The American is like a paperweight sitting on your head for two hours.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
The American ends the summer not with a bang but an existential whimper.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The American is never less than gorgeous. And the oblique approach it takes to what is a fairly standard plot creates a mood of suspense quickened by the accelerated heartbeat of Herbert Gronemeyer's unobtrusive music.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Clooney plays the enigmatic title character with mature confidence.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
While cinema-lovers can cheer a director willing to buck the fashion for sensory overload, The American can't rightly be called a success.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Given the paucity of serious adult moviemaking that shows up in American megaplexes, it's almost ungrateful to turn up your nose when one arrives. But this isn't that serious a movie.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Despite its director's disinterest in letting people in, there is nevertheless something exciting about a movie this uncompromised, in which the big change from the book to the screen actually toughens up the story instead of watering it down.
Mark Olsen - Village Voice
The American, a movie as coiled as a snake and as still as a sleepy villa, is the rare grownup thriller that knows the link between peace and danger and the tension that comes from both.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Mr. Clooney's performance as Jack -- a last name would have made him less existential -- keeps you attentive, and the drama's seriousness finally earns your respect.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
It does for hit men what Up in the Air did for frequent-flying corporate terminators, minus the comic tang.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
This is Serious Clooney, starring in a deliberative film that could have sprung from mid-'60s France or Italy.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
If you're expecting a star-propelled thriller with the usual bob, weave and one-two punch, this isn't your ticket.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
The good news, though, is that eventually The American does get to where it wants to be, and becomes a rather improbably but genuinely moving story.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
Here is a gripping film with the focus of a Japanese drama, an impenetrable character to equal Alain Delon's in Le Samourai, by Jean-Pierre Melville.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
I enjoyed the film for its surfaces most of the way. Its pictorial assurance is undeniable. So is its destiny as an audience-divider.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
George Clooney produced and stars in this international spy thriller, which he probably thought of as existential but which registers onscreen as a giant bore.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
The film from Dutch director Anton Corbijn is as meticulous, enigmatic, and restrained as its protagonist.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
The American strains so hard to be European -- a slower, more intellectual cloak-and-dagger melodrama -- that it winds up feeling Canadian: more bloodless and chilly than thrilling.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
With Clooney it's an interesting project. Without him, it would simply be boring.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Clooney may not have a hit this time, but he continues to apply considerable intelligence to his work as an actor, still trying to deliver something fresh and interesting for his fans.
Robert Koehler - Variety
A pretentious Euro-snore that should occasion a fraud prosecution for any marketer who calls it a thriller -- and which stars an actor who seems to wish his name were Jorg Cloone.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Crisp, compact and cryptic, The American is a standard-issue hit-man thriller tailor made for George Clooney.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The film's many pleasures are in its slow reveals, the dangerously enchanting scenery being among them. There is much of Roman Polanski's cold eye for beauty in Corbijn's work.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
This movie is so serious about its pretensions that none of it makes any sense.
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
A film that speaks so softly it ends up saying nothing at all.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
A textbook thriller...The excitement of the movie comes from its technical polish.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
The dread in the film is so quickly forgotten. What remains is an urge to fly to Italy, rent an apartment in a medieval city and invent your own adventure.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
What redeems the movie, and then some, is the soulful weariness of Clooney's performance.
Sam Adams - Salon.com
If you're willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type, The American is a great pleasure to watch, an astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Anyone who understands what The American offers should come away pleased with the final product.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
What did George Clooney see in this script?
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
It's difficult not to want Corbijn's mournful seriousness to ease up a bit. But The American is nevertheless transfixing in its weary, muted grace.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
Surely the dreariest thriller of the year.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
Still, The American is remote to a fault. Like Jack (George Clooney), it seems in danger of turning to stone.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
While many of its elements whet our appetite and make the film well worth seeing, The American doesn't manage to deliver a fully satisfying meal.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
A lush canvas of verdant riverbanks and dim, foreboding streets at night. The anxious stillness gets under your skin.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Outstanding cinematography and score and excellent acting make for a remarkable movie. The American is a must-see.
