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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.

Director:

Doug Liman

Writer:

Gary Spinelli
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399 ( 54)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Barry Seal
Domhnall Gleeson ... Monty 'Schafer'
Sarah Wright ... Lucy Seal
Jesse Plemons ... Sheriff Downing
Caleb Landry Jones ... JB
Lola Kirke ... Judy Downing
Jayma Mays ... Dana Sibota
Alejandro Edda ... Jorge Ochoa
Benito Martinez ... James Rangel
E. Roger Mitchell ... Agent Craig McCall
Jed Rees ... Louis Finkle
Fredy Yate Fredy Yate ... Carlos Lehder (as Fredy Yate Escobar)
Mauricio Mejía Mauricio Mejía ... Pablo Escobar
Robert Farrior ... Oliver North
Morgan Hinkleman ... 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 sky is never the limit. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan | Colombia

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mena See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,776,390, 1 October 2017

Gross USA:

$51,342,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Hopper also played Barry Seal in an HBO film from the early 90's called Doublecrossed. See more »

Goofs

To set the scene for early 1978, the opening montage includes shots of Iranian ayatollahs and a videocassette player, and plays music from 1976. The Iranian revolution didn't take place until 1979; well over 90% of Americans in 1978 had never seen or heard of VCRs, which were still far too expensive for home use; and because popular music had taken such a drastic turn in late 1977, "Let Your Love Go" by the Bellamy Brothers was, despite being only two years old, too old-fashioned for 1978, belonging instead to the "Country Crossover" tastes of 1974-76. See more »

Quotes

Barry Seal: Guys. It ain't about room, alright? It's about weight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end of the credits has a dedication "For Arthur". This is to Arthur Liman, the father of the director, Doug Liman. See more »

Connections

Featured in Box Office: Episode dated 28 September 2017 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

A Fifth of Beethoven
Written & Performed by Walter Murphy
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cruise Flying High Again.
31 August 2017 | by bob-the-movie-manSee 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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