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American Made (2017)

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A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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JB
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Judy Downing
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Jorge Ochoa
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Agent Craig McCall
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Fredy Yate Escobar ...
Carlos Ledher
Mauricio Mejía ...
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Oliver North
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Christina
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Storyline

A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a True Lie See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

29 September 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mena  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€87,165 (Finland) (10 September 2017)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This will mark the second collaboration between Tom Cruise and Edge of Tomorrow (2014) director Doug Liman. See more »

Goofs

When being taken for a tour around Columbia in a brightly coloured helicopter, the door is open and through the window of the door can be seen the start of a website address on the side of the helicopter. All that can be seen is 'www.' with the door covering the rest of the address. The world wide web was not around in 1980. See more »

Quotes

Barry Seal: The problem isn't the room. It's weight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Among the last lines of the credits, the sentence "Yes, we know it's not El Salvador" is shown which is a reference to joke about confusing El Salvador with Nicaragua earlier in the movie. See more »

Connections

References The Infiltrator (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

What Makes a Good Man
Performed by The Heavy
Published by Counter
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User Reviews

 
An entertaining take on an unbelievable true story
5 September 2017 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

If American Made proves one thing it's that truth is stranger than fiction. The story of American aircraft pilot Barry Seal who became a drug smuggler working for the Medellin cartel, casually rubbed shoulders with Pablo Escobar and ran a massive money laundering operation all while being employed by the CIA, would seem a stretch even by Hollywood's standards. Yet it's precisely the "based on true events" part of Seal's story that makes American Made such a fascinating film to watch.

We are first introduced to Seal as a disillusioned TWA pilot looking for something to put the thrill back in his life. When approached by the CIA to fly reconnaissance of communist factions in South America, he immediately jumps at the opportunity. Flying solo from the US on his own private two- engine plane, it's not long before Seal is intercepted by the Medellin cartel and offered large amounts of cash to smuggle drugs into the US. Ever the opportunist, Seal agrees and soon finds himself playing on both sides of the law and making more money than he knows what to do with. But as the demands from both sides grow increasingly untenable, Seal finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place, with his luck quickly drying up.

Tom Cruise brings his manic charisma to the role of Seal, and he's a good fit for the highflying, larger than life character. It's hard not to look with contempt at a man who transported illegal narcotics into the US en masse, but Cruise does a good job in humanising Seal and portraying him as more than just a criminal. At heart, Seal is a family man looking to provide for his wife and daughter but whose unrelenting pursuit of the American dream finds him working on both sides of the law.

The charisma Cruise brings to the role goes a long way in making Seal an endearing protagonist, and he seems to have fun in the role. Following the underwhelming performance of The Mummy earlier this year, American Made represents a return to form for him and a welcome return to the more grounded narratives in which he fares far better with.

Director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Fair Game) complements Cruise's commanding performance with his highly energised filming style. The camera is rarely steady for more than a beat and its constant zooming, shaking and moving around lends the film an effective faux doco feel. On the flipside, however, the incessant camera movements are distracting during some of the quieter moments in the film. In one simple conversation scene in a diner, near the beginning of the film, the camera haphazardly changes angles and abruptly zooms in towards the characters as they speak. It's awkwardly staged and distracts from the dialogue. Luckily the film moves at such a fast clip that Liman's hyperactive filming works mostly well but some restraint would have gone a long way during the smaller scenes.

Overall American Made is a fascinating biopic about a larger than life character. The film benefits greatly from Cruise's committed performance and Liman's lively direction to provide an entertaining take on an unbelievable true story.


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