- We Got This Covered
That the film through these slow, poetic paces remains engrossing, engaging, and ultimately oddly affecting is a testament to Clooney's terrific performance.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
George Clooney delivers a strong but subdued performance in this slow-paced character study.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
The filmmakers seem to have forgotten that it takes more than a brooding assassin to engage the audience for the full runtime of the film. Moreover, if that character isn't involved in an interesting narrative, they'll have even less reason to care.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
It may not be the fast-paced assassin thriller you might expect, but it benefits more from that than anything else.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
When the story is threadbare and the picture lacks dynamism, all that's left is the character study but Corbijn's technique frustrates any attempt to truly get under Jack's skin. Consequently The American is often as non-descript as its title.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
An arty Euro thriller that favours style over excitement and character over plot.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
suggests that we've lost everything but our desire to be better--and in the end, it lets us decide whether that's good enough.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
If you want to see a carefully paced, well-designed and beautifully shot suspense-thriller that hits all of its marks, then you could do far worse than The American.
Mike Edwards - What Culture
... for audiences that prefer to be absorbed by films rather than exhausted by them, The American offers a rare experience.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
The camera loves Clooney, of course, but it also loves watching him building a custom rifle in his shop...
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
For all of its precise direction and beautiful imagery, it's a classic genre picture, and a damn good one at that...
Sean Axmaker - Parallax View
Listless Euro-ennui pastiche
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
While it feels like nothing much is happening, there's a lot going on under the surface, and a real sense of growing suspense.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
There's a lot to value, even if it drinks a little too deeply from the well of stock Euro-assassin-movie characters and situations.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Sparse, tense, beautiful... and strangely empty. The dialogue, plot and characterisation are nowhere near as deep or profound as the filmmakers seem to think they are.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
Partway between icy existentialism and retro romantic thriller, The American wants to have its cake and eat it.
Sophie Ivan - Film4
The American is always coolly watchable, but the suspicion remains that there's rather less here than meets the eye.
Trevor Johnston - Radio Times
It purrs evenly, like the engine of a luxury automobile, with a cool, sleek satisfaction at how stylish it is. That said, it is pretty stylish...
Tim Evans - Sun Online
As with watching the equally compact, detached Cary Grant, it's a great pleasure just to see the stone-faced Clooney going about his work exuding mystery and inner torment...
The American is not a film which explains everything. That's half the beauty of it.
Chris Roberts - Uncut Magazine [UK]
At its best, the film's silence and unrevealing mood of observation remind you of 'The Passenger' or Paulo Sorrentino's 'Consequences of Love'...
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
Anton Corbijn's follow-up to Control is beautifully shot and features a terrific performance by George Clooney but the predictable script doesn't add anything new to an overly familiar story.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The greatest singular joy of The American is the fact that it's less complicated than Clooney's 2007 thriller Michael Clayton and we're never sure if George is going to explode into life.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
The story is startlingly cliched yet told in a pretentious and ponderous art-house style that suggests the filmmakers thought they were making something meaningful.
- Daily Express
You've heard of action movies. The American is an inaction movie...
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
The American ditches both action and thrills for moody introspection and glacial pacing, rounded off with pretentious existential posturing.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
One of the most annoying things about the film is its smugness.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
Corbijn does inert tableaux icy with enigma. Aerial shots of ribbony roads; overlapping facial close-ups Bergmanesque with portent.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
A muted thriller, weighed a little too obviously with existential angst. Still, sexy and tense, with a brave, bare performance from Clooney.
Nev Pierce - Empire Magazine
Haunting and insistent, The American is one of the best films of the year.
Matt Bochenski - Little White Lies
In terms of tone, character and fatalism, an American rendition of Jean-Pierre Melville's seminal existential Euro-noirs.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
A pretty standard thriller framework, but one that Corbijn and Clooney infuse with mood and atmosphere, eliciting satisfying results.
Steve Newall - Flicks.co.nz
Effectively an old samurai movie crossed with a Visit Italy brochure.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Emprega uma premissa de thriller para realizar um instigante estudo de personagem.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
The American is a character piece, and in this it succeeds terrifically.
