Movie Review: American Made (2017)

Synopsis: In the late 1970s, pilot Barry Seal simultaneously works as a courier for the Central Intelligence Agency and as a smuggler for a South American drug cartel. He makes more money than he knows what to do with as a result. But, even with the CIA's assistance, must find a way to stay a step ahead of several law enforcement agencies.

Who's in it? The movie stars Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Caleb Landry Jones and Jesse Plemons.

Review: We had a Father's Day dinner at my parents' house on Sunday and, while there, I wound up watching this movie with my dad.

This is a film I've seen previews for and, while it admittedly looked decent, I wasn't really sure if I would like it or not. However, after watching it, I do have to admit it was a pretty good film.

I'm not a fan of most of Cruise's later films but this role was perfect for him. He always manages to have a natural arrogance when he's in front of the camera and it was one of those things that made his portrayal of Barry Seal believable. It was like watching an older version of his Top Gun role, Maverick, minus the fighter jet.

I also found the plot (which is based on a true story) fascinating. I grew up during the Cold War but was very young during a good chunk of it. As a result, the idea of the CIA supporting a wanted drug smuggler and, later, arms dealer still seems like something that should only happen in a movie. The fact it actually happened (though I'm sure with some exaggerations) only makes watching a film like this even more entertaining. And, since I didn't know the real story, I was definitely interested in seeing how all of that ended.

My only real complaint about this film is I thought the portray of his wife, Lucy Seal (Wright) was a bit weak and could have used a little more fleshing out and a lot more screen time. She had the potential to be interesting, especially as things started falling apart toward the end, but never seemed to be more than a secondary character with no real purpose other than reminding her husband he had a family while spending his money.

Final Opinion: I didn't think I would like this film, but it wound up being much more interesting than I was expecting. I would recommend it as a result.

My Grade: A


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