American Made Movie Review
Tom Cruise haters are going to hate, but they’re wrong. While the actor has had a few more critical stumbles of late, he is still one of the most reliable actors working today—from a quality perspective—and American Made is another entertaining, worthwhile film from the actor.
In American Made, Cruise plays a drug smuggling CIA operative named Barry Seal, who is at first recruited to simply fly reconnaissance over drug factories in South America but eventually ends up smuggling fighters (and a shit ton of cocaine) into the U.S. for dubious training purposes.
It’s all, more or less, a true story, and a wild one at that.
While Doug Liman’s picture isn’t the deepest of films, it’s fast-paced, entertaining and continuously hurtled forward by a vivacious performance from Cruise, who plays semi-against type and appears to be having a blast doing so. Cruise is electric in every scene, and the situations his character finds himself in are so outrageous they must be true. Right?
American Made is a bit style over substance, but Liman and Cruise give their main character enough depth to make you care for his circumstances, even if he is slowly spiraling toward the inevitable. Side characters aren’t particularly well developed—his CIA handler (Domhnall Gleeson) pops in and out without much depth, though I suppose that’s OK; his wife (Sarah Wright) looks amazing but is barely a factor; and Alejandro Edda, who plays a Colombian drug dealer, could have been explored in greater detail to spice things up further.
But the movie is about Seal, and Liman delivers a quality film that accomplishes what was intended. Sometimes exciting, sometimes funny, and always entertaining, American Made is a hidden gem that’s worth checking out. As long as you’re not a Tom Cruise hater.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.