The American

Rated R 105 minutes 2010

We can see pretty clearly where it’s going in advance, but Anton Corbijn and George Clooney’s appropriately spare character study of a solitary hit man (Clooney) hiding out in a small Italian village at least has the courage of its stripped-down convictions. Clooney’s Jack (or Edward; he uses both names) never cracks a smile, not even when he’s confiding in the local priest (Paolo Bonacelli) or falling in love with a gorgeous prostitute (Violante Placido) – he just sucks it all in and stays tight, waiting to exhale. He can’t even afford to relax and have a picnic. Filmmaker Corbijn, who did the very good Control, directs Rowan Joffe’s screenplay (adapted from the novel by Martin Booth) just as tightly, even when the characters revert to stereotype. One of the most damped-down performances of Clooney’s career, but that’s not quite enough to recommend it. (103 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site: focusfeatures.com/film/the_american

Director: Anton Corbijn

Producer: Anne Carey, Jill Green, Ann Wingate, Grant Heslov, George Clooney and Enzo Sisti

Cast: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Johan Leysen, Bruce Altman, Irina Björklund, Filippo Timi and Anna Foglietta

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The American

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