User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 184

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  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 wonders why Clooney would subject himself to such a miserable script.
  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 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
  3. Sep 28, 2010
    0
    This film was painful to watch in every aspect. First movie I've ever thought of walking out on, but I kept hoping it would improve. All the dark, brooding, dull angst....Uggh! Story line was so predictable.
  4. Oct 27, 2010
    2
    Worst movie of the year! Boring! I dozed off once, folks ahead of us dozed off three times! A twisting, mountain road and 15 ways to shoot the same small streets: that's the best they could muster!!?? Eye candy for Cloony fans, other wise a waste of time and money!
  5. Sep 7, 2010
    1
    I joined Metacritic just to post a review of this godawful piece of junk. The worst movie I've seen this year. Excruciatingly slow (unless you like to watch Clooney do pushups and screw gun parts together). I was on the verge of walking out, but stayed almost in disbelief that nothing ever happened (except something you expect from the very beginning). I am amazed that Clooney would bankroll and star in such a stinker. Violante Placido (co-star) was nice to watch as were the austere mountain scenes of the Abruzzi region in central Italy. Save your money and spare yourself the agony of sitting through this. Expand
  6. Sep 3, 2010
    2
    Nonstop glum performance by George Clooney without any lightness or humor. Riddled with cliches like the whore with the heart of gold and remarkably heavy-handed symbolism. The audience I was with was ahead of the film, unfortunately. Just a drag from the five minute mark onward.
  7. Sep 6, 2010
    0
    this is bad, very bad. it is slow, very slow. worst movie i've seen all year. as much as i adore george clooney, i think he tried to come up with a reason to film in italy where he lives. there was maybe 10 minutes of story stretched to fill close to 2 hours, and zero action. lots of pretty camera shots of the terrain, and lots of clooney doing push ups and putting guns together. they tried to create tension like they did in the sopranos ending ie tony waiting to get killed (same as george looking over his shoulder the entire movie). very heavy handed symbolism at the end with the butterfly. waste of $11 and not even worth it as an airplane movie. Expand
  8. Dec 25, 2010
    2
    Not even halfway through the movie I already hated its guts. The American shows no respect for its film genre, its star, and its premise. Director Anton Corbijin should stick to his short documentaries instead of trying to direct an action thriller. Most of the time the camera is up in Clooney's face, and although his performance is quiet but dangerous, it doesn't make up for all the faults in this film. There were basically no dialogue and when there was, it lacks focus and was all over the place. Spending almost 20 minutes following Clooney around town without doing anything, The American is one of the worst thriller of 2010. Clooney's performance shows promise but the film failed on all other aspects and will/could not be made up by just George Clooney. RazzieBuzz: Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, these are both unlikely because critics liked the film but I put them there just to show how mad I am that George Clooney got involved in this. Expand
  9. Sep 5, 2010
    1
    This film is a snore. It takes forever to get going, but it never gets going. The best and only good clips are in the trailer. Just Clooney (he was a producer of this drivel) and a bunch of no name Italians. The two women, on the other hand, are hot!
  10. Sep 10, 2010
    2
    I hated this movie, but let me start with what I did like about it: the muff shot!

    I mean come on, with todayâ
  11. Sep 7, 2010
    1
    This movie was so dreary we left before it was halfway done, so I can't really comment on the whole thing except to say I rarely leave movies I have paid to see. It reminded me of "Constant Gardener". An espionage movie but so **** that it was painful. Just couldn't do it. Unless you love long shots looking at George Clooney (driving, looking at his coffee cup, walking, thinking, etc.) I'd say SKIP IT! See Machete instead. It is PURE entertainment, now THAT was an awesome movie! Expand
  12. Sep 7, 2010
    1
    Not a thriller, which is what I was expecting from the previews. Plot moved so slowly that I fell asleep mid-way through. I didn't not find that the movie created much tension mainly because the ending was predictable and story line had huge holes. If you love watching silent films of the Italian landscape and viewing George Clooney's abs, then go see the movie. Otherwise, save your $10.
  13. Sep 8, 2010
    0
    Anyone who pretends to like this incredibly boring movie are akin to the villagers in the emperors new clothes. There are zero redeming qualities about this movie, except for perhaps the very end because I did not make it that far.
  14. Sep 8, 2010
    2
    The director spent most of the time zooming in on Clooney's face and not nearly enough time making it a good film. It stunk and was a waste of money. Very little plot, salacious sex to, I guess, make the film a bit more tittilating. a dumb plot and little dialogue all combined to make this a disaster
  15. tor
    Sep 10, 2010
    2
    I love George Clooney and I love assassins. So this movie is a canâ
  16. Sep 12, 2010
    0
    AWFUL. I know that when it comes to critiquing anything, if you give media an extreme rating like a 10 or 0, you'd better have good reason, otherwise you didn't take the time to think through the pros and cons.

