barons of Colombia, and then mixes his loyalties to stay alive through the next decade.  His dutiful and headstrong wife, along with his children are mixed up in all this but enjoy the massive amounts of cash and the lifestyle that it provides.  There is a CIA Agent that is his contact with the Agency and no matter how badly things get this agent is there.  Domhnall Gleeson stars as the Agent and I give him credit for doing a lot for having a practically non explored role.

The film goes through the history of the horrible relationship that America’s Agencies have had with the Central and South American countries.  It’s a perfect companion piece for those of us who have watched Narcos since that has been on.  The editing and performances keep you guessing, as I didn’t know anything about these characters before the film, as to the outcome of their lives.

Look I’m giving this a four because I truly sat there through the whole film and I couldn’t say there was too much time that I was being a critic.  I was in a cinema, the second home, and watching a movie with Tom Cruise and enjoying the story that he was in.  There is enough drama to comedy ratio that you don’t fall into farce, although I do like farce, just look at my love life.  For me it’s nice to see Cruise in a film where there are no crazy stunts, just a plain good story, that shows the man’s ability to act.

Fans of the star will just love this, it’s all the promise of his early career and the comedy that he can do so well.  He’s not disavowed and he’s not doing crazy stunts, he has to do what is deep in his bones, and that is perform.  Thankfully he is surrounded by talented performers and true film makers to give us an insight, almost truthful, of the man behind the cockpit doors.  For an entertaining night out you can’t go far wrong.


Director: Doug Liman
Writer:  Gary Spinelli
Stars: Tom CruiseDomhnall GleesonSarah Wright

 See full cast & crew


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