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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
2,418 ( 142)





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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Features Play Safe (1936) See more »


To Be Loved
Performed by The Pentagons
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

29 December 2015 | by nikolravensSee all my reviews

If you've seen the trailers, I suppose you expect this to be one of those stoner comedies, only it is not. American Ultra is at most a dramedy, though its drama far outweighs its comedy percentage. The mood is somber, the actors are technically good enough, the premise is good, only – I found the execution lacking.

The more I watched this movie, the less excited I was about it. At times, it tried to be far too dramatic and touching, failing at both, and at other points, it did so unintentionally. I liked the idea of the sleeper agent who is an ambitionless pothead, but the explanation to his condition was lackluster and not well thought- out. Let's not even talk about the villain; he was comically one- dimensional and flat.

Jesse Eisenberg, to be honest, bored me. At no point did I find myself feeling for him. I am not sure if it is due to the casting or poor writing, but I found the main character wholly uninteresting. However, I was interested in finding out more about him in the past, and was sorely disappointed when that was left to the wind. As for Kristen Stewart – meh. I will admit to liking her (mostly outside of her acting career) but at critical points, even I will admit, it was like listening to her reading straight from the script. I did like her physical dedication to the role, because she looked like shite, but that cannot save the role.

As a whole – I was very disappointed by this film. Aside from the false advertisement, which I wouldn't have minded if the movie had turned out successfully, the writing was unpolished, the actors bland, and the whole thing a mess.

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