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The American (2010)

George Clooney , Thekla Reuten , Anton Corbijn  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Clooney, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, Paolo Bonacelli, Irina Björklund
  • Directors: Anton Corbijn
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZG993Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,000 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The American" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Journey to Redemption: The Making of The American
  • Feature Commentary with Director Anton Corbijn

  • Editorial Reviews

    Control's Anton Corbijn gives the crime film a distinctly European twist in this understated thriller (think The Day of the Jackal). A trim George Clooney plays Jack, a hit man who relocates from Sweden to Italy after assailants try to take his life. Jack's handler (Johan Leysen) advises him not to make any friends, which proves easier said than done. Ensconced in medieval Abruzzo, the assassin passes himself off as a photographer (in Martin Booth's novel, A Very Private Gentleman, he claimed to be an illustrator), but he's actually customizing an assault rifle for Mathilde (Thekla Reuten), his female counterpart. Upon his excursions through town, Jack meets Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli), who senses he has something to confess--"A priest sees everything," he explains--but Jack would prefer to share a brandy. He also befriends Clara, a prostitute (Violante Placido, perfectly comfortable with onscreen nudity). What starts out as a sexual relationship deepens as Jack's sensitive side--he has a thing for butterflies--emerges, but then the Swedes discover his hiding place, and Jack develops doubts about his lady friends, leading to a showdown that plays like a scene from an old Western, a debt Corbijn acknowledges when Jack chances upon a broadcast of Once upon a Time in the West. If the conclusion doesn't cut as deep as the director intends, his admirable restraint throughout keeps the tension at a low boil, while Clooney tamps down his charisma to play a dogged professional with redemption on his mind. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

    Product Description

    Academy Award® winner George Clooney is The American in this sexy suspense thriller from director Anton Corbijn. After a job ends more violently than expected, Jack (Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside and accepts one last assignment to construct a deadly weapon for a mysterious contact. But when he pursues a relationship with a beautiful local woman, he may be tempting fate by stepping out of the shadows. Jack soon finds himself in an escalating battle to escape from his secretive past, in the film critics are calling “4 Stars! Riveting and irresistible!” (Joe Neumaier, NY Daily News)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    192 of 222 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, though it's not what you expect.... September 4, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I find 'The American' a hard sell as a film. It's not an action-thriller like the trailers make it out to be, nor would I call it a character drama or art house piece. I can't see either of these audiences appreciating this film on the level it wants you to. I think that's why I like it so much, there's nothing else like it in theaters (at least not right now).

    'The American' is about cold-blooded professional "Jack" who, after being attacked in Sweden with his girlfriend (which ends violently but not the way you think) is directed by his associate to hide out in a small town in Italy. He ends up friending a priest and a prostitute and takes a job building/modifying a weapon for an assassin. Of course his old enemies catch up to him but the movie chooses more to focus on the main character's slow change from cold-professional to 'maybe' redeemable human being. There's some (very good) action and sex but the story's told in a very leisurely fashion with little dialogue. It's more about what's NOT said between and by characters that gives this movie it's weight and suspense.

    The camera work in this film is stunning, and that's a good thing. With the action and unrevealing dialogue taking a back-seat the movies' long, beautiful shots of Italy really set the movie's mood well and gives the sense of isolation and seeming solitude for it's main character. The slow moving scenes of repetition involving the main character constructing a weapon and the brief word exchanges between the main character and another assassin (a terrific Thekla Reuten) perfectly reflects the mindset the film is in.

    George Clooney took a big risk being cast in this film. It's unconventional and will easily put off his usual fans.
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    85 of 100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The American September 9, 2010
    "The American" is a superbly crafted, visually captivating and subtle character driven drama with an incredibly 70's European style and sensibility. Be warned those looking for an action filled generic thriller will be severely disappointed. This is an artful character study about a troubled assassin nearing the end of what we can tell to be a long career. The general tone of the film mirrors that of the characters personality, a tense and emotionally reserved perfectionist. There is not too much emotion through much of the film because like its main character it is hard for him and the film to open up, or let anyone in. This is probably the most suspenseful film I have seen this year. It becomes hard to trust anyone he meets and I found myself becoming just as paranoid as he was at times. The performances were all wonderful, this was the most reserved I have seen Clooney since "Syriana". He played the character with such subtly and depth. I thought the end was fantastic. I felt it was the only fitting conclusion to this story. Although this ending isn't the most original, with the help of Corbijn's meticulous story telling and Clooney's performance I found it to be quite upsetting.

