American Made


Release date: Aug. 18, 2017

Directed by: Doug Liman

Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones

Budget: $50 million

Box office: $134.9 million

An American pilot becomes an international drug runner in the 1980s.

An entertaining film, American Made takes a fascinating look at the events which would become known as the Iran-Contra Affair through the actions of Seal, the man flying the plane carrying everything. It’s a good plot showing said pilot go from working as a commercial pilot smuggling small contraband items to a rogue breaking numerous laws for continuously larger amounts of money. The plot goes in a few interesting directions as well, taking its protagonist pilot on an up and down flight where his attitude constantly shifts, seeing him start out as cool and suave, able to get the kinks surrounding the job figured out and ending up as a nervous wreck.

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He happens to be the most interesting character in the film, portrayed as not being in the right, but an opportunistic family man taking the job despite its lack of morality and grabbing any opportunities he sees along the way. A notable feature of Seal’s character is his flaw in thinking he is the stereotypical action movie lead. He may believe himself to be the cool guy handling things well, having adventures while outwitting everyone else and constantly being one step ahead of his pursuers. However, the reality is he’s nothing more than an expendable cog for an uncaring machine.

Most of the actors in this film give decent performances, too, with it feeling as if Cruise’s portrayal of Seal as the best. The way he acts gives off the feeling he didn’t need to take much other than remembering what worked in previous films in order to capture the personality behind Seal. For a majority of the film, he’s got the swagger and demeanor down and near the end of the film, Cruise succeeds in making the character as paranoid as possible. Further, Gleeson is satisfying as Schaffer, convincingly depicting an amoral federal agent who would be willing to drop anybody as a contact on a moment’s notice.

This is an enjoyable film and a not a bad pick for a film to watch in the middle of the week.



Alliance of Women Film Journalists

  • EDA Special Mention Award - Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest (Tom Cruise & Sarah Wright)

Detroit Film Critics Society,US Awards

  • Breakthrough Artist (Caleb Landry Jones)

Location Managers Guild International Awards

  • Outstanding Achievement Award - Outstanding Locations in a Period Film