American Ultra

 (8,838)
6.11 h 35 min2015X-RayR
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star in this explosive action-adventure about a small-town slacker who discovers he's a sleeper agent targeted by CIA operatives.
Directors
Nima Nourizadeh
Starring
Jesse EisenbergKristen StewartTopher Grace
Genres
ActionComedy
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Connie BrittonWalton GogginsJohn LeguizamoBill PullmanTony Hale
Producers
David AlpertRay AngelicSteffen AumuellerRobert Ogden BarnumAnthony BregmanPeter CronMark FasanoKevin Scott FrakesJonathan Gardner
Studio
Lionsgate
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Violencesubstance usealcohol usefoul languagesexual content
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

8838 global ratings

  1. 61% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

HerbReviewed in the United States on February 15, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very fun, like a realistic parody
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I was looking for some fun movies to brighten my mood and I'm a fan of Walton Goggins. On the flip side, I'm very much not a fan of Kristen Stewart and don't really like to see stuff she is in, but the preview and some other reviews pushed me over the line of decision to get the show (the price of $5 to permanently buy it also sure didn't hurt).

I didn't go in expecting much, maybe that's why I was so pleasantly surprised.

The movie plays out like a Bourne Identity parody, only plays serious rather than silly. The acting was decent all the way around. It's somewhat over the top, but not silly and stupid over the top. It's this weird kind of thing where most of the stuff could actually happen if the stars of luck aligned just right for that very moment. There aren't really people living through things they shouldn't, there isn't much in the way of bending physics, it pulled me in in a way I didn't think it would.

Yes, it's a bit out there and not believable and yet it's a weird kind of could happen unbelievable. Much more believable than the nine hundred million to one coincidences so many other movies and shows have happen all the time while trying to play off like they're serious.

I bought a few movies looking for something that was just fun to watch and this ended up being not only the best of them but actually just extremely good overall.

Don't get me wrong, it isn't that serious, they aren't expecting you to take this at exactly face value as a realistic movie or anything. But they do it in a way where it's fun and without the incredible impossibilitiies that so many other shows have happen. So it plays out as if it's a realistic and more serious parody of movies of this type.

I even forgot most of my dislike for Kristen Stewart by the end.

I reserve 5 stars for my absolute top favorite movies of all time. 4 stars is a pretty high rating for me to give out, and I did completely enjoy this movie. It really was a lot more fun than expected.
12 people found this helpful
David S. McQueenReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
CIA on the loose
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Set in a small town in America, present day.

Kristen Stewart is Jesse's girl friend. Jesse (Eisenburg) is a stoner who works in a convenience store. Jesse doesn't know he is a super duper CIA operative but is activated and exhibits superior physical and mental capabilities. One bureaucrat in Langley VA (CIA HQ) doesn't like the idea and wants Jesse dead. Thus the story of Jesse and his girlfriend eluding the CIA begins.

Kudos to Kutcher and his crew for the special effects. The makeup is done well, too. People do bleed and hurt when they are wounded. Bullets striking walls do NOT show sparks and that fact is gratefully NOT exhibited in this film (as most special effects now show).

Yes, there's the obligatory vomiting scene that all Hollywood movies are now required (apparently by law) to depict. And Kristen Stewart is STILL not loveable. The plot is simply not believable. The saving graces are a number of big-name actors and good special effects on top of a lot of action. That pulls the movie out of the proverbial fire.

Watch if you will but do not look for deep insights into the American intelligence community.
8 people found this helpful
DReviewed in the United States on March 10, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
WTH
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Horrible. A movie reserved for "B" Celebrity list trying to make rent. A tired wanna be of a Jason Bourne that slowly cuts your wrist with a butter knife. Slow...even daylight savings time couldn't help this movie to be over quick enough, thus stopping to movie before it killed me by lethargic boredom.
11 people found this helpful
Jack BurtonReviewed in the United States on September 2, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
An action heavy, comedic take on the Bourne "super soldier" idea.
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More fun than I thought, a fun alternative to the "super soldier" movie. It is at the same time more violent and has more humor than Bourne movies. I would describe it as comic book style violence with more blood, but not overly graphic or gory.

Some clever action scenes and a funny enough premise. Good performances all around and the body count climbs quickly. Bonus points for having fun end credits that made me actually stick around to watch. This movie does not hesitate to wipe out its characters you may like in creative, weird, or violent ways. You'll see some action scene kills in this movie that you haven't seen before, and I feel like those are where American Ultra is best: when it surprises. The movie doesn't have a long run time and doesn't overstay its welcome. It gets sets up, builds, and resolves quickly and cleanly. I'm sure there are plot holes but the tone of the movie should help viewers not to care.

Jesse Eisenberg starts off unlikable then quickly becomes interesting. John Leguizamo is great as always in his supporting role. He is quirky and funny and steals the scenes he is in. Topher Grace is definitely unlikable as the film's villain. Great support by the crazy eyed Walton Goggins as a "physical villain" in the movie.

This was a fun viewing on prime. I didn't see it in theaters, but I was happy with the time I spent watching it. I hope they don't do a sequel and just leave this movie to stand on its own without over-explaining the simple premise in a lackluster part 2.
62 people found this helpful
J. P.Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sort of quirky and fun – multi-layered themes
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I thought this was sort of fun. A few surprises here and there. The film is different. It took me a while to figure out a few things, but I like a challenge. American Ultra has a quirky plot, which is one of the reasons I like it.

I've upped my rating from four to five stars. I've watched the film again. It has a mesmerizing effect. There's an eerie quality to the mostly people-less small town where most of the action takes place.

The all-time loser works in a shoddy convenient store that never seems to have any business. In addition to his mindless store duties (which he seems to relish), he creates Apollo Ape comic cartoons while on duty. He seems to have no ambition beyond getting high and remaining safely within the perimeters of his humdrum existence. That all changes when a CIA nutcase decides to terminate an unknown sleeper agent.

The film actually begins after all the action has occurred with the tattered hero detailing to a CIA interrogator what happened during the fateful days. He confesses early that his girlfriend is the best aspect of his life. The romance is beautiful because of what the hero and heroine are willing to sacrifice for each other. (But, that is one goofy ugly ring.)

The lead actor rocks his role. He maintains a certain amount of fragility, vulnerability and gentleness while being forced to lethally defend his life. Actually, the whole cast delivers some great character roles.

Like a good agent, the hero never forgets his one major objective (no matter what happens – like the town being blown to smithereens); that objective is to propose to his girlfriend.

The film is very loosely based upon the CIA's MX-Ultra mind-control experiments. Apollo Ape seems to have a premonition of upcoming events, and he comes to life through his unwitting author.

My main critique is that I don't like all the unnecessary F-bombs. Go ahead – blow peoples' heads off – just don't cuss while you're doing it.

After watching this film, my only goal now in life is to be activated.
joel wingReviewed in the United States on September 26, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Missed opportunity to play with character who is a slacker & a killer
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American Ultra is an action movie starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mike and Kristen Stewart as his girlfriend Phoebe. Mike doesn’t seem like he can do anything. He gets panic attacks when he tries to leave town. He’s self-deprecating and self-medicating. Unbeknownst to even himself he’s actually a trained CIA killer and his slacker lifestyle was simply to cover up his past. The Agency decides he’s a loose end and needs to be eliminated which leads to the action. The writers really could have done a better job with this plot however.

The story is uneven. At first they play it up as a stoner-slacker movie and then it explodes into a full blown action flick. This was a lost opportunity because they could have done a lot more with Mike’s split personality. They did try to play in some jokes but they weren’t really funny. That made it a bit disappointing.
C
2 people found this helpful
Avid readerReviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Tired story
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Perhaps the ending was the redeeming part, but the story is old, and not that well done. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mike, a totally stoned sleeper agent, and Phoebe plays his girlfriend who is actually his handler, of a dormant CIA project. Once Mike becomes activated, and he doesn’t know what is happening, he becomes a super killer agent. So one has times where Mike is totally stoned, and times he is a super agent. And a rogue CIA group wants to shut him down and eliminate him. It is very much over the top and at times very annoying. They go for humor in some of the comedic killings, but too often it simply falls flat. And there is Topher Grace playing the agent who is trying to get him killed, and he is willing to do anything to do so, but really doesn’t have the authority to do so. So it is an over the top overt government group operating uncontrolled; a tired old story. Any simularity to a certain trilogy is an insult to that trilogy.
K. R.Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Better than I was expecting it to be
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Purchased this movie based on a friend's recommendation. Given everything this year - this movie wasn't even on my radar. About the only thing I knew about it is having seen the trailer a few days before buying the movie.

Turned out - it was batter than I expected. Fun action / comedy movie - with some well recognizable actors. Sort of sad to think that Topher Grace has become the stereotypical lame bad guy in most of the movies he is in - but he plays that sort of character well. Not quite on the level of the Bourne Identity, still a fun film to watch. And I consider it something I will rewatch again.

The Bluray was great - there are a few extras on it, a gag reel which is mostly the actors messing up their lines - and a behind the scenes feature on making the movie that is around 40 minutes long. Plus, the ubiquitous audio commentary track (which I haven't listened to yet).

I enjoyed the movie and happy that I've added it to my collection.
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