American Made ★★★½

The most unexpected needle drop of the year is when AMERICAN MADE underscores a montage to a medley from HOOKED ON CLASSICS. Which seems oddly fitting considering AMERICAN MADE is like the HOOKED ON CLASSICS of GOODFELLAS homages: goofy and semi-disreputable, but so energetic and well paced I didn't much care. Doug Liman *gets* Tom Cruise is a way most of his recent collaborators don't, putting his boyish charm and insatiable eagerness to please to great use here. The movie may be the most effective use of the Tom Cruise persona since MAGNOLIA. As for the rest of the movie, I'm not sure I could defend it artistically, but it's pretty frickin' rad.