Read the Review by Keith Cheatham
True stories are always messy things to adapt to film. Sometimes a story is good enough to be displayed on film in its own right. Sometimes things must be embellished, or liberties taken to make the story more interesting. I can’t attest to how factual American Made is, but I can say it is still one hell of a story.
Directed by Doug Limen, director of Edge of Tomorrow, reuniting with actor Tom Cruise, American Made tells the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot who is enlisted by the CIA to help provide arms to the Contra in an attempt to fight Communist Nicaragua. Barry soon find himself caught up in drug smuggling, and human trafficking, and goes on to help create one of the biggest drug rings with the Madeline cartel. Events that eventually culminate into what history will know as the Iran-Contra affair.
The film traverses a lot of events, all of which Barry is involved in as he gets deeper and deeper in over his head and caught up with several government agencies along with the cartel. It’s a film that will keep you entertained throughout as Barry’s light and humorous personality, and greed gets him in and out of a lot of crazy events in history. The film does an excellent job of painting Barry as a likable guy, yet still showing that much of his troubles, including his ultimate fate are all based on his decisions. One could argue there’s an air of government corruption, or that Barry is left hung out to dry, and while some may walk away feeling this way, I personally felt the film gives enough unbiased information, despite a small jab at the end, to let you come to your own decision; mine being that Barry made his own bed. With great performances from a cast that includes Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, and Sarah Wright, along with a few humorous nods to some of our past presidents, American Made is well made, and an entertaining, thought provoking film that may not teach you all the facts, but gives you enough info that makes you want to look a little further.
I give American Made 3 out of 4 stars.