Paj Sandhu - Moviedex
In this astonishingly beautiful piece of cinema art, George Clooney plays a steely and introspective assassin hiding out in Italy, awaiting orders and contemplating his past deeds.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
Those destined to fall under the selective spell of The American will walk away thinking they have seen one of the better releases of 2010. I am inclined to side with that view.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
The American is a character study, and an old fashioned one - it is committed to a kind of existential exploration that seems decidedly out of whack in a digital age that suggests we can be who ever we want to be and damn the consequences.
Peter Galvin - sbs.com.au
When you slow the pace of a thriller down to a slow crawl you'd better make sure all the air bubbles of implausibility have been squeezed out of your story, otherwise the audience is going to have too much time to pick at all the holes in the plot.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
The American is intelligent and well-crafted cinema that transcends its generic limitations through [director Anton] Corbijn's command of film style.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
The 'lonely assassin who falls in love' is too familiar a story to be interesting in its own right, and somewhere along the line Corbijn, Clooney, and writer Rowan Joffe forgot to imbue Jack with enough of intensity and conflict to keep the story flowing.
Nick Deigman - Fan The Fire
It deserves credit for its style but the holes in the screenplay were too hard for me to ignore.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
George Clooney effectively portrays a man living in purgatory in the quiet thriller The American.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
The American is everything Americans are supposedly not. Instead of brash and loud, this film is quiet and subdued.
Melissa Wellham - Trespass
Those expecting rollicking thrills may be disappointed but this succeeds as a finely acted slow-burning espionage film.
Julian Shaw - FILMINK (Australia)
In its best moments the film plays like a lucid nightmare, with Clooney trapped in a picturesque purgatory.
Jamie Dunn - The Skinny
Corbijn's bold stab at reviving the minimalism and mystery of '70s cinema has its strengths but ultimately overreaches itself.
Neil Smith - Total Film
A beguiling but only partly satisfying achievement for the "less is more" art house crowd.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Excuisitely shot, with every frame impeccably composed, The American is essentially a European art-house film.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
In the end, it's suspense that wins out. The film has a Hitchcockian flavor, which will delight those fans. Very cool, indeed.
Elias Savada - Film Threat
Corbijn extracts from Rowan Joffe?s screenplay a pensive mood of impending dread, but it can be a bit aggravating waiting for the hammer to fall.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
It is as though Corbijn has gone straight from Control to The Limits Of Control (2009).... this is a quiet American, marked not by spectacular set-pieces but rather understated performances, a restrained pace, and all the melancholy of alienation.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
...a bit of a step back from Corbijn's last movie, the well-reviewed and little-seen Control
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
If Terrence Malick were to put his gloss on Jason Bourne, the result might be something like The American, a visually compelling thriller from director Anton Corbijn.
Lisa Ann Cockrel - Christianity Today
Those expecting 'The American' to be an 'action' thriller may be in for a disappointment.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
George Clooney stars in "The American," a foreign art-house film.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
We can see where it's going in advance, but Anton Corbijn and George Clooney's spare character study of a solitary hit man hiding out in an Italian village at least has the courage of its stripped-down convictions.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Artfully conceived, existential, Euro-style thriller has everything except thrills
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
We spend an entire film never finding out who [Clooney] really is or why people are trying to kill him. In the end we have seen something happen, but we are not sure exactly what.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
a moody, melancholy work of not so much action thrills but introspection - great in a novel, difficult to manage in the screen thriller. Worse, the story simply doesn't make sense - especially the ending
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
An assassin, a priest and a prostitute play pivotal roles in this gripping thriller where labels are paradoxical and nothing is black or white
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
An American movie star, an Italian leading lady, a Dutch director and a British screenwriter pool their talents for for the best-crafted American film of the year.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Portrait of a Killer at the Crossroads.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
I loved this movie. I loved it for giving the finger to what so many American thrillers have become. Instead of coming off an assembly line, here is a thriller that's fresh and different, focused and smart. It has a European sensibility.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
What makes it work as a thriller is not what it shows, but what it leaves out.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
If "The American" isn't a masterpiece, it's still a cool, minimalist thriller that features gorgeous camera work by Corbijn and a strong, understated performance by Clooney.
