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American Ultra (2015)

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A stoner - who is in fact a government agent - is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he's too well-trained and too high for them to handle.


Nima Nourizadeh


Max Landis
3,309 ( 218)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Mike Howell
Kristen Stewart ... Phoebe Larson
Topher Grace ... Adrian Yates
Connie Britton ... Victoria Lasseter
Walton Goggins ... Laugher
John Leguizamo ... Rose
Bill Pullman ... Krueger
Tony Hale ... Petey Douglas
Stuart Greer Stuart Greer ... Sheriff Watts
Michael Papajohn ... Otis
Monique Ganderton ... Crane
Nash Edgerton ... Beedle
Paul Andrew O'Connor Paul Andrew O'Connor ... Diesel
Freddie Poole ... Potter
Ilram Choi ... Newton


Small-town stoner Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) spends most of his time getting high and writing a graphic novel about a superhero monkey. What Mike doesn't know is that he was trained by the CIA to be a lethal killing machine. When the agency targets him for termination, his former handler activates his latent skills, turning the mild-mannered slacker into a deadly weapon. Now, the utterly surprised Mike must use his newfound abilities to save himself and his girlfriend from getting wasted by the failed test subjects that are sent after him by the CIA. Written by Mr.Moiz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's nothing more dangerous than a stoned cold killer See more »


Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Switzerland


English | Mandarin

Release Date:

21 August 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operación Ultra See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,454,284, 23 August 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,434,604, 4 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Auro 11.1 | Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mike and Phoebe are also the names of Paul Rudd and Lisa Kudrow's characters from the TV show, Friends (1994)." See more »


At the very end of the movie Mike is talking to a Chinese man. Mike laughs and replies. The subtitles say "Sorry, I never knew I could speak Chinese". What he is speaking isn't Chinese. It's clearly an attempt to speak Chinese but a failed one. He must have read the words written down in pinyin format and pronounced them using the English alphabet. Pinyin doesn't follow the Chinese alphabet. For example Mike pronounced Zhongwen as Songwen as it would be with the English alphabet. However Zh in Chinese is pronounced like an English alphabet J so the word should be pronounce Jongwen.

Actually Mike was speaking pretty good Chinese, for a foreigner. I'm from Beijing and I teach Mandarin. He pronounced "Zhongwen" as "Zongwen", not "Songwen". Southern Chinese people (those from south of the Yangtze River) do pronounce the consonants "Zh, Ch, Sh" as "Z, C, S". They can't pronounce the two groups distinctively enough. So it's perfectly normal for a foreigner to pronounce them indistinguishably. See more »


[first lines]
CIA Interrogator: Where do you want to begin?
Mike Howell: [thinking, seeing flashbacks] Dustpan. Spoon. Noodles. Bear. Frying pan. Fire. Apollo Ape. "Marry Me."Where did it all begin?
Mike Howell: Okay, it started three days ago, in the town of Liman, West Virginia. It's where I lived with my girlfriend, Phoebe. She is the only good thing that's ever happened to me. I honestly cannot even remember my life before her. We were the perfect fucked-up couple. She was perfect, and I was the fuck-up. And we were really, really ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits, there is an "Apollo Ape" cartoon depicting the continuity of the film's final scene. See more »


Referenced in Half in the Bag: 10 Cloverfield Lane and Me Him Her (2016) See more »


Dance Hall Days
Written by Darren Costin (uncredited), Nick Feldman (uncredited) and Jack Hues (uncredited)
Performed by Wang Chung
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stoner Comedy meets Action Suspense.
21 August 2015 | by The_Light_TritonSee all my reviews

When it comes to blending action with comedy, some films hit the mark (Lethal Weapon & Rush Hour) and others, don't (Paul Blart) but when you combine action/suspense with stoner comedy, then what leads is one of the most fun films you'll see this summer.

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is an everyday small-town stoner, who works a bland job at a market, with the goal of marrying his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kirsten Stewart) but what he doesn't know, is that he's actually an experiment conducted by a CIA agent named Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) and that the CIA has put out a hit on him. With lots of time and money invested in Howell, Lasseter goes out to his little town and "activates" him, turning him into a stone-cold killer. But while he's the perfect killer, he's also a sweet guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend.

First off, I want to say that this flick was funny as hell and chocked full of good action. I had a good time watching it and I was rooting for Mike all the way. But while this film is awesome, I have some complaints but i'll get to them after the pros.

Jesse Eisenberg nails the role of stoner perfectly. He's a chilled out lovable guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend and a joint of marijuana. You want to climb into the screen and smoke a fat one with him. and you want to watch his back when he's surrounded by 6 assassins...not that he'd need you.

Kirsten Stewart might be known best for her role in Twilight and of course we all know how much those stories mean to single women who spend a lot of time writing fanfictions inspired from a Danielle Steel paperback, but here, she's actually not that bad. She needs to do more comedy cause she works well as the "straight man" or woman in this case. Although she might be typecast for romance films, maybe someone like Ellen Page or Kaya Scodelario would've been a better Phoebe, but hey, it's Kirsten Stewart. can't change it now.

Connie Britton fits her role well too. It's almost like watching Colonel Trautman with Rambo from First blood, assuming Mike Howell is John Rambo.

OK, now the complaints. first, the obvious. The shaky camera....Hollywood, get it through your thick dumb skulls; We HATE shaky cameras during fight scenes. It doesn't make the scene more exciting or interactive, it just makes the fighting hard to see. Enough already!

John Leguizamo. The guy is awesome, one of my personal favorite actors and half the reason I came to see this movie. And they gave him the persona of a wigga. Really? This guy was Benny Blanco from the Bronx and Luigi Mario...OK, maybe that wasn't his shining role as Luigi but he should've at least gotten more screen time.

Overall, I totally recommend this film, but maybe you should get baked before going to see it. Or at least get baked for the ending.


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