    Sadly, I couldn't find anything i liked about this movie. Not ONE. George Clooney's appearance in this movie made hardly and difference. His acting was dry, emotionless, and just
    plain boring. All I could think about was: "Oh. Look, it's Clooney" through the entire abomination. He in no way delivered any kind of character of his own. Aside from this, the storyline itself was atrocious. Being based off a book doesn't make a movie good. Nor does it make it bad...it's how the book is interpreted is what really makes the movie. If anyone were to use a book with this sort of slow, serious plot (no, I have not read the book myself, only heard reviews) with vivid language and intense literary depth to make a movie, they'd better make it beautiful. This is not the case with The American.

    The trailers decided to play the movie off as if it were some action-packed shoot-em-up with George Clooney, with guns blazing and epic cutscenes that were sadly the ONLY bits of action through the entire film. The only thing I personally would applaud is the cinematography. But alas, this is completely ruined with the stale acting, poor dialogue, unnecessary scenes, limited character connection and development, little-to-none thrills and awful kick-in-the-crotch bad ending.
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  17. Nov 17, 2010
    1
    George IS superb BUT this film is not. its just a long bland empty waste, predictable and uninspired.
    The poster for the film is better, I'd rather stare at that for the running time of this pretentious drivel.
    Still love George though.
  18. Feb 12, 2011
    2
    Just boring as hell. The American fails to convince us not only that George Clooney is a cold blooded killer, but that this film needed to exist. It is an exercise in tedium from beginning to end. The photography, which should have been the highlight of the film, all things being equal, but was shot in such poor gray flat light, that even that possible escape from this prison sentence of a movie is shut to us. I didn't care about any of the characters, and the revelation that comes at the end is so obvious, that if you haven't seen it coming by 15 minutes into the movie, then you probably gave it a ten. The problem clearly is the pacing. I love slow deliberate plots, 2001 comes to mind. Kubrick understood he could whatever the **** he wanted in a movie, so long as it was interesting, and/or advanced the plot of the movie. The American on the other hand is about 30 minutes of plot, and another hour or so of foot dragging, mind numbing, care exhausting, I don't even care to finish this review I'm so god damn bored by this movie. Expand
  19. Mar 4, 2011
    0
    Excruciatingly boring...it is really hard not to fall asleep after about 15 minutes. Has nobody ever told the inexperienced director that the first and most important thing about moviemaking is change of pace ? The guy is a photographer from the weird side, I wonder how he got the money and the cast to make this film. In addition, looking at the depressed and distressed face of George Clooney for the full length of the film, without one inch of emotion, lifeless, bloodless, come on, get something out of this guy, you paid him to act for you.
    I actually lost sympathy for Clooney's character after 2 minutes, when he shot that woman in the back, for no apparent reason. It was disgusting, what exactly did she do to him ?
    Moviemakers should be just normal, average people, people you can relate to. Not weirdos...
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  20. Feb 24, 2013
    2
    This movie was just plain terrible! It was pointless and watching it, was like watching paint dry. Clooney hardly speaks, everything was predictable, nothing made sense or was explained. It was just a complete waste of time. The one interesting thing I did want to mention is that throughout the movie, director Anton Corbijn shows everything done so methodically and wants to be as realistic as possible, however Clooney is seen driving on the left side of the car and on the right side of the road in Europe. Like the movie, even the setting has a huge hole in it. Honestly guys, don't even waste your time on this one. Expand
  21. Jul 8, 2012
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I love Italy. I love George Clooney. I hated this picture. It really stunk. I am sure George will admit - perhaps already - that this was an absolute PHEWWWW of a movie. Who is George? Jack? Eduardo? Who is he working for? Why? We never get told the answers to these most basic questions. Why is he being targeted in Sweden? Why does he kill his girlfriend? We never get told the answers to these important moments. Who is Pavel? Who does he work for? Why is he trying to double cross George/ Jack/ Eduardo? We never understand any of the answers to these important questions. Over and over and over the movie fails to entertain, to grip, to explain, to enrapture, to do anything except elicit either sleep (in my wife's case) or a big fat "meh" in my case. George looks good. Italy looks good. I cared less for both of them after this pitiful, execrable, appallingly directed, inanely written, drastically awful, insanely stupid movie. Expand
  22. Sep 3, 2010
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Loved the cinematography, the actress playing Claire was played well (although we didn't buy that anyone that looked that young and beautiful would be in a generic bordello), and the scenery was amazing. What was missing was a compelling plot. Specifically, why did Clooney's character attract Claire? Other than Clooney's supposed bedroom prowess, what convinces me that those two forge such a intense emotional commitment? Lots of slow reaction shots, signifying deep internal turmoil but primarily functioning to provide opportunities to catch up on lost sleep.

