American Made ★★★½


Not sure whether Cruise allowed himself to be less protected here than usual, but this is the first movie I remember in which he always clearly looks 5'8". Perhaps not coincidentally, he gives his loosest, most relaxed performance in ages, spearheading a counterintuitive Good Time Charlie vibe that in no way foreshadows Seal's real-life fate. Rhythm is correspondingly improvisatory; Liman has editor Andrew Mondshein (a sedate pro most closely associated with Lasse Hallström) essentially do a Stephen Mirrione impression, suggesting what Go might have looked like had its crew of idiots stumbled into the world of geopolitical grifting. Some details get lost in the rush—half an hour in: "Wait, he has three kids?!?"—but it's a brisk, satisfying ride to a comically downbeat destination, with the man who had everything revealed as a mere footnote to Iran-Contra.