The American - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The American Reviews

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October 23, 2016
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.
October 10, 2016
Here is a good example to not to believe the rating on Flixster. I've seen way more lousy films rated much higher than this.

More of a thriller-drama, The American slows it down just right, which i suspect will be too slow for many modern ADD viewers. It was quite well-shot and has some pretty suspenseful moments.

I felt the performances are a bit too muted though, and its definitely not Clooney's best work. And i do not understand the need to kill his partner just cause they were followed.
½ August 25, 2016
If you think silence is as meaningful as words, like to watch the patterns and movements of a deliberate but tortured mind, and of course have an interest in the hidden world of assassins, with a ill-fated love story thrown in... this the movie for you.
August 13, 2016
I didn't "get it." Why was the first girl killed? Why was the 2nd girl killed by her boss? Some stunning photos only partially make up for plot issues.
August 8, 2016
I liked this. Underrated in my opinion.
August 7, 2016
Painfully slow and thoroughly disengaging, The American lacks any must see moments to make up for the pace.
½ August 6, 2016
If you don't like the style or pace of an Italian film, then you won't like anything about 'The American'. Mr. Clooney does a marvelous job portraying an assassin working to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact. The pace of the film allows the suspense to grow as the story progresses. Beautiful scenery and the gorgeous Violante Placido contribute to an impressive film.
June 12, 2016
One of the better adaptations of 'Le Samourai'
½ June 6, 2016
If you like Italy this is a nice snapshop of it, even though the movie is not that exciting as it should
½ May 30, 2016
The American is a refreshing film to see in a time when most movies are sequels, spin-offs, or big-budget blockbusters. It is a character study of an assassin, played by George Clooney, taking place in the beautiful hills of Italy. The cinematography is amazing, and the screenplay allows for many overhead shots of villages and mountains to be seen. The film's premise and storyline are reminiscent of an Italian film from the 1960s, and it captures most of the magic of that era.
May 14, 2016
I wasn't into it. I guess Cloney wasn't working for me this time around.
½ May 9, 2016
I watched this a while ago, but I remember liking it. I'd say a bit on the boring side though- I can see why the audience rating is much worse.
April 24, 2016
Taut, but completely forgettable.
March 7, 2016
Tight movie- prime Clooney. Stellar direction
January 23, 2016
Entretenida,inesperada,algo lenta. 7/10
½ January 1, 2016
The scenery was pretty.
December 12, 2015
Fantastic cinematography, but slowly paced and very low stakes for a spy thriller.
½ November 30, 2015
The American is a brand new plastic Easter egg: pretty on the outside, but completely hollow. So brooding it?s nearly laughable, and its ethics are much too shallow for such an artfully slow movie. It does look good, though.
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2015
Corbijn focuses on slowly building a suffocating tension in this quiet, contemplative and technically astonishing drama that grabbed me from the first scene till the very last - and it benefits from a more than appropriate low-key performance by George Clooney.
½ August 15, 2015
subdued, overly so. borders on boring.
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