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American Made (2017)

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The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.

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47 ( 85)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Barry Seal
... Monty 'Schafer'
... Lucy Seal
... Sheriff Downing
... JB
... Judy Downing
... Dana Sibota
... Jorge Ochoa
... James Rangel
... Agent Craig McCall
... Louis Finkle
Fredy Yate ... Carlos Lehder (as Fredy Yate Escobar)
Mauricio Mejía ... Pablo Escobar
... Oliver North
... Christina
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Storyline

Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, 'The gringo that always delivers'. Written by Viir khubchandani

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The CIA. The White House. Pablo Escobar. One Man Played Them All. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

29 September 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mena  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,776,390, 1 October 2017, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$51,342,000, 14 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Doug Liman's third film to be shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio since Swingers (1996) and his first film to be shot digitally. See more »

Goofs

Our hero is said to be a TWA pilot, yet one scene near the beginning of the film shows the plane he is landing to be in Eastern Airlines colors. See more »

Quotes

Barry Seal: I'm the gringo who always delivers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, tucked among the copyright disclaimers is the sentence, "And yes, we know that's not El Salvador." This is a reference to a joke in the film about mistaking El Salvador for Nicaragua on the map. In fact, the country on the map was neither El Salvador nor Nicaragua, it was Honduras. See more »

Connections

Referenced in In the Wings (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

You Sexy Thing
Written by Errol Brown
Performed by Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Parlophone Records Ltd.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cruise Flying High Again.
31 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

If you ask anyone to list the top 10 film actors, chance is that "Tom Cruise" would make many people's lists. He's in everything isn't he?  Well, actually, no. Looking at his IMDb history, he's only averaged just over a movie per year for several years. I guess he's just traditionally made a big impact with the films he's done. This all rather changed in the last year with his offerings of the rather lacklustre "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (FFF) and the pretty dreadful "The Mummy" (Ff) as one of this summer's big blockbuster disappointments. So Thomas Cruise Mapother IV was sorely in need of a upward turn and fortunately "American Made" delivers in spades.

"Based on a True Story" this is a biopic on the life of Barry Seal, a hot shot 'maverick' (pun intended) TWA pilot who gets drawn into a bizarre but highly lucrative spiral of gun- and drug-running to and from Central America at the behest of a CIA operative Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson). All this is completely mystifying to Barry's wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) who is, at least not initially, allowed to be 'in' on the covert activities.

The film is a roller-coaster ride of unbelievable action from beginning to end. In the same manner as you might have thought "that SURELY can't be true" when watching Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can", this thought constantly flits through your mind. At each turn Seal can't believe his luck, and Cruise brilliantly portrays the wide-eyed astonishment required. This is a role made for him. 

Also delivering his best performance in years is Domhnall Gleeson ("Ex Machina", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") as the CIA man with the (whacky) plan. Large chunks of the film are powered by his manic grin.

As an actress, Sarah Wright is new to me but as well as being just stunningly photogenic she works with Cruise really well (despite being 20 years his junior - not wanting to be ageist, but this is the second Cruise film in a row I've pointed that out!)). Wright also gets my honorary award for the best airplane sex scene this decade!

Written by Gary Spinelli (this being only his second feature) the script is full of wit and panache and - while almost certainly (judging from wiki) stretches the truth as far as Seal's cash-storage facilities - never completely over-eggs the pudding. 

Doug Liman ("Jason Bourne", "Edge of Tomorrow") directs brilliantly, giving space among the action for enough character development to make you invest in what happens to the players. The 80's setting is lovingly crafted with a garish colour-palette with well-chosen documentary video inserts of Carter, Reagan, Oliver Stone, George Bush and others. It also takes really chutzpah to direct a film that (unless I missed it) had neither a title nor any credits until the end. 

The only vaguely negative view I had about this film is that it quietly glosses over the huge pain, death and suffering that the smuggled drugs will be causing to thousands of Americans under the covers. And this mildly guilty thought lingers with you after the lights come up to slightly - just slightly - take the edge off the fun.   Stylish, thrilling, moving and enormously funny in places, this is action cinema at its best. A must see film. 

(For the full graphical review of the film please visit http://bob- the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)


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