A film that starts out tense and promising, 'The American' reminds stylistically of taut thrillers like 'Taken' as the grim, intense turn by George Clooney gets underway. As the titular hitman goes about his mission in a sleepy Italian village one waits patiently for the payoff. It doesn't really come. After I finish writing this I will have to read around to work out exactly what happened, but as I go to press I am completely confused about the ending. I won't spoil it here but suffice it to say I was disappointed. There are one or two moneyshot car chases / shootouts but the film was watchable without being enduringly compelling. Clooney fans will doubtless approve but for me, 3 stars is more than enough.