Rob Thomas - Wisconsin State Journal
The title of George Clooney's latest would suggest that here's a film reminiscent of Mom and apple pie. In truth, the picture has more in common with Padre and panna cotta.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
It feels like a character study of an enigma that cannot be truly understood or solved. And that's an admirable quality -- one that makes The American compelling.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
A quiet, contemplative, old-fashioned melodrama -- and a highly engrossing one, too, if you can resist the urge to want it to be something else.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Corbijn allows the film to crawl, preferring the stillness over a more rushed Bourne-esque action travelogue.
David Cornelius - Popcornworld
slow, methodical, and riveting
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
An Effective Thriller or a Chance for Clooney to Hang in Lake Como? Go with the Former.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
George hits a new low in this dull, depressing movie
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Of the most visually thrilling escapist yarns ever made. Italian golden age cinema takes on a gun fetish.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
Women are necessary in The American, like the Italian landscapes and winding stone stairways.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
(VIDEO)...one of the most sophisticated thrillers you will ever see.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Silence is golden. Actually, in this case silence is silver, just like Clooney's salt and pepper hair.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
no matter how pretty it looks, it provides little reason to care about what happens while you're looking at it.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
For those willing to accept a slower pace, even if the resulting film is not exactly contemplative, The American could be a pleasurable experience.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Even on its own artsy terms, the film falls apart long before the end.
Caryn James - Newsweek
I can't say that I was bored in The American, nor that the film is a waste of time. It was interesting enough, and it kept my attention.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Those who believe they'd be happy watching George Clooney do nothing for two hours can now test that theory.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
I enjoyed, and am recommending The American as a victory of style over substance.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
It's a spare, somber, visually captivating study in stillness but not emotionally involving.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
This slow-moving drama, starring George Clooney, continuously builds tension like a smoking volcano waiting to erupt, but when the expected does occur, it is not only anticipated, but a letdown.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
The precision of the shots, which suggests a methodical approach to filmmaking, mirrors the painstaking professionalism that defines the lead character.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Early on, the priest explains to Jack, 'You have the hands of a craftsman, not an artist.' The American is the product of such hands as well: lovely in execution, if somewhat wanting in inspiration.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
If it's half-baked Italian modernism you're after, you've come to the right place.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
I found myself more interested in the beautiful cinematography than the story line. The American is extremely slow for the first two acts but does deliver in the finale.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
A slumberous, glacially paced bore -- with George Clooney on the poster
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
personal, complexly drawn, and written with more eye than ear
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
...a movie with more questions than answers, and which requires viewers to think and observe, not just sit back and enjoy the hot guns and hotter women.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Taut, mature drama examines the life of a lone assassin.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Unconventionally slow-paced, low on palpable thrills and often dull despite its brilliant, exquisite cinematography. It ultimately suffers from excessive style over substance.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
The American is George Clooney's Eat Pray Love. I couldn't swallow Julia's self-indulgent spree and the same goes for Clooney's.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
It manages to make you suspicious and pay attention to all the details in the scene. The filmmakers earn our trust so that whatever surprises they spring on us are awesome.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
[It] has a cold, compelling focus. And -- like its hero -- when it does finally pull the trigger, it soundly hits the bull's eye.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Meet Jack, James Bond's boring big screen cousin. Jack wears Eddie Bauer fleeces, has a pay phone instead of high-tech gadgets, and actually has to pay for sex. He makes assassin work look more boring than an H&R Block gig on April 16.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
At some point in their careers, most male actors want to play (a) Hamlet, and (b) a hit man. I hope that Clooney has gotten "b" out of his system.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
It's like ordering a hamburger and getting escargot. Which is OK if you like snail, but it's an acquired taste.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
The American is a spare, tightly-wound thriller that is less the story of a man who kills for a living, than what that life has extracted from his soul.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
It does succeed in sustaining a mix of moods (action and idyllic) that is a little different.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
