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'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.Read more ›
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.
The film opens with a prologue in snowy Sweden, where Jack (Clooney) is cottage-going. There's a twist here that has been spoiled in some reviews, but is most effective when you don't know about it, so I'll refrain from saying anything. The key is that it sends our assassin title character on a trip to a small Italian town to await his next assignment from his boss, Pavel (Johan Leysen). Soon, a new assignment arrives, in the form of assistance to another assassin (Thekla Reuten), and legacies of his last mission also begin to appear. Whiile there Jack ponders the state of his life, sort-of-befriends a priest (Paolo Bonacelli), and starts to fall in love with a really, really luscious prostitute (Violante Placido).
It's familiar material, but it's played well. The director knows how to use the camera effectively, positioning it in ways that keep the audience on guard for something about to happen. If I came away with a single impression, it was a strong desire to visit the town in which this was filmed, because it looks stunning.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're looking for a quiet, thoughtful yet with an edge of suspense, movie and you like George Clooney - well this is it. With minimal dialog Mr. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MickiRom
this is a relaxing interesting story with good Clooney and while in isolated small hill top Italian town it is interesting and transporting and gal pal a very nice lookerPublished 2 months ago by arbies
I was actually pretty disappointed with this movie.
While I do enjoy most George Clooney acting, this wasn't a winner for me. Read more
A most enjoyable movie with understated, yet good acting, and a decent plot that did not insult one's intelligence. .Published 2 months ago by DGW
If you like watching paint dry, then this movie might be for you. The "story" could have been told in 5 minutes (yes, it is THAT simple! Read morePublished 3 months ago by fleastime