    I can completely understand why some do not like this film but I absolutely loved it. I thought it was so fascinating and so well crafted. It was shot so beautifully and felt so much like it could have been a film by Jean-Pierre Melville. I can easily understand any comparison to "Le Samourai" because they really are very similar. I couldn't disagree more with what a lot of critics have said about this but I can understand that is just isn't for everyone. For me, it is easily the best film I have seen so far this year.
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    18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A niche film for philosophers... November 23, 2010
    By Shinobi
    I felt it was necessary to balance the scales a little after reading the many shallow reviews written by others who were duped by the action-movie marketing. No it's not an action movie, but if you grow up a little & see it as a realistic telling of a man's misspent life then you can come to appreciate how well crafted a film it is. It's not a film for testosterone junkies but if you're an intellectual with a colorful past who can appreciate how a man can "grow up" after age 40 & learn to love life- then you might get it. As other smart reviewers have noted- it's not for the teeming mass of recent boot-camp graduates(I'm paraphrasing), but those of us who've left that far behind us will look upon it with knowing eyes. Enjoy it for the good acting & the beautiful locations & the polished idea it presents. You can't escape your past & that's what should be understood from this movie.
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    16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Thriller January 17, 2011
    With all the advanced advertizing for this movie, my wife and I rented The American and anticipated a fun evening watching an entertaining thriller. That was not what occurred.

    The American is not a "thriller", but a slow moving crime story. This film is similar to the "Spaghetti Westerns" made popular by Clint Eastwood in the 1960s, in that it has a slow moving plot, little dialogue, and highly symbolic scenes and gestures. It is a character story with a moral.

    George Clooney stars as Jack, an assassin who is growing tired of his profession. After being ambushed near a lake in Sweden, Jack flees to a remote village in Italy. He functions with a false name, and takes what he hopes to be his last job, making an assault rifle for a colleague.

    Jack encounters two characters who attempt to reform him: a priest and a prostitute. The priest, Father Benedetto, played by Paolo Bonacelli, senses that he is a criminal (a sinner who still intends to sin) but listens to him and accepts and befriends him.
    The prostitute, Clara, played by Violante Placido, provides him with comfort and understanding. Clara offers Jack unconditional love and Jack slowly falls for her.

    The American is a film for a few. The typical viewer may leave during the middle of the movie or wonder why they stayed. Those who love character studies will likely enjoy the film. I rate this film average.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Nope
    B.O.R.I.N.G. a 30 minute show stretched over 1:40 minutes with not much plot. We watched it all thinking it had to get better, but no.
    Published 1 month ago by barbara brown
    2.0 out of 5 stars Not my taste
    This movie is probably fine of its type, but I much preferred the book. Certai ly George Clooney is capable of more.
    Published 1 month ago by Sonya Lindblom
    1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I have ever watched
    This move was terrible and cheaply made. George Clooney makes a rifle that is to be used by his assassin. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by G. Williams
    2.0 out of 5 stars Did not care for it.
    I could only watch about half the film. I did not care for it at all. My son enjoyed it and had recommended so others may like it.
    Published 2 months ago by Carolyn
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
    George Clooney was amazing in this playing some secret hitman/assassin hiding out and doing jobs. I like the whole aspect of him kinda trying to find himself but not doing that... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Cward55
    5.0 out of 5 stars The American
    I loved it. I love him. Can anyone tell me how in the world chewing gum can be so sexy?
    Published 2 months ago by Gwen
    1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow, uninspired and a waste of time - also insulting!
    This is a terrible film.

    Italians are conceived in basic stereotypes: the knowing local priest, moody and villianous looking young men on the edge of crime, drop dead... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by david
    4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I Doubted the Nay Sayers
    Many have already reviewed this film but I felt the need to put my two cents in because this is much better than most might have you believe.

    Here's the scoop. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Eric Sanberg
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    Very realistic excellent movie. Not the standard Hollywood cooky cutter garbage that is a characteristic of 90% of the movies. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by J. Allen
    1.0 out of 5 stars boring
    very slow couldn't figure it what it was about or where it was going,seemed like all he was doing was making agun for what I didn't know
    Published 3 months ago by carol konyk
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