You know a movie is slow when the only excitement and the most action is found in an out-of-place and overly long sex scene.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
It's a souffle helplessly set out in the middle of a KenTacoHut stampede, and I suspect it will pay dearly for that at the box office.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
No shaky cam! No logic-defying stunts! But The American also lacks a pulse.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
...slow and marred by a trailer that shows the climax, gazing at Violante Placido's amply displayed body is not a horrible way to spend a couple of hours.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
While it is better than the awful "Bangkok Dangerous," starring Nicholas Cage, there are a lot of similarities between the two films.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Clooney ... shucks off his movie-star charm and lets us see something quite different: an unsmiling man with a set jaw, an unblinking stillness and an air of quiet mystery.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
These are not people that I thought about once I left the theater.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Corbijn makes the familiar strange, focusing on details other filmmakers would gloss over.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
George Clooney's charisma and powerful screen presence have never been more integral to a film, nor used in a more futile effort
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
A piece that feels more like foreign films of the 1960s and 1970s than what viewers would expect from an Oscar winner in 2010. No wonder it's getting buried. It's too good.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
"The American" is minimalist movie-making at its best.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It aspires to the languid tension of, say, Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai, but it's not quite up to that caliber or resonance.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
There are going to be two distinct and unbudgeable camps when it comes to The American.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Anton Corbijn is clearly more interested in mood, atmosphere and visual storytelling than in the plot.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Those small pieces may seem slight, but they add up to a satisfying whole.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
The problem lies with director Anton Corbijn, who has no feel for the material.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A bold film that covers fresh ground and impresses with George Clooney's bravura performance and the rich moral material explored in the story.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Offering more angst than action, it creates a mood of overwhelming depression that's all too likely to engulf the audience as well as the protagonist.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Anton Corbijn made a Western, and he damn sure wants you to know it.
Radheyan Simonpillai - AskMen.com
While Corbijn attempts to humanize his espionage thriller, genre expectations too often disarm what could have been hair-trigger drama.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
You may find yourself momentarily spellbound by Anton Corbijn's gorgeous film, but ultimately unfulfilled.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
Much like the town that hides Jack, "The American" is a beautiful relic, an honorable homage to films of the past.
Sean O'Connell - Reelrave
If watching Clooney rub his brow a lot -- and sit around in gorgeously silhouetted moments while glaring at the harsh, rugged, friendless Italian rustic scenery -- sounds appealing, then you're probably on the same wavelength as director Anton Corbijn.
Donald Munro - Eye for Film
The beautiful Italian scenery is almost worth the price of admission by itself.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
You've heard of "Jason Bourne." Here's "Jason Boring."
James Verniere - Boston Herald
The more CGI and Real-D 3D and shaky cams have taken over modern action filmmaking, the more I have craved a solid, low-key suspense film like this one. (Parental Review also Available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
Clooney further solidifies himself as the modern cinematic model of the disillusioned American male
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
Movie allusions ultimately do Corbijn in ... he breaks the unwritten rule never to show a scene from a movie that's better than yours.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
The American's muted pleasures rest heavily on the sustained air of mystery around Clooney, and Corbijn, a pristine stylist, keeps the atmosphere nice and thick.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
The film becomes an interesting statement about our recent government's involvement in global affairs and an intimately tense tale of a man capable of more than just the violence he causes.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Gripping and challenging character study that's filmed as a Euro-thriller.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
It takes you back to an era of arty, angst-ridden European existential pulp movies that were like abstract essays on the genre.
Clooney and Corbijn are so busy painting the inner portraits and admiring the Abruzzo landscape that they forget to flesh out the plotpoints. It's not a fatal approach, just a flawed one.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
So threadbare, trite and predictable that not the star's formidable charisma nor the considerable talent of director Anton Corbijn can come close to erasing its deficiencies.
Pam Grady - Boxoffice Magazine
Clooney's still on his anti-American kick, sentimentalizing the corruption that appeals to cynical film critics who fall for his forced, noxious "charm."
Armond White - New York Press
It's a powerful, tiny tale whose whole story could dance on the head of a pin... but whose soul lingers and grabs and demands.
