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Drama - US

American Made (2017)

Duration1h 55m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Brazil: 16 
Source of storyAn original screenplay, but based loosely on real events.
DirectorDoug Liman
Writers/ScriptGary Spinelli
StarringTom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.2 by 163,660 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 86% by 262 reviewers..

Elevator Pitch: Barry Seal is a TWA pilot who smuggles Cuban cigars in the states, from Canada (don’t ask). As a result he is picked up by the CIA and give  a fast two engined aircraft which he flies over terrorist camps photographing the landscape. He is soon asked to deliver arms to insurgents in central America and from there it is a small step to flying drugs into America.  He is supported by the CIA who buy him an airfield outside Mena a small town in the middle of nowhere. He recruits further pilots and he soon has a small fleet of aircraft, but the prosperity of the town attracts the law enforcement services. How will it all go?

Content: There is a bit of sex, but no nudity, sometimes in an aircraft. Although the pilots carry shedloads of drugs, they sensibly do not consume any. We see aircraft flying about a lot, at one point Barry is forced to land on a suburban street and runs away. At times he is surrounded by the law, and there are a lot of shots of bags of money. Barry’s got so much he does not know what to do with it (shades of Breaking Bad). He spends time with the drug lords in Columbia and we see a few scenes of him with his wife and children.

 A View: Tom Cruise is always watchable, and he does  good job of being Barry Seal, even though the real Barry Seal was a big guy. Known by the drug lords as “El Gordo”.  This film made money and was well liked by the large number of critics who reviewed it. It rolls along, but because of the way the plot is set up, making Barry almost immune to legal intervention, there is little tension. But what the hell, you can watch it while doing something else.

Additional info: Two of the crew were killed after the conclusion of filming in a plane crash in bad weather.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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