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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
4,355 ( 446)





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

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie's title and plot are a reference to the CIA's secret research project called "MK Ultra". Although many people have heard of MK Ultra, it's often misunderstood. In reality it was a project to combine what the American government knew about mind control with what the Germans knew about this subject. The letters MK use the English word for "mind" and the German word for "control". MK = Mind Kontrolle. "Ultra" refers to the highest level of security classification. Its main purpose was to come up with ways to induce their subjects with MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and find out how these alter personalities could then be triggered on command (sometimes by simply uttering an innocuous phrase) to be utilized for other means which the subject generally would have no recollection of afterwards. The project began in 1953 after the American government had brought scientists from Nazi Germany to America under Operation Paperclip, and officially ended in 1973. Since then the project has continued under the name Monarch mind control. See more »


The Akai turntable is playing a record at 45RPM. The 12" LP vinyl record usually plays at 33-1/3RPM unless it's for a dance club (which was typically popular in the 1980's & 1990's). 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 »


Boogie Mama
Written by Jay Ramsey
Performed by Jay Ramsey
Courtesy of Fervor Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Marijuana Required.
27 November 2015 | by kdavies-69347See all my reviews

Following the lines of stoner films like Pineapple Express, American Ultra delivers an action film with some big names. However, you'll need to get stoned to enjoy this film.

It's got a simple enough plot line. Gas store employee/stoner and all around skinny guy Mike Howell (Eisenburg), with his similar looking and just as mannish girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart), discover that he is a secret CIA super soldier.

Hilarity ensues... kind of.

Actually it was the lack of humor in this film that I found to be the biggest let down. There were very few actual jokes or funny moments, despite being classified as an action-comedy. It starts off very dramatically, when we meet the main character Mike in prison, and being interviewed by some CIA bigwig. The classic "in the middle of things" beginning flashes back to it's slowly progressing action plot line. I enjoyed the action bits, and they tried to keep it pumped up with lots of bullets and blood (spoon kill!), but there were very few funny moments at all.

As an action guy, Eisenburg's lackluster fighting style emphasizes the fact that it looks like he has never completed a push-up in his life. The characters had pretty terrible banter between each other. It seemed that they were trying to out do each other with sarcastic wit, including the CIA operatives. Topher Grace, who played the major antagonist, came off as some sort of nervous-hipster-yuppie-douchebag despite being the head of a major CIA operation.

Anyway, if you enjoy getting high and watching movies while eating a whole pizza and tub of ice cream, then this is right up your alley!

Yes, that was my Friday night...


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