The American

Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36

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Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    It is a reasonably skillful exercise in genre and style, a well-made vessel containing nothing in particular, though some of its features - European setting, slow pacing, full-frontal female nudity - are more evocative of the art house than of the multiplex.
  2. 60
    Inside the stony exterior of The American beat some tired old ideas about innocence and redemption. How can you make an intellectual thriller and put a whore with a heart of gold in it?
  3. The film's mood is so somber and minimal, it might be confused for deep. Had the plot (meager and one-last-job-predictable) zipped along, that wouldn't feel like such a problem.
  4. Nothing really adds up, and the ending is downright absurd. You would like even the most austere, doctrinaire existential movie to earn its downbeat ending. This one fails utterly to do so.
  5. The role requires Clooney to dial down his charm to nearly zero, and frankly, he looks twitchy and uncomfortable without it.
  6. 50
    The film is overripe with erotic symbols.
  7. A slow, grim, atmospheric but virtually plotless look at a blank-faced loner who is obsessed with his work, has no friends except for one woman inexplicably attached to him, and ends up making those around him miserable.
  8. 50
    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.
  9. 50
    This story of a hit man who wants out after performing this one last job is 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    50
    The dreariest thriller of the year.
  11. By the time The American is finished, it feels like one great big pointless exercise. With George Clooney on the poster.
  12. 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.
  13. 50
    An action thriller that adamantly refuses to deliver action or thrills, instead engaging in a brand of arty, self-conscious formalism rarely seen outside repertory theaters or cinema-studies classrooms.
  14. Aided by a strong soundtrack by Corbijn's friend Herbert Grönemeyer, The American nevertheless seems more like a concept in search of a movie.
  15. 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.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 78
  2. Negative: 24 out of 78
  1. Sep 3, 2010
    3
    A self-consciously pretentious artsy-craftsy flick. Sometimes less really is less, and this is such a case. Excruciatingly boring. One wondersA self-consciously pretentious artsy-craftsy flick. Sometimes less really is less, and this is such a case. Excruciatingly boring. One wonders why Clooney would subject himself to such a miserable script. Full Review »
  2. Sep 6, 2010
    1
    This movie was so slow moving i closed my eyes for a few times and never missed a beat. i'd recommend waiting to see it at home when you canThis movie was so slow moving i closed my eyes for a few times and never missed a beat. i'd recommend waiting to see it at home when you can speed through it. imagine stretching the action of the 2 minute preview for 100 minutes and thats what you are in for....its a great nap movie Full Review »
  3. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    "The American" is quite and poetic, like those old japanese samurai movies. The movie shoots the core of what its trying to say, giving a"The American" is quite and poetic, like those old japanese samurai movies. The movie shoots the core of what its trying to say, giving a appeal to the heart rather than eye candy visuals. In the end, the audience who are more mature would definitely watch this. Full Review »