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Proud to buy 'American'

by jmaloni
Tue, Sep 28th 2010 04:00 pm
Review by Matt Crouch

*What you are about to read is a cinematic review. Each movie is critiqued based on its rating-pending (PG or R), Genre (Comedy or Thriller), the acting, the score, the plot, and the overall quality of the movie. Hence, just because there are explosions, blood, or you think George Clooney/Megan Fox is "hot" does not mean it's a good film. Or does it. ... You be the judge.*

‘The American' (2010)


George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, Johan Leysen.

Director:  Anton Corbijn -- "Linear," "Control"

Written by: Martin Booth -- "Evolution's Child"


In the aftermath of a job gone awry, an American hitman, Jack (Clooney), retreats to the Italian countryside, where he befriends a local priest and strikes up an unexpected romance while awaiting the details of his next assignment. In the process of reaching out for a little human contact, Jack makes himself more vulnerable than ever.


Basically, Clooney is a specialized arms dealer. You get the sense that he's been doing it for a while. ... And he's getting old and tired of doing it. But he doesn't enjoy it like the usual cinematic assassin does. He's lonely and always paranoid. So what does he do? Hides in a villa, where he does his craftsmanship, and finds hookers to cope with the loneliness. He eventually finds some sort of "love," but his work keeps getting in the way.

The movie is actually done very well -- you feel for Clooney in a sad, weird, awkward way -- but it's put together very slowly, so you know exactly the character of man he is. The way he works, the way he moves, and especially his thought process -- everything.

This is probably one of the best acting jobs I've seen Clooney do in a long, long time.

The only concerns I have with the film are that there's definitely too much nudity for my comfort (very European), and the ending looked like the direction and script didn't know where to go, so it just ... ended. You'll know when you see it. I usually don't like spoiling. (You'll have to request a personal review for that).

But, overall, it was a cool, slow-moving semi-thriller based on a halfway decent novel, with very good directing.


If you're a 50-year-old, lonely man hoping one day you'll become an American James Bond, who gets swept away by a young Italian prostitute. Almost sort of like Daniel Craig if he was cast in "Pretty Woman-2010."

3 out of 5 stars

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