‘American Made’ Review

American Made

American Made is an American true-crime film directed by Doug Liman. The film stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who flew reconnaissance missions for the CIA over South America and became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal approached United States government officials and served as an informant for the DEA. American Made is a very interesting film to me because of the fact that it is based on true events. Also not knowing how much of the story was fabricated for the film leaves me wanting to know more about the incident. Some family members I had in the theater with me remember seeing the reports on the news when they were younger. The film even opens with real video footage from the ‘70s and ‘80s with the production logos shifting between their classic and modern designs. As always, Tom Cruise delivers a great performance. For a man in his 50’s, Cruise doesn’t look a day over 40. He makes the character of Barry Seal very likable and similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort character from The Wolf of Wall Street. Some of the funnier scenes in the film involve Barry trying to launder his drug money. It’s hard because he was making as much as $500,000 USD per flight and had money literally everywhere on his property. Domhnall Gleeson also delivers a great performance as CIA Agent Schafer. His character is very mysterious and likable. Gleeson shows how Agent Schafer is clearly untrustworthy, but you can’t pass up the deal he is offering. The audience never really knows what position Agent Schafer holds in the CIA, but it only adds to the mysteriousness of his character. Sarah Wright also delivers a solid performance as Barry’s wife Lucy. Lucy Seal is an honest, hardworking, and loving wife who is always there for her husband. She even admits that she loves him even if she doesn’t always trust the type of business he’s getting into. Overall, American Made was a fun film. The story was easy enough to follow and didn’t drag on too long. Doug Liman does a great job at keeping the focus on Barry Seal and showing how the other characters revolve around him. The only negative I have is that some of the editing in the film is a bit jumpy. The scenes where Barry is telling his story to the audience via videotape starts partway through the film when it should have started at the beginning. I give American Made a Decent 7.6/10. The film wraps up nicely and offers a more realistic take on what can happen when you get involved with the CIA and Medellín Cartel.

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