The American (2010)


The American is the story of an American (get it?) assassin who works alone, and wants out of his life as a hired killer. After befriending a local priest in the Italian village he holes up in, the assassin is tracked. Will he be the next to be assassinated?

No, I’m thinking not. Unless the film gets all whiny, which it could, since it stars the increasingly old looking George Clooney. He’s got the big ears and neck of a man his age. The rest? Flawless. I do like that his main talent seems to be for building guns. Seems like the most useful skill for an assassin would be to make your own untraceable gun.


The Scoop

The trailer bills director Anton Corbijn as visionary, but I’ve never heard of him, and his credentials seem to be in the music video area. I will give him credit, what I’ve seen of the film doesn’t look like the Michael Bay inspired directing you normally get from music video directors. Still, visionary? I can see. Does that kind of vision count? I’m totally telling people I’m visionary from know on.

Who’s It For?

No rating yet, it looks like there may be some nudity, so G!

Movie Release Date

September 1, 2010

Who’s In It?

George Clooney… Jack
Violante Placido… Clara
Thekla Reuten… Mathilde
Paolo Bonacelli… Father Benedetto

Interesting Fact

Clooney spends much of his time at his Lake Como home, which is near where he shot The American while in Italy.

Related Movies

Michael Clayton, Ocean’s Eleven, The Bourne Identity.

What’s Good About It?

The trailer looks cool. I’m a big fan of Italian anything (especially women) and it’s an underutilized country as far as filmmaking goes. It’ll be nice to see an espionage film set in the Italian countryside.

What’s Bad About It?

It looks a bit midlevel, and I don’t see it being all that action oriented. No doubt there’ll be a twist of some sort, which is fine, as long as it’s a good twist that I don’t see coming a mile away. I’m looking at you, Shutter Island!

Our Clever Prediction

It has a limited release to start, which, with the star power of Clooney, should expand to include most areas. Don’t expect Avatar numbers, but decent critical reception and a good enough box office to say it’s a success.

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Brian brings to the site 4 years of online journalism, and attitude. Brian has probably offended you in his movie previews, and for that he won't apologize. Ladies, Brian is in a committed relationship with a woman who, thankfully, doesn't read Starseeker. It is this reluctance to read his work that keeps their relationship going. God bless America.


  1. Most “one last job” movies are high-energy action flicks or thrillers driven by a veteran actor playing a character with a troubling back story, but Anton Corbijn’s “The American” operates as a character-driven mood piece, a precise and quiet visual portrayal of a man trying to quit his dangerous profession who is constantly haunted and pervasively paranoid.

    Way different from the Clooney-led spy thrillers of the ’90s, “The American” broods and ruminates under the Corbijn’s precise visual style. Those expecting Clooney’s return to suave criminal mastery will find themselves waiting and waiting for this film to pop. It doesn’t. There is no mêlée of Bourne-style assassin-chasing amid the hillside towns of the Italian countryside, so for many, shots of Clooney doing push-ups and putting together a rifle will become tedious.

    But “The American” doesn’t languish quite as much as it might seem, though it certainly does at times. After a jarring opening sequence in Sweden when Clooney’s character Jack realizes he’s being targeted, Jack quietly makes his way to Rome and then Abruzzo, where a job awaits him even though he’s clearly ready to quit and he’s still shaken from Sweden. Shots of him maneuvering the gorgeous countryside ensue as well as aforementioned exercise. In a town in the Abruzzo area, he meets Mathilde, his client, for whom he will build a custom rifle as that’s his line of work. In the process, he becomes close with a gorgeous prostitute named Clara (Violante Placido) and comes to believe he’s being pursued by the Swedes, causing paranoia to engross him.

    Corbijn, who directed the 2007 black-and-white biopic “Control” about the short life of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, possesses a calculated and engaging visual style. His shots are ideally framed and pull our eye everywhere it needs to go. Considering dialogue is sparse, the ability for a scene to say a lot without saying anything is crucial and Corbijn does just that. He also plays well off audience expectation for this genre and twists the story in fresh and interesting ways.

    Corbijn and Clooney are clearly on the same page, even if it means the film puts too much emphasis on the non-verbal and the dauntingly slow build-up to the climax. As much as the emphasis is tone, tone and tone, we come to understand Jack (who later decides he’s Edward) extremely well and see his conflict between sticking to his sinful nature as a means to survive and just letting it all go because it bottles him up inside. You can critique the method all you like and complain about the film’s choice to lean towards drama instead of action, but Corbijn possesses a good measure of talent and “The American” will leave a profound impression.

    – MooMovie Guy
    More Reviews at Moomovie – 100% Free Best + Latest Online Movies.

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