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The American Reviews

Page 1 of 283
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

September 1, 2010
A weapon smith specializing in custom rifles for assassination purposes falls for a beautiful Italian prostitute despite his extreme trust issues. The American is very much a thriller from the old school; it has a very 70s, continental vibe that reminded me a little of The Day Of The Jackal as the low key, almost laid back approach is a million miles away from the wobbly-cam and SFX orientated efforts of the ADHD generation. It is far more reliant on mood and characterisation and as such finds a perfect central performance from the ever reliable Clooney who can always be trusted to invest his time in projects of quality. His tentative relationship with Violante Placido side steps the usual saccharine of contrived cinematic romances and the story feels measured and honest without ever resorting to unnecessary visual spectacle. It looks fantastic and the air of subtlety and sophistication that permeates the entire film gives it a maturity so often lacking in modern cinema. Like Clooney himself, The American is intelligent, stylish and an all round class act.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2010
Going in, I had heard this was a boring film; on the contrary, it's an understated and authentic story (with a cliche ending, but what can you do?) about the untenable life of an assassin. I think the marketing department really got it wrong with this poster, and a lot of people were looking for more action as a result, but what the complainers missed was a strong performance by George Clooney (complemented by actors unknown in North America) and a minimalist approach to music and dialogue that allowed the camera to do the talking. I really enjoyed this one.
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2012
A tightly wound, perhaps overly aesthetic film that keeps one firmly in its grasp for the entire duration. 'The American' is a character study of a man whose career choice has forced him into an emotional vacuum; he trusts no-one and is forever looking over his shoulder. It's a beautifully shot film, the camera capturing the best of rural Italy and Sweden, the slow pacing of the film adding to the sense of atmosphere. Not a lot happens in the film, but it is strangely engrossing, chiefly because of the ambiguity of it all. One doesn't exactly know the predicament of Clooney, someone is after him, but who? The viewer has confidence in the assassin's dexterity in combat and his awareness of his surroundings, but we also suspect his assailants are just as sharp.

All performances were fine, but something that struck me about the film was that the cast is too attractive and too stylish considering the type of people they are playing. Does George Clooney look right for the role? I'm not sure. Is Thekla Reuten right for her role as a ruthless assassin? I don't think so, she's just too attractive. A slight credibility issue perhaps, but not a particularly pressing one; its healthy supply of sexy, scantily clad European women could certainly be seen as a merit of the film.
Scott G

Super Reviewer

March 24, 2012
The movie runs slowly and in the end doesnt male sense im afraid.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2010
A cinematic marvel. There are some picture-perfect, gorgeous shots but the movie suffers because its plot is cliche' and makes no effort to deviate to make an identity of its own. Not only that, there is little to no dialogue, not for the sake of immersing ourselves into the characters -- the approach is simply done for the sake of art. I wanted to love this movie, but there is way too little substance within "The American" to even call it a movie.
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

November 28, 2011
Clara:  You are a good man but, you have a secret. 

Such a dull and lifeless film that first appears to be an action film, but ends up being nothing more than a waiting game. And what we wait an hour and forty minutes for isn't really worth watching the boring plot progression. The American starts off interesting enough, but quickly goes downhill and never seems to try to keep the audience entertained. I can understand that it was showing a different side to an assassin movie, but there's no denying just how hard this is to watch.

The American is technically well made. It is well shot and has Clooney in the lead role and you know he is going to be great. The Italian scenery is beautiful, as are the women. There's no point of really explaining plot because the word nothing pretty much sums it up.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

September 4, 2010
If you loved La Samurai or Drive, chances are you'll really like The American. BEAUTIFUL cinematography.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2011
I really enjoyed The American, Clooney's perfect acting abilities and Corbijn's eye make a perfect partnership. It very reminiscent of classic Chabrol films, not just because of its location but because of the pace, colour and mood. I think Corbijn was influenced by quite a few old school directors to be honest but the best qualities of the film are very much his own work. I think I said it before when Control came out but it really puzzles me as to why he hadn't directed years ago. Still, long may his directorial career last, that's what I say.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2010
Cast: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Irina Björklund, Björn Granath, Johan Leysen, Filippo Timi, Anna Foglietta

Director: Anton Corbijn

Summary: On the heels of a rough assignment, assassin Jack (George Clooney) declares that his next job will be his last. Dispatched to a small Italian town to await further orders, Jack embarks on a double life that may be more relaxing than is good for him. Although duty will surely call, Jack becomes friends with Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and falls for villager Clara (Violante Placido) in this suspense thriller.

My Thoughts: "Such a beautifully made, slow burning, bittersweet story. Not much action happening here, but yet it keeps your interest. The story doesn't have much of a background story nor does the main character, Jack. You will find limited dialogue as well. But the scenery is so beautiful it makes up for it. What you do learn is how sad and lonely Jack is, and how much he desires someone to love. George Clooney gives a solid performance and is great in his role. For those of you who can not sit through a slow paced film, I would say skip this. This film is for those who prefer a character driven film over a plot driven film."
Matthew S

Super Reviewer

August 18, 2011
"Don't make any friends, Jack. You used to know that." Unlike the western movie being watched in the Italian cafe, everyone's trying to shoot someone from behind. Except our American, Jack. Those days are over for him. He's just trying to survive, both metaphysically and emotionally. Unfortunately he's at the bottom of the food chain, and he knows it. The opening few minutes make that very clear. Quiet, titillating suspense to the very end.
Raymond W

Super Reviewer

September 19, 2010
The American is a rare film of slow suspenseful buildup not blaring, dumb action. The cinematography of Martin Ruhe is so stunningly beautiful that the landscapes take on it's own character that reflects the mood of the whole plot and of the characters themselves. George Clooney is unusually subdued in his role here but the performance is still powerful and real, and Violante Placido and Paolo Bonacelli give excellent performances as well. Breathtaking cinematography, impressive performances and a subtle but powerful score by Herbert Grönemeyer make this an emotionally restrained suspense art film that is worth your while.
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2011
There was a specific type of film - typical of British filmmaking in the 60's where you, as viewer, were seemingly dropped into the film; letting you decipher the characters and their motivations only as the film progressed. The American is that type of film, and being that type of film I can't speak to the who's and what's without revealing things which are better left for the viewer to discover on your own.

So that leaves me talking about style and film craft, all of which are first rate here. The imagery is stark, as befitting the film's content, and it admirably wallows in a rather deliberate pacing, which amps up the feeling of paranoia. There are glimpses of beauty, but they seem almost distant and surreal - just out of reach, which makes perfect sense when combined with the story line.

The use of sound - or should I say the lack of it - is well used, juxtaposing silence with the bustle of a busy street or the crack of a gunshot; as is the use of angles and lighting, especially in the narrow almost Escher like streets and alleys of Castel De Monte where most of the action takes place.

At the heart of the film and carrying most of the heavy lifting is George Clooney, who, as usual is up to the task, while the virtual unknowns in the supporting roles do a fine job as well, especially the all too carnal and secular village priest.

While I viewed the film's ending I felt a bit of a let down, but upon reflection, it fit perfectly with the tone of the film - showing us a man who steps outside his strict code of conduct and dares to become more than who he appears to be - reaching for something that will feed his mind, heart and soul.

If you were expecting gunfights every two minutes, this film may well disappoint you, but as a character study and a mystery, this works very, very well.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

August 31, 2010
The American is really good stuff! I was expecting this sweaty action movie about an assassin doing his one last job before getting out forever but when I got a beautifully-shot, carefully paced and highly suspenseful movie. It does touch on a few cliches this type of movie often falls victim to but it takes away very little from a very minimal story. The American isn't the most engaging movie but its definitely underrated. Well worth the time.
Kristijonas F

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2011
Much like Tom Ford's "A Single Man" and even the Guy Ritchie-directed Dior Homme short-film, this stylish film is assembled with near technical perfection. There is no wrong shot. The picaresque Italian backdrops, the emotional restraint, the self-indulgent shots of rifle assemblies - all these things paint The American as a subdued and meticulous film. And when this restraint and tension is splashed with spurts of horrifying violence, that is when the film truly soars.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2011
Most realistic scenes ever, this movie has tension, and Clooney is incredible. I love this movie, A
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

July 1, 2011
The American is a very interesting thriller that takes the viewer inside the mind of a killer. First off the trailer of this film is very misleading. The film is not an action film, though it has a bit of action near the end. The film is a thriller and more of of a drama film. George Clooney delivers a great performance. The American is a slow paced film of which the story is carefully constructed. Yes, the trailer is misleading, but what you have here with The American is a smartly crafted film with terrific acting. The American had terrific directing, and Anton Corbin knows how to deliver a solid psychological portrait of an assassin. The American is a different type of thriller, and I actually enjoyed the fact that it was misleading into being an action film. There is a bit of action in the film, nut it very minimal, and The American focuses more on being a thriller. A very well made film with a good cast, The American does take time to unfold; but it's still a solid ride. The film is different from the usual "assassin" genre film, and it's a very good film.. The film isn't flawless, but it's definitely worth watching.
The American is one of George Clooney's best performance Syriana. I love the direction that the film took into giving insight into the mind of cold blooded killer, and this will most likely be seen as a classic thriller in twenty years. The American, though flawed is an entertaining, and interesting ride. Worth watching, but the film is a bit slow.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

August 31, 2010
If you're in the mood for it, this movie provides maximum style for your assassin-movie buck. True, the audience sits on the shoulder of a highly-trained killer as he visits beautiful vistas and beautiful women in Europe, but this is no Bourne movie. In fact, I'd call it the anti-Bourne. The movie's brilliance lies in its "boringness" -- it constantly keeps the audience in expectation of action but only dishes it out in small, Nicotine-patch-like doses. Rarely does the movie deviate from the steady "elevated" achieved in the opening moments, a feat that could not be achieved without a killer (see what i did there?) performance from Mr. Clooney.

A winner if you're in the mood for Art House Lite. But if you like lots of action with your Italian babes, put Shoot 'Em Up at the top of your queue instead.
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
George Clooney needs to hire a better agent. I can't recall the last time I saw a movie with him that I thought was really good. Unfortunately this didn't break the pattern. Cool thing though that the beginning is set in Sweden. And I suppose it's all right on the whole. Just very low on action and genuine thrills.
kpn666
kpn666

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2010
No, this is not a hit and run action movie. You all should know Geroge Clooney petter than that!

Instead, its a dark dive into the sad, lonley and dangerous world of a professional spy, gunsmith and killer named Jack, who is becoming more and more disillusioned with his life, and after a close encounter with some professional killers gunning for him, and making a terrible decision in the process, he disappears to Rome and is given another assignment while he disappears from his pursuers.

Undoubtedly, his presence becomes known in the sleepy, picturesque town Castelvecchio in the Abruzzi mountains, the quiet non-descript "Americano" photographer and he forms a friendship with the local inquisitive Priest. But his superiors and partner are always around to remind him that a job needs to be done, which is to customize a rifle to be used in an Assainsation. Then there is also the constant and growing presence of Clara, a prostitute with whom he becomes romantically involved with. After another encounter with his pursuers, Jack decides to call it quits. But a man in his profession can't just simply walk away.

George Clooney plays the quiet, brooding hitman, and obviously he meant to carry the movie, which he does so superbly. The movie is dark, depressing and cold, which is a reflection of Jack's attitude and lifestyle, and not even sex and women can make him forget his tormented life.

We travel to a picturesque mountainside of Italy, a beautiful country place hidden away from the rest of the world, another reflection of the nature of the movie and Jack's character, a hidden persona behind a handsome and unassuming facade - twisted with a beautiful landscape hidden away by the rest of the world, a contrast of opposites.

As I said, its a dark thriller, an intelligent movie to which every motiff and scene and shot has a meaning to be discovered to make the story work and flow, from the birds eye view to the background music to the silence to the words spoken.

Make sure you defintley have a strong cup of coffee and are wide awake when watching this one, and not for the action junkies or other mindless cinema goers, its a thinking man's movie.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2010
Trading the action of Bond and Bourne for a more tense and moody character study, this is a top notch watch with a cool star and an arthouse edge.
The second feature from acclaimed photographer Anton Corbijn is a muted thriller, weighed a little too obviously with existential angst. Still, it's sexy and tense, with a brave, bare performance from George Clooney as an assassin hiding in Italy. Moody and meditative overall, conversations might not have felt so self-consciously weighty had they been amid the motion-sick pandemonium of Bourne, or delivered by more verbally dextrous performers. But Corbijn enjoys silence and master shots - the slow-build over the whizz-bang - and carrying everything is Clooney, in a restrained, stripped-back performance which is subdued and soulful.
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