The American [DVD]
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Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of this suspense thriller, filmed on location in Italy.
Alone among assassins, Jack (played by Mr. Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of “In Bruges”), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian stage and screen veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.
- Journey to redemption: The Making of The American
- Feature Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
Control's Anton Corbijn gives the crime film a distinctly European twist in this understated thriller (think The Day of the Jackal). A trim George Clooney plays Jack, a hit man who relocates from Sweden to Italy after assailants try to take his life. Jack's handler (Johan Leysen) advises him not to make any friends, which proves easier said than done. Ensconced in medieval Abruzzo, the assassin passes himself off as a photographer (in Martin Booth's novel, A Very Private Gentleman, he claimed to be an illustrator), but he's actually customizing an assault rifle for Mathilde (Thekla Reuten), his female counterpart. Upon his excursions through town, Jack meets Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli), who senses he has something to confess--"A priest sees everything," he explains--but Jack would prefer to share a brandy. He also befriends Clara, a prostitute (Violante Placido, perfectly comfortable with onscreen nudity). What starts out as a sexual relationship deepens as Jack's sensitive side--he has a thing for butterflies--emerges, but then the Swedes discover his hiding place, and Jack develops doubts about his lady friends, leading to a showdown that plays like a scene from an old Western, a debt Corbijn acknowledges when Jack chances upon a broadcast of Once upon a Time in the West. If the conclusion doesn't cut as deep as the director intends, his admirable restraint throughout keeps the tension at a low boil, while Clooney tamps down his charisma to play a dogged professional with redemption on his mind. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Top Customer Reviews
often film trailers show the one or two scenes that make a film look better than it is overall, however i'm pleased to say that this film is as good as it looked.
In my opinion this film is one of 'George Clooney's' best role in reletively recent times.(Another being 'The Decendants')
He plays 'Jack' who 'constructs' precision weapons for 'hit's'
Throughout the film you do get the feeling, despite having gone to a remote Italian town, that he's being watched, he is a target.
He falls for prostitute 'Clara' (Violante Placido) and wants this to be his last job, but will he be allowed to step down.
The film is a tense affair that should keep you interested.
This ia a very European film, beautifully observed, beautifully filmed, slow moving and sometimes low on dialogue. George Clooney gives a superb, subdued performance as the insular assassin hiding out in stunning Italian countryside. The Italian and Belgian leading ladies are also superb - and ever so sexy.
I feel this is a marvellous film, one of the best of 2010. However, I accept that some movie-goers would have preferred a brash guns-and-explosions American extravaganza, and those people are likely to be a little puzzled and perhaps even slightly disappointed. This film probably has more in common with "Cinema Paradiso" than with "Ocean's Eleven". A teen movie it ain't.
The protagonist is reserved and very skilled at keeping his real job a secret, and is aptly played by unusually subdued performance from George Clooney, the exception being his need for female companionship. A man of few words, his work seems to encompass being a gun for hire, but his skills set also extends to making custom-making firearms for other Assassins. Through a series of near fatal incidents he is forced change locations rapidly as he tries to find out who is trying to kill him thus unfolds a moody thriller with majestic backdrop of the Italian countryside and a sting in the tale.
This film is not for everyone's tastes, as the film is short on discourse and little is really explained to the viewer - BUT it has lashings of atmosphere and amazing scenic photography of the Italian countryside. When the action comes it is intense and rather like a series of rapid punches. The Blu-ray has good extras and the picture quality is very good too. A film, which for me - is well deserving of a good four stars, and dare I repeat myself again that this is not for everyone as can be seen by some of the more lacklustre and negative reviews here on Amazon.
I saw this film on a plane and was gripped from the start. Minimalist film, moody, with some stunning females and really excellent photography.
Italy looked like the real thing, not a travelogue.
Characters were all believable, drama was high and often surprising, ending was unexpected, but then I like happy endings.
One of the best films of the moment, in my opinion, and I saw many of them on the long outbound and return flights.
Well recommended and I will buy it on Blu-Ray, if only for the imagery.
A deep sense of menace sets into this film from the get-go and how could it not with an opening scene revealing some pretty telling issues about our protagonist despite only a handful of words being said. It is this sense of foreboding that carries this film in its slower parts and it's not without its lulls. However there is something of a wordless character development going on in the lulls as we see Jack is a rigorously methodical man, exercising religiously and the artisanal-like devotion he gives to his trade.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very, very watchable...as long as you are prepared to overlook a few big flaws in the plot [hence only three stars].Published 1 month ago by RTK
This has the pace and mood of a European film of the 1970's rather than a modern American movie, and is all the better for it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arun
The movie itself is excellent but you will have to wait almost 20 minutes to get to see it and there is no way of seeing it before that time without pressing the fast forward... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ric
As many contributors have said this is a surprisingly good film by an erratic film star performer Clooney. Clear signs it was not made in America.Published 4 months ago by Alan T
We really struggled to get into it if I'm honest, a shame because the principle of the film sounded good.Published 4 months ago by DJT