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'American Made' review: Tom Cruise is back in maverick form


The superstar actor has rarely been so loose, wild and inspired.
His performance here is arch and funny, self-aware without the wink. Barry Seal was a real person with a wild life story, so wild as to be unbelievable; some of what we see on the screen seems false when it’s probably true, while other stuff that seems true might be false. The tagline on the movie poster reads “Based on a true lie,” so the point here is to smudge fact and fiction, with screenwriter Gary Spinelli and Cruise colluding to present it as a tall tale, a fisherman’s fib, a comical conspiracy theory involving the CIA, the DEA, the FBI, the White House, the state police, the local sheriff, Central American dictators, the Medellin Cartel and a kind of dumb guy from Baton Rouge.

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