Blu-ray The American [Blu-ray] [UK] (Blu-ray 7027068),
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The American [Blu-ray] [UK]
Region B Europe/Australia (
In the aftermath of a job gone awry, an American hitman retreats to the Italian countryside, where he befriends a local priest and strikes up an unexpected romance while awaiting the details of his next assignment. Jack (George Clooney) is lucky to be alive after his Swedish assignment went sour, and he knows that it's only a matter of time before his luck runs out. Not eager to tempt fate again, Jack arrives in a small Italian town and takes a job assembling a weapon for the mysterious Mathilde (Thekla Reuten). During this uncharacteristically peaceful interlude, Jack befriends kindly clergyman Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli), and connects with pretty local Clara (Violante Placido). But in the process of reaching out for a little human contact, Jack is making himself more vulnerable than ever. THE AMERICAN was adapted for the screen from the novel A VERY PRIVATE GENTLEMAN by author Martin Booth.
George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, Irina Bjorklund
"[A] slow-burning thriller....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." -- Grade: B
4 stars out of 4 -- "Every performance is tightly controlled. Clooney is in complete command of his effect."
"[A]dmirable for its defiance and acidity....It's mature, fastidiously logical with exposition, and patient..."
Sight and Sound
"[A] contemplative thriller....Watching Clooney wander toward his character's lost self is one of the great pleasures of the movie."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] stylish throwback to the existential crime thrillers of the '70s."
5 stars out of 5 -- "[Corbijn] takes the thriller genre and -- far from proving a safe pair of hands -- elevates it to the level of poetry."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Corbijn enjoys silence and master shots -- the slow-build over the whizz-bang. There are some terrific scenes..."
"[I]t's a very different, more removed Clooney than audiences are used to seeing....It's a much more interior performance than usual, a dark, withdrawn role that completely avoids the actors' usual high-wattage smile..."
Los Angeles Times
"[An] elegantly crafted existential thriller....[Clooney] keeps you attentive, and the drama's seriousness finally earns your respect."
Wall Street Journal
"Dutch director Anton Corbijn, working from a script by Rowan Joffe, holds his film to a steady, often glacial pace....A film of startling austerity."
3 stars out of 4 -- "The film has a contemplative allure, unfolding at a deliberate pace....Clooney plays the enigmatic title character with mature confidence."
Included in Roger Ebert's "The Best Films of 2010" -- "The film sees dispassionately, guards its secrets, and ends like a clockwork mechanism arriving at its final, clarifying tick."
"Much of the film's expressive currency is committed to procedural patience, in the tradition of Jean-Pierre Melville's stoic studies of underworld industry."
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