David Poland - Movie City News
"I know The American is not just a Clooney vanity project, but it sure has the trappings. There are seemingly endless shots of Clooney. And there are several shots of the back of George's head, which emotes as much as his face.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
There's a difference between ambiguity and lack of detail, and Joffe and Corbijn don't seem to know what it is.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Takes itself very seriously, even though the story is filled with the same Bond-acious vixens and prostitutes with hearts of gold as any cliched spy film.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Jack works out. Jack puts together a rifle as if he were making a YouTube instructional video. Though Clooney broods beautifully, we'd like a story, too. But this Amer-I-can can't.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Stands as a deliberate throwdown to modern shakey-cam thrillers: reflective, steadily paced, and as moody and arty and Euro-sexed as a movie with homemade silencers and exploding bullets can be.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
Clooney turns in an intense performance that owes little to his usual roguish charm.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The American is ostensibly a thriller, but in a quiet mold far removed from the jittery live-wires of Bourne or Bond.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
It's gorgeous to look at, sure, but that sort of thing is a given when you're in the Italian countryside, surrounded by beautiful Italian women, and your director is a professional photographer.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
This sophisticated low-key drama has all the trappings of a foreign art house film. The languid pacing of this time waster should prove to be an instant cure for insomnia. The visual eye candy doesn't compensate for a disjointed story where...
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
Anton Corbijn's The American looks and feels like a movie made by a filmmaker who hasn't been to the movies since the '70s -- and I mean that as the highest compliment.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Even Clooney can't give this bore a heartbeat.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
The American is not an action movie in the conventional sense. It is perhaps more accurately described as an art house film with guns.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
The journey taken by Jack/Edward as he walks among the stucco buildings, curving stairways, mountainous slopes and ancient architecture is meditative and dreamlike, an elegiac wanderlust.
...cleverly, disconcertingly hushed.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Post-traumatic hitman disorder afflicting an existential assassin slacker doing down time in Italy without a Mafia in sight, and the standard male screen fantasy of reciprocal hooker romance as high price tag stranger sex blossoms. Eat, Slay, Love.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
A "one last job" effort with a conflicted protagonist, a bevy of smoldering Euro actresses suffering from an allergic reaction to clothes, and a few flashes of violence to crack the meditative veneer.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Our heads may want justice but in our hearts we can understand the dream of breaking away.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
In Corbijn's minimalist, uneventful art thriller, basically a Western in disguise, George Clooney challenges himself--and the audience--with his quietest, stillest, most internalized part to date as solitary gunslinger seeking redemption in seclusion.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Audiences expecting a conventional Hollywood spy thriller will no doubt be disappointed to find out they've stumbled into an art-house film, but those seeking relief from the bombast of the summer movie season will be pleasantly surprised.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Character study with a thoroughly European sensibility..the true pleasures are Clooney's study in stillness and Corbijn's striking images..a beautifully restrained performance.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Deliberately European in style and feel, the film makes captivating use of [George] Clooney's talent and charisma, basking in his chemistry with just about anyone on screen.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
For a change, a thriller that explores the calm, not the storm.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
This quiet, cliched and overtly symbolic story of a hit man trying to get out of the business...gives Corbijn all kinds of opportunities to compose beautiful pictures...but the story is so shopworn there is absolute certainty in where it is all going.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
With so much faith in understatement, it's like a short story extended to novel length--a bit low cal in the meat of the piece.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Anton Corbijn's plodding attempt at a '60s Euro-thriller makes for a scenic travelogue but offers little in the way of drama or intrigue.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
It's like being given a connect-the-dots puzzle, only to find out it contains just four dots.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
A life of coldblooded murder tends to be bad for the soul? Who knew?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The flashy visuals tend to say a lot more than the story itself.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
A suspenseful, well-crafted ride. Clooney is excellent, evoking Eastwood and McQueen with a tense singularity of purpose.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Paris Hilton puts more effort and thought into her alibis.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
... an exercise in sustained tension... a somber, solemn little film... well worth your time this weekend.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
George Clooney is a somber, guilt-wracked assassin hiding out in mountainous central Italy-but despite the bleak sheen and Anton Corbijn's spatial dexterity, the script goes all Up in the Air.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
An inert thriller that should have remained on the novelist's page.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve