American Made – 4K UHD Review

American Made is a 2017 American biographical crime film that was directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli and stars Tom Cruise, Domhall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Meija, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jesse Plemmons. The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who flew missions for the CIA and became a drug smuggler for the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal becomes an informant for the DEA.

Originally released in Europe on August 23, 2017, and then in the United States on September 29, 2017. It is the first film directed by Liman to be released by Universal Pictures since The Bourne Identity in 2002, and played in 2D and IMAX in select theaters. Overall, it has grossed $133 million worldwide against its operating budget of $50 million and received generally positive reviews from film critics, who praised Cruise’s performance.

The Film Itself (4.5/5):

When American Made was in its theatrical run, I’m going to be honest as I really didn’t have any interest in seeing the film.  However, having it show up at my doorstep for review from our friends over at Universal Pictures, I had some hope that it was a good movie.  I was genuinely surprised that my wife and I really enjoyed this movie as the promotional material that advertised the film really didn’t make it look all that great.  With this film, we’re given a story of someone who is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make some decent cash working a government job, and he makes use of added opportunities that fall within to ultimately end up swimming in cash.  Albeit what he was doing was considerably illegal, but the realization of the risk added with the lax attitude of those who are surrounded by drugs within their lives made for quite the experience.  The only thing that I really didn’t care for was Tom Cruise’s attempts at making jokes in this movie.  They really weren’t all that funny and you could tell he was forcing himself to make these cracks that were written into the script.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Even though American Made is an upscaled 4K release, the overall picture quality of this release was absolutely amazing.  Offering not only a clean and clear look into his live in the US, but some considerably gorgeous views of the beaches and tropic life as he traveled back and forth from Panama.  The overall colorization of the scenes were very vibrant and popped as the movie played out across my living room television.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with a DTS:X audio track, American Made offers not only an all out immersive experience for those that are able to make use of the technology, but a considerably impactful one too.  With the films musical accompaniment fitting rather perfectly with the pacing of the film along with the roar of the engines of the airplanes as he would fly, it did an absolutely fantastic job at making my wife and I feel as if we were right there in the middle of everything.

The Packaging (3/5):

American Made comes packaged in your standard two-disc UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film.  The 4K UHD copy of the film features a piece of artwork that matches that of the case art while the included Blu-ray copy of the film features no artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text.  A digital copy redemption pamphlet has also been included, as well as a slipcover during the initial print run that features artwork that matches that of the case art.

  

Special Features (4/5):

Just like any other standard 4K UHD release, American Made does not include any additional content on the 4K UHD disc.  All of the special features are made available on the included Blu-ray disc.  Included with this release is:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • American Storytellers
  • Cruise & Liman: A Conversation
  • In The Wings
  • Shooting American Made
  • Flying High
  • The Real Barry Seal

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: DTS:X

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English: DTS Headphone:X

Spanish: DTS 5.1

French (Canada): DTS 5.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 115 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I was completely surprised with American Made.  Like I noted earlier, when the film was undergoing its theatrical run, I had absolutely no interest in seeing this film; but, I can honestly say that thanks to Universal giving us the opportunity to review it, I am really glad that I did sit down to watch this movie.  Generally speaking, the storyline is decently fun and does a really great job at keeping your attention as it progresses.  The overall visual and audible experience that the 4K UHD release offers is beautifully done and really does a great job at presenting the story.  There’s a pretty decent amount of special features that have been provided that offers a deeper look into the work that made the film available.  If you’re considering picking this title up for your collection, I’d recommend it.  American Made will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD beginning on January 2, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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