The American | Indy Week

The American

Rated R 105 min. 2010

Spanning from snowy Sweden to bustling Rome before finally settling in sleepy Sulmona, Italy, this would-be spy thriller rehashes the formula of the reluctant, solitary assassin (George Clooney) taking on one last job before getting out of the game. While carrying out his assignment, the taciturn American befriends a wise old priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and launches an affair with Clara (Violante Placido), a beautiful, routinely nude prostitute with, yes, a heart of gold. Erstwhile music video director Anton Corbijn proceeds at a deliberate pace, free of extraneous—or sometimes essential—action and dialogue. Clooney's charisma carries the film, and it's worth noting his ongoing predilection for playing star-crossed bachelors (art imitating life?). However, there is a difference between deliberate and languid, and too often The American feels like an exercise of atmospherics over substance (not unlike Clooney's The Good German).

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Anton Corbijn

Writer: Rowan Joffe and Martin Booth

Producer: Anne Carey, George Clooney and Grant Heslov

Cast: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten and Paolo Bonacelli


The American

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