Movie Reviews

American Made – Cruise Controlled

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest actors today. He is a talented actor but his latest films haven’t been able to utilize the talent we all know he has. Maybe this new film will change that?

Synopsis: In this ’80s-set thriller based on a true story, airline pilot Barry Seal is recruited by the CIA to smuggle drugs and weapons abroad for the U.S. government. Seal quickly amasses a fortune via his undercover operations, but he gets in over his head when he becomes involved with Colombia’s Medellín cartel and the Iran-contra scandal.   (Rovi)

Starring: Tom CruiseDomhnall GleesonSarah Wright 

Writer: Gary Spinelli

Director: Doug Liman

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 115mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out on American Made movietimes.com.

It’s just fun to see Tom Cruise in something other than a stupid action film for a change. This film gave more to do as he played Barry Seal, a bored real life airline pilot who was recruited by the CIA. He accepted as he was looking for some more excitement in his life. Over time, he became a smuggler, amassing a large fortune while also dealing with some very dangerous people. From the film’s opening to the closing credits, it had a very retro feel which added to the story. Based on a true story, some may already know Seal’s story (I didn’t so I can’t speak to the film’s accuracy) but for others, it’s a fun ride through the 70s and 80s.

Those who are unfamiliar with the history of the time may be disappointed as the film assumes prior knowledge of the time, however, it does introduce a few fun animated sequences to explain some of the history. This was Sloane’s story although it lacks some of that historical context on a personal level and on a story level which is more of a minor complaint. There were a few other characters but they ultimately did not matter that much with the best being Seal’s CIA handler Schafer (Gleeson).

The story was exciting to watch and would not have worked if not for Cruise and his performance. He showed a lot more range than past films and his charisma and screen presence made him extremely compelling to watch here even if the story may not have always been there. Seal could’ve been an unlikable character on paper but Cruise managed to make him both likable and easy to root for. The film moved at a fast enough pace so it never got boring. It touches a few genres with some comedy, action, and drama without standing out at either.

Overall, this was a fun action-comedy that simply breezes by and is elevated by one of Tom Cruise’s best performances in a long time. This film definitely proves that Cruise still has what it takes. Now if he only stayed away from those cash-in action films for a little while.

Score: 8/10

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