THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

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AMERICAN MADE (2017) 


From the pair that brought you the fun sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow – Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman – comes a very different sort of thrill ride.  Cruise plays the real-life airline pilot Barry Seal, who, according to the movie, quits TWA and goes to work for the CIA.  He ends up as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama.  And while doing THAT, he also ends up smuggling drugs for the big drug cartel in Columbia.  And he also ends up smuggling guns for the contras in Nicaragua.  And becoming a government informant collecting evidence on the drug cartel.  When Barry realizes the contras aren’t really into the revolutionary stuff, he starts selling guns to the drug cartel.  There are a LOT of liberties taken with the actual Barry Seal’s story, although everything I just mentioned except the CIA connection is true.  This is played – well, not for laughs, but glibly, amusingly, as Cruise as Neal gets himself in and out of trouble as he constantly finds ways to sell guns, smuggle drugs and launder money as the situation gets more and more ludicrous.  There’s always a sheen of desperation around Barry and his family, and the high energy Cruise is the perfect choice to keep moving everything forward until it eventually unravels.  As you can imagine, all won’t end well for Barry Neal, but you’ll shake your head as you realize that much of what is depicted onscreen is based on true events. Always lively, American Made is a perfect vehicle for Cruise. 

             
TLA one-word review: Spirited

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN