Excerpt: The American is about a character you know almost nothing about. Jack or Edward (George Clooney) is more of a mystery than a character in that way, sent to Italy for one last job, whatever that may be. It’s never very clear. Despite this, we feel his tension and paranoia. The film uses silence brilliantly, nothing extravagant or overdone.
Excerpt: My wife and I are both George Clooney fans and I was really looking forward to watching this. While it isn't a bad film, per se, its measured pacing tried my patience and I couldn't form an emotional connection to the main characters, especially Clooney.
Excerpt: The Movie George Clooney is The American , an assassin and custom weapons fabricator whose dark past has been catching up with him lately. Some angry Swedes are on his trail so he hides out in a small Italian village while awaiting his next assignment. And so he bides his time in this unhurried drama, striking up a friendship with the town priest who tries to dissect this mysterious stranger's character.
Conclusion: 'The American' is truly one of the best films of 2010. A deliberately paced, methodical thriller about a man who is good at what he does, but doesn't want to do it anymore. Full of wonderful performances and beautiful cinematography, it may not be for everyone, but I'm sure many viewers will love it.
Excerpt: As an assassin, Jack is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, Mathilde.
Excerpt: Once you've seen The American the stylish, 70s-inspired one sheet makes perfect sense--this is a movie that bows at the feet of European art films, and isn't so much a thriller as a meditation on hitman movies and cinema history itself. Everything about it, from the placid camerawork and minimal dialogue to the ancient Italian settings, asks you to settle down into an earlier time.
Excerpt: Adapted from Martin Booth’s 1990 novel A Very Private Gentleman , Anton Corbijn’s slow-burning thriller The American has been given an appropriately nondescript title. For the few who encounter George Clooney’s mysterious character, his nationality is the only thing they really know about him; the audience doesn’t get to learn much more, even after spending every minute of the movie with him.
Conclusion: The American isn't an acquired taste, at least not in the traditional sense. It's a divisive, do-or-die, love-it-or-hate-it affair through and through. I was transfixed by its performances, cinematography, pacing, story and structure, but I know others will be turned off by the arguable air of pretension that haunts the proceedings. Universal's Blu-ray release is more clear-cut.