The American - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The American Reviews

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
November 29, 2010
At its best, the film's silence and unrevealing mood of observation remind you of 'The Passenger' or Paulo Sorrentino's 'Consequences of Love'...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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September 21, 2010
This movie is so serious about its pretensions that none of it makes any sense.
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
September 7, 2010
A textbook thriller...The excitement of the movie comes from its technical polish.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 3, 2010
While cinema-lovers can cheer a director willing to buck the fashion for sensory overload, The American can't rightly be called a success.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
September 3, 2010
The good news, though, is that eventually The American does get to where it wants to be, and becomes a rather improbably but genuinely moving story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 3, 2010
If you're expecting a star-propelled thriller with the usual bob, weave and one-two punch, this isn't your ticket.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
September 3, 2010
Early on, the priest explains to Jack, 'You have the hands of a craftsman, not an artist.' The American is the product of such hands as well: lovely in execution, if somewhat wanting in inspiration.
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Caryn James
Newsweek
September 3, 2010
Even on its own artsy terms, the film falls apart long before the end.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
September 2, 2010
This is Serious Clooney, starring in a deliberative film that could have sprung from mid-'60s France or Italy.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 2, 2010
The dread in the film is so quickly forgotten. What remains is an urge to fly to Italy, rent an apartment in a medieval city and invent your own adventure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 2, 2010
Anyone who understands what The American offers should come away pleased with the final product.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
September 2, 2010
Mr. Clooney's performance as Jack -- a last name would have made him less existential -- keeps you attentive, and the drama's seriousness finally earns your respect.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 2, 2010
Clooney ... shucks off his movie-star charm and lets us see something quite different: an unsmiling man with a set jaw, an unblinking stillness and an air of quiet mystery.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 2, 2010
[It] has a cold, compelling focus. And -- like its hero -- when it does finally pull the trigger, it soundly hits the bull's eye.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 2, 2010
Still, The American is remote to a fault. Like Jack (George Clooney), it seems in danger of turning to stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
September 2, 2010
George Clooney produced and stars in this international spy thriller, which he probably thought of as existential but which registers onscreen as a giant bore.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 2, 2010
At some point in their careers, most male actors want to play (a) Hamlet, and (b) a hit man. I hope that Clooney has gotten "b" out of his system.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Dana Stevens
Slate
September 1, 2010
If you're willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type, The American is a great pleasure to watch, an astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
September 1, 2010
Takes itself very seriously, even though the story is filled with the same Bond-acious vixens and prostitutes with hearts of gold as any clichéd spy film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
September 1, 2010
It's difficult not to want Corbijn's mournful seriousness to ease up a bit. But The American is nevertheless transfixing in its weary, muted grace.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 1, 2010
The American's muted pleasures rest heavily on the sustained air of mystery around Clooney, and Corbijn, a pristine stylist, keeps the atmosphere nice and thick.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Robert Koehler
Variety
September 1, 2010
Clooney may not have a hit this time, but he continues to apply considerable intelligence to his work as an actor, still trying to deliver something fresh and interesting for his fans.
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Sam Adams
Salon.com
September 1, 2010
What redeems the movie, and then some, is the soulful weariness of Clooney's performance.
| Original Score: B+
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 1, 2010
The American is never less than gorgeous. And the oblique approach it takes to what is a fairly standard plot creates a mood of suspense quickened by the accelerated heartbeat of Herbert Grönemeyer's unobtrusive music.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 1, 2010
Clooney turns in an intense performance that owes little to his usual roguish charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 1, 2010
I enjoyed the film for its surfaces most of the way. Its pictorial assurance is undeniable. So is its destiny as an audience-divider.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
September 1, 2010
A pretentious Euro-snore that should occasion a fraud prosecution for any marketer who calls it a thriller -- and which stars an actor who seems to wish his name were Jorg Clooné.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 1, 2010
Corbijn makes the familiar strange, focusing on details other filmmakers would gloss over.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
September 1, 2010
It does for hit men what Up in the Air did for frequent-flying corporate terminators, minus the comic tang.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
September 1, 2010
Surely the dreariest thriller of the year.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 1, 2010
The film's many pleasures are in its slow reveals, the dangerously enchanting scenery being among them. There is much of Roman Polanski's cold eye for beauty in Corbijn's work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 1, 2010
The American, a movie as coiled as a snake and as still as a sleepy villa, is the rare grownup thriller that knows the link between peace and danger and the tension that comes from both.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 1, 2010
The American strains so hard to be European -- a slower, more intellectual cloak-and-dagger melodrama -- that it winds up feeling Canadian: more bloodless and chilly than thrilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 1, 2010
Clooney plays the enigmatic title character with mature confidence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 1, 2010
The film from Dutch director Anton Corbijn is as meticulous, enigmatic, and restrained as its protagonist.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 1, 2010
Given the paucity of serious adult moviemaking that shows up in American megaplexes, it's almost ungrateful to turn up your nose when one arrives. But this isn't that serious a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 1, 2010
Here is a gripping film with the focus of a Japanese drama, an impenetrable character to equal Alain Delon's in Le Samourai, by Jean-Pierre Melville.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
September 1, 2010
With Clooney it's an interesting project. Without him, it would simply be boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 1, 2010
Crisp, compact and cryptic, The American is a standard-issue hit-man thriller tailor made for George Clooney.
| Original Score: 3/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 1, 2010
It takes you back to an era of arty, angst-ridden European existential pulp movies that were like abstract essays on the genre.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 1, 2010
The American ends the summer not with a bang but an existential whimper.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 1, 2010
While many of its elements whet our appetite and make the film well worth seeing, The American doesn't manage to deliver a fully satisfying meal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
August 31, 2010
A film that speaks so softly it ends up saying nothing at all.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Mark Olsen
Village Voice
August 31, 2010
Despite its director's disinterest in letting people in, there is nevertheless something exciting about a movie this uncompromised, in which the big change from the book to the screen actually toughens up the story instead of watering it down.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 31, 2010
What did George Clooney see in this script?