American Made

Tom Cruise stars as Barry Seal, the former TWA pilot who flew $3 billion worth of cocaine into the U.S. for the Medellín Cartel before he was arrested by the DEA in 1983, turned informant, and helped the Reagan administration link the cartel to the left-wing Sandinista government in Nicaragua. His story is incredible, offering a unique vantage point on U.S. backing of the right-wing contras, though screenwriter Gary Spinelli also indulges the discredited theory that Seal was secretly working for the CIA all along. One assumes that Cruise got this film made, yet he’s a terrible fit for the role: he’s always done his best work portraying smart, insightful characters in dramatic stories, but Seal was a yahoo whose sorry escapades are played here for cynical laughs. The pop-culture confluence between this real-life figure and Cruise’s action-hero persona is unfortunate, to say the least. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) directed; with Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, and Caleb Landry Jones.