The impetuous pace of the film is at one with its moral shamelessness, and, without thinking, we sign up for both.
[Tom] Cruise gives his energetic all to the role, but he, too, doesn't seem to be quite aware that Seal was morally compromised far beyond the shallow confines of this film.
It's a morbidly fascinating comedy, an insinuating mock documentary, and a twisted take on the American dream, audaciously masquerading as a high-caliber thriller. It's one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.
There's an aspirational pleasure in seeing Cruise, now in his mid-50s, jump through these hoops. He knows we prefer him when he shades his easy charm with self-doubt, and Barry has a pleasingly sweaty desperation. But not enough ...
The story at times feels too wild, too crazy to be true, but that's what makes it worth telling. "American Made" is a real whopper.
American Made is breezy and fun and makes its points without subjecting the viewer to a browbeating.
If American Made were limited to what Seal knew personally, some of the dangling threads in Gary Spinelli's script could be written off. As it is, they hint at stories we'd like to know better
The point here is not to depict Reagan-era corruption or cartel ruthlessness. The point is a wild ride akin to [the real-life] Barry's own - you may as well enjoy it.
The film may be fact-based but that doesn't stop it from feeling generic, like you've seen it all before. The big difference is that Cruise is spreading his starshine over this one and that (still) counts for something.