Release Date: Sept 29, 2017
Run Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
After Credit Scene: NO IMAX Viewing: NO 3D Viewing: NO Reviewer: Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score: 8.0 out of 10
A Non-Spoiler Review
American Made: “A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.” The movie is based on a true story, one that is amazing to see unfold.
What works: A strong cast. The feel of the 80’s is well done with plenty of pop culture references. Those who have seen the Netflix show “Narcos” will enjoy this movie. It tells a side of the narcotics/gun running story not covered in depth in the tv series. The acting is well done and I really enjoyed Tom Cruise’s performance. Let’s face it, Cruise in a plane (or jet) is his comfort zone (pun intended). You pull for every one of the characters knowing that someone is going to lose.
What doesn’t work: There isn’t anything I didn’t care for in the film. Very entertaining.
The movie sticks to its main characters and doesn’t get sidetracked with other subplots. Government illegal actions and the tension and action of being a CIA agent (or not) keeps the viewer engaged. Without giving away the ending, it was well done.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give American Made an 8.0. It is worth seeing in the theater and a popcorn combo. If you haven’t watched Narcos on Netflix, give it a watch.
Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris). Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!
American Made (Universal) – Action/Biography/Comedy
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: The CIA. The White House. Pablo Escobar. One Man Played Them All.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright
Plot: A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.
Running Time: 115 minutes
Tylor: Another Tommy Cruise action film that tries to season cliche story telling with bit comedy. Seems like a “wait for stream” kind of film. Jim: another action hero job for Dorian Gray….I mean, Tom Cruise. Rental. Chris: Apparently, I have a higher tolerance for Couch-hopping Cruise than my counterparts. This one looks like a great time at the theater!
Flatliners (Columbia Pictures) – Drama/Sci-Fi/Horror
Rated PG – 13 for violence and terror, sexual content, language, thematic material, and some drug references
Tag Line: You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Died
Starring: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiefer Sutherland
Plot: Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.
Running Time: 108 minutes
Chris: Did this really need to be remade? I don’t think so. Predicting the box office returns to be DOA, too. Tylor: Mad science + temporary death experience creates pseudo-spiritual awakening until chaos ensues from unforeseen recourse. Its ‘Lazarus Effect’ with some run time dedicated to the “happier side” of playing with death. Jim: The original Julia Roberts/Kiefer Sutherland head flick was an Ok thriller. This doesn’t seem different enough to warrant a viewing from me.
Super Dark Times (The Orchard) – Drama/Thriller
Tag Line: None
Starring: Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappucino
Plot: Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence.
Running Time: 100 minutes
Jim: Interested. Starts out looking like another ET knockoff, but turns darker. Chris: A tale of morality and mortality. Looks absolutely haunting, and one that I will be checking out for sure. Tylor: A young man fails to keep it together after a terrible incident. Now his world and his psyche begins to crumble. I’m actually interested in seeing how this story unfolds.
A Question of Faith (Pure Flix) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements
Tag Line: Divided by loss. United by faith.
Starring: Richard T Jones, Kim Fields, C. Thomas Howell
Plot: When tragedy strikes three families, their destiny forces them on a converging path to discover God’s love, grace and mercy as the challenges of their fate could also resurrect their beliefs.
Running Time: 104 minutes
Tylor: It follows the same narrative style as most christian movies these days. One problems that several different families deal with in different ways, but there only one true solution. Not always the best films, but generally touching with a nice lesson. Jim: Looks well-made and worthwhile, but still not enough to get me into a theater. Chris: I’ll save this one for my Tuesday community group.
Lucky (Magnolia Pictures) – Drama
Tag Line: None
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston
Plot: The spiritual journey of a ninety-year-old atheist.
Running Time: 88 minutes
Chris: Looks quite off-beat in a good way. The one-liner in the doctor’s office had me belly-laughing. I am sold. Tylor: I personally enjoy these “extraordinary life of” style movies. Mix in some wholesome humor and its got my attention for an hour and a half. Jim: RIP great character actor Harry Dean Stanton—this looks like a nice sendoff for him.
Literally, Right Before Aaron (Screen Media Films) – Comedy/Drama
Tag Line: Her wedding. His funeral.
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Justin Long, Lea Thompson
Plot: A young man attends the wedding of his ex-girlfriend.
Running Time: 105 minutes
Jim: An enjoyable-looking rental. Chris: I like Cobie better as Maria Hill. Tylor: Another type-cast awkward Justin Long rom-com. I can’t so I don’t love him, but this is really more a “date night on the couch” movie.
Til Death Do Us (Novus Content) – Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving domestic abuse, violence, some sexuality and language
Tag Line: When your marriage vows could mean your life.
Starring: Taye Diggs, Annie Ilonzeh, Stephen Bishop
Plot: Michael and Madison Roland had planned to spend the rest of their lives together, until one day Michael’s controlling ways turned their perfect marriage. With the help of her best friend, Madison decides to get away. After adopting a new identity, she meets Alex Stone and learns to love again. All is well, until Michael discovers Madison’s whereabouts, and recreates the nightmare she once lived all over again.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Tylor: This narrative is so over done, I’m already calling it. Ex kills the new lover, but then gets killed by leading lady. Not unwatchable, but we definitely have seen it before. Jim: In honor of Fatal Attraction’s 30th anniversary, its latest clone. Chris: I am with Tylor and Jim on this one. That said, I would not hesitate to pop this one some Friday night with my favorite comfort food.
Tickets Purchased: Two for Super Dark Times (Tylor and Chris) and One for Lucky (Jim)