“American Made” (Universal)
By Catholic News Service
Wild fact-based story of a TWA pilot (Tom Cruise) recruited by a CIA operative (Domhnall Gleeson) in the early 1980s to fly guns to the U.S.-backed contra forces fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Diverted from this mission by the chance to smuggle cocaine for the leaders of the nascent Medellin drug cartel (Alejandro Edda and Mauricio Mejia), he develops an elaborate scheme to supply the weapons to the gangsters and the narcotics to the guerrillas — who, it turns out, would rather get rich than fight. The immense wealth he amasses as a result delights his loyal wife (Sarah Wright Olsen) but draws the suspicion of local (Jesse Plemons) and national (E. Roger Mitchell) law enforcement officials.
Director Doug Liman and writer Gary Spinelli revel in the improbability of their tale and the law-flouting skills of their protagonist. But after further complications set in, they try to have it both ways where the white powder is concerned, condemning government hypocrisy while letting the flyboy off the hook. Add to this ambivalence their explicit portrayal of the passionate nature of the central pair’s bond and the constant vulgarity that marks the script, and the result is a free-for-all that makes apt fun for few.
Strong sexual content, including graphic scenes of marital lovemaking, a glimpse of full nudity and implied aberrant behavior, some stylized combat and other violence, a drug theme, several uses of profanity, pervasive rough and much crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.