    Also, how obvious can things be? Clooney goes to a a bar/diner nightly, one night "a friend" drops off an envelope with info on the murder at the beginning of the movie that he is running away from. And someone is very obviously tracking him, but we wait for a third of the movie before something comes of it. And when it does, his handler tells him to sit tight, even though someone is out there trying to take him out and knows where he is. The final fifteen minutes were very well done, and were very touching. Too bad so much of the movie took so long to get there - if the rest of the movie had moved a little bit faster and had spent more time developing the characters vs. long shots of scenery, gun assembly, and the like.
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  23. Sep 5, 2010
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well, even still, I take it back a bit.

    If anyone calls George Clooney's role in this film "a hitman," I don't think they ever actually WATCHED it.

    I don't like spoilers. Needless to say, George Clooney in this role is NOT a hitman. A hitman actually goes out and kills people, or dies trying. What movie were this people watching? I swear I think they give them the script / proposal / premise, etc. and ask them to review THAT. Not what they actually print.

    This is why we like more variety and choice in the media we pay good money for!
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  24. Apr 13, 2011
    4
    The American is a rather slow and ultimately nonsensically plotted movie which promises much (it could have been The Consequences of Love, and was clearly influenced by it) but fails to deliver (the "twist" at the end, instead of being explicatory, instead renders everything that's gone before utterly pointless). Clooney works hard with the slow pacing and it's quite nicely shot, with the benefit of some wonderful scenery, but all you're left with in the end is the taste of disappointment. Expand
  25. CRL
    Aug 12, 2011
    4
    It's aimless and completely devoid of any type of thrills, which is generally bad when a movie is billed as a thriller. The ending, which should have been exciting and emotional failed to extort even a smidgeon of energy. As a character study it's no match for The Bourne Identity, with a main character so enigmatic that any insights are swiftly denied. The script at some points is downright awful, while the miniscule, agonizingly slow plot plays out without a hint of suspense. The only things that pull The American up to a 4 are Clooney's grasp on his impossible character, magnificent acting by the rest of the cast, and the obvious care that was put into the cinematography and editing. Expand
  26. Dec 15, 2012
    1
    this movie is **** boring and makes you want to sleep.I do not know how to have a sixty-one and six point zero. clooney not supposed to be right in the head to do this movie but also if it was not anyone he knew this movie.
  27. Sep 8, 2013
    3
    Do I even have to explain what's wrong with this movie? It's extremely boring. I'm not against art-house action movies. I enjoyed Drive, and loved Hanna, but can the American even be called an action movie? I'll admit that I stopped watching after a while and didn't finish it, but after nothing happens for more than an hour did I really need to? This is not a thought provoking or suspenseful film as some have claimed. It's mega pretentious and miserably boring. Sure, it's well filmed and has a pretty location, and nothing's wrong with the acting, but something has to happen in order for a movie to be entertaining. I hate movie's like Revenge of the fallen that bombard you with empty action and have nothing else to offer, but this movie bombards you with empty nothing and has nothing else to offer, which might be even worse. Expand
  28. Oct 11, 2013
    4
    Not good, not bad. It had some well acted scenes but that's all. I actually cried my money because in the cinema was only me and my friend. All the others were absolutely gone!!! Whatever..........a mediocre film!!!!
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. The movie is a paradox. It's ostentatiously restrained. You cannot say Corbijn lacks rigor. You can, however, say that when a talented director's approach too precisely mirrors the tightly calibrated performance strategy of his leading player, a movie risks stalling out completely.
  3. 100
    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.