Dec 202017

American Made is not a top shelf Tom Cruise drama-comedy and I don’t think he does the real Barry Seal injustice enough but despite that, it is entertaining and engaging despite its flaws and worth a rental.



American Made

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Crime, Comedy
Universal | R – 115 min. – $37.98 | January 2, 2018

Date Published: 12/20/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Doug Liman
Writer(s): Gary Spinelli (written by)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K/BD): English (DTS:X), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Barry Seal (TOM CRUISE), a TWA pilot, is recruited by CIA operative “Shafer” (DOMHNALL GLEESON) 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.

Quick Hit Review: American Made is mostly entertaining for what it is, yet another commentary on greed, drugs and two-faced politicians, so it doesn’t exactly break new ground. And while Tom Cruise is charming, and apparently Seal was indeed charming in real life, the drugs he helped funnel into the country, with the aid of the U.S. government, seemed to be downplayed. And as with all of these “based on a true story” films, there is some Hollywood-ized elements, mainly, from what I read, making Seal seem a bit more appealing.

The supporting cast was fine. Domhnall Gleeson continues to impress even in a small role as the CIA handler (for the lack of a better word) while Sarah Wright Olsen, playing Seal’s wife, had a few good moments but her character is underwritten, which makes sense focusing more on Seal’s exploits rather than his home life.

Other than an issue I did have with casting Cruise, honestly someone like Bale might’ve been more suitable, I thought American Made to be an enjoyable, if not vapid, crime-comedy-thriller that sees the return pairing of Cruise with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman. Not sure if there’s a special need to watch it again anytime soon, but is at least worthy of a rental.



This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover. Inside, along with the Blu-ray Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All the features are on the Blu-ray disc.

Deleted Scenes (9:56; HD) – There are six scenes that failed to make the cut, likely for pacing. Includes an optional commentary with Doug Liman.

American Storytellers (6:39; HD) is a featurette on the true story behind the movie and has behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the Tom Cruise, Doug Liman and others.

Cruise & Liman: In Conversation (5:25; HD) finds the two discussing the film and characters.

In the Wings (6:01; HD) looks at the supporting characters in the film.

Shooting American Made (4:16; HD) goes into the filming locations like a small town that hadn’t been really updated in a couple decades.

Flying High (4:50; HD) delves into Tom Cruise and his love of aviation and being able to fly himself. Of course.

The Real Barry Seal (5:51; HD) is about the real man behind the story with private photographs and an interview with his son.


4K VIDEO – 4.5/5, BD VIDEO – 4.25/5

Universal Studios unloads American Made onto 4K presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p high-definition resolution (HEVC / H.265). The picture has a bit of a natural sheen with more yellows and such probably in keeping with the late-70s to mid-80s time-setting. But even though this isn’t terribly colorful, it still has a nice brightness courtesy of HDR. Beyond that, detail is relatively sharp and there were no noticeable instances of banding, aliasing or other flaws. This probably doesn’t measure up to other 4K releases but still looks pretty damn good. The 1080p Blu-ray is also decent enough in the detail department and colors still have somewhat of vibrancy to them.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

Both the 4K and Blu-ray come equipped with a DTS:X tracks and even though this is for the most part drama-comedy there is a fair amount of depth on display especially when Cruise is flying his plane and gets fired upon from the ground. Outside of that, dialogue coming via the front speaker sounds strong and you can get some little ambient noises (such as the plane engines) from the surround tracks.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, American Made is not a top shelf Tom Cruise drama-comedy and I don’t think he does the real Barry Seal injustice enough (I could see someone like Bale doing better) but despite that, it is entertaining and engaging despite its flaws and worth a rental. The 4K UHD released by Universal offers up great video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus features.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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