Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 182 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: As an assassin, Jack is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, Mathilde. Savoring the peaceful quietude he finds in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack accepts the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues a torrid liaison with a beautiful woman, Clara. Jack and Clara’s time together evolves into a romance, one seemingly free of danger. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate. (Focus Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    If you're willing to let go of your Hollywood-bred expectations for a movie of this type-spectacular action set pieces, constant pulse-pounding music, a killing every 15 minutes-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.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Clooney has excelled in serious roles - notably in "Michael Clayton" and "Syriana." But his Jack, a brooding assassin seeking redemption, is a bigger departure, and he pulls it off well.
  4. 63
    It's a tale so used, abused and broken you can hear it wheezing.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 25
    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 Clooné.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 76
  2. Negative: 24 out of 76
  1. Sep 23, 2010
    This is a wonderfully executed example of an intelligent and thought provoking character study. Once again, George Clooney is a class act with the guts to choose a great project that, sadly, most people will be too over-stimulated by today's mindless movies to truly appreciate. The film is highly engaging. Riveting, in fact, if you're not looking for the typical shoot 'em up action picture. If you're willing to get under the skin of The American, and really feel this guy's harsh reality, it's even shocking, not to mention heart-breaking, at times, and certainly a more realistic look at the life of an assassin than anything that's come out in a long time. Congrats to all involved in the making of the wonderful picture. Great job!!! Expand
  2. Sep 6, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of my least favorite movies of all time. Walked out after an hour and a quarter. Didn't care what happened to any of the characters. Hope they all died in the end. T and A, oh so ho hum and of no interest to me. Certainly didn't save this tedious film. Clooney should keep his shirt on. George, I loved ya, but no more. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2011
    Excellent, minimalist film, but has a good enough story and action sequences to keep it interesting. Overall very good acting; Clooney is excellent again. Expand
  4. Sep 2, 2010
    Essentially a vehicle to showcase George Clooney (who is r-e-a-l-l-y getting long in the tooth) and the Abruzzo region of Italy. Clooney still has enough panash to make it bearable and the Abruzzo region, even in winter, is spectacular, but the story is tired and has holes in it big enough to fly a 747 through. Expand
  5. Sep 1, 2010
    Having read some reviews before viewing the movie and was prepared to enjoy the unfolding story......George Clooney had his character down pat.....the other actors filled the spaces to keep the plot moving. If it was not for Violante Placido who played a prostituite who exuded so much character, brought some life into the mainly drab story..... Expand
  6. Oct 27, 2010
    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! Expand
  7. Sep 8, 2010
    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. Expand

See all 76 User Reviews