The American

The American

Anton Corbijn (2010)

15 Certificate


Our Score
In this moody Euro-thriller, an assassin heads for a safe house in the Italian countryside after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life. But his attempts to keep a low profile are compromised by the demands of one more job. George Clooney brings his taciturn charisma to bear on the central role, which is probably just as well, since this rather self-consciously arty offering strips away the snappy dialogue and action highlights of more traditional espionage fare, hoping to concentrate instead on the philosophical dilemma of a professional killer questioning his way of life. The kindly local priest (veteran Paolo Bonacelli), an accommodating local prostitute (Violente Placido) and an alluring new client (Thekla Reuten), all contribute - rather too obviously, it must be said - to this process. However, director Anton Corