American Made

Out Now On-Demand

Based on a true lie.

Tom Cruise plays real-life pilot Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the '80s in this Doug Liman-directed crime thriller.

Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.

After a dull Jack Reacher sequel and Mummy misfire, it’s good to see Tom Cruise back with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. Based on a true story, Cruise plays maverick top gun TWA pilot Barry Seal, recruited by the Carter then Regan-era CIA for covert op’s in Central America, first piloting a spy plane, then as a flying bag man, then gun-runner, all whilst developing a ridiculously lucrative sideline as a drug-runner for Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel.

When Barry asks if it’s legal, his CIA boss (Domhnall Gleeson) replies: “If you’re working for the good guys.” Though when it comes to meddling with South American politics, arming anti-communists and doing deals with drug cartels, good and bad get kinda blurry. The script, punchy, no-nonsense direction, frantic camerawork, and early 1980s colour scheme, are all indicators of filmmakers tipping their collective hats to Scorsese’s Goodfellas, in a rise-and-fall true-crime thriller with a morally dubious anti-hero at its core.

The supporting cast is superb, but this fast-paced, entertaining ride is focused on its protagonist. Cruise’s energy reminds us he’s not just a highly paid stuntman, he’s a charismatic lead with dramatic and comic chops. Anyone who’s seen Magnolia or Born on the 4th July knows Tom can act. Anyone who remembers Top Gun knows he can fly a plane, act cocky and grin. Funny as his Tropic Thunder turn, morally blinkered as his Collateral hitman, Cruise goes all in as Barry, and in having a ball delivers his best performance in years.

Hollywood Reporter


Kudos are due to Liman and Spinelli... for honing the script into a reasonably manageable two-hour romp around the Byzantine conspiracy-caper seen through the eyes of Seal.

FilmInk (Australia)


A propulsively entertaining ride through the underbelly of America…

Variety (USA)


A sweat-slicked, exhausting but glibly entertaining escapade on its own terms, "American Made" is more interesting as a showcase for the dateless elasticity of Cruise's star power.

Screen International


The film's loose period vibe proves diverting and mostly engaging, as well as driving its sunny-hued visual style.

Sydney Morning Herald


This is an unusual film, and I would love to know how it got financed.

Total Film (UK)


Yes, it might be the kind of story that you’ve seen a million times before, but there’s enough pace and invention to make it worth another go. (Graeme Tuckett)


An enjoyable, entertaining and fairly engrossing way to spend a couple of hours that won't insult your intelligence too egregiously...

Little White Lies (UK)


A forgettable flight of fantasy.

Barry’s your guy, he’ll deliver.

American Made shows us a relatable protagonist and it shows us his journey into doing quite antagonistic things. The writing is outstanding, the acting even more so and the style of the whole thing and the fact that it was pretty much actually real is what really makes it take off.





It's funny, entertaining and enjoyable.


This is a cool movie and you will be saying "wtf" throughout but in a good way

Tom Cruise you're killing it.

Before every Tom Cruise movie I'm always a bit sceptical cos I'm like wow isn't he getting old? Nope - this guy's still got it. The stunts were amazing, the story was amazing, the characters were amazing. It sheds light on such an interesting piece of history involving drugs, planes and lots of money.

Highly highly recommend seeing this movie.

Take items may drop from overhead!

A solid and thoroughly entertaining movie. While told with a great deal of humour, the film’s backdrop of true events helps to keep the plot, and action, nicely grounded (despite the flying involved, as a commercial pilot who makes a radical career change!). A much better outing for Tom Cruise (after the abysmal Mummy movie), with a good support, and spot-on period setting. While it may not quite make ‘must buy’ collection, I’m sure I’d enjoy another viewing (thanks for the tix Flicks!)

Tom Cruise is back in business

Director Doug Liman is having almost too much fun here, using every directorial trick in his considerable arsenal to keep American Made sparking along for as long as possible. Even so, the film would disperse like so much vapour in the wind if not for an in-form Tom Cruise – his terrific performance can’t quite get the movie all the way to the finish line (it runs out of puff about fifteen minutes before the end), but it’s not through the lack of effort. Aside from that slight dip at the end, American Made is a tremendously fun ride, and if the plethora of jaw-dropping, true-to-life details can’t quite disguise the fact that you’ve seen this type of rise-and-fall cautionary tale many times before, Liman and Cruise’s unflagging energy keeps the enjoyment factor high. The Mummy already seems like a distant memory.

You couldn't make it up

I think I spent most of this movie flabbergasted- it's based on a true story which just goes to show that real life is a LOT stranger than fiction. It's a really fun ride, though- Tom Cruise is well-cast and gives a good performance, and Domhnall Gleason is brilliant and clearly having fun with his role. Recommended for a fun movie that will have you sitting there wondering WTF.




No dull moments - an on the go movie

I really enjoyed this - funny moments and a bit of action. Quite a bit going on within the story so you'll need to pay attention! Not the usual Tom Cruise movie.

Drugs, money, Action

An enjoyable movie based on a true story of a government department using a rogue pilot for a crazy plan. The film and dialogue are presented in a different quirky way and the overall effect makes a great movie.

Fact is stranger than fiction

Loved this pic. Im old enough to remember the whole Contras, Escobar days and this is a great history lesson from a very different angle. Fast paced, never boring, roler coaster viewing. Bloody marvellous. My wife loved it too.