Presenting itself as a thriller, The American is actually much more of a think-piece. Unfortunately, the barest requirement for a think-piece is that it gives you something to think about, and this movie does not. Sitting through this film was like sinking in quicksand. With the insufferably slow pace, the intense but simultaneously meaningless expressions, the long shots of landscapes for no reason other than that they look pretty, I quickly began to suspect that I had put on a Terrence Malick movie by mistake. Even as it reached its conclusion, which contains the second, and final action scene, I honestly felt like nothing of any importance had happened. I love George Clooney, but his talents are totally wasted here. He's not charming, he's not funny, he isn't even cool, something he can usually pull off in his sleep. Throughout the film he looks so bored and depressed that I swear he wished he was anywhere else. The twist is predictable, the dialogue frustratingly inane and the incongruously plinky-plonky piano music feels like it was lifted from a completely different film, and probably a much better one. It might work as an Italian travelogue, but as cinematic entertainment, it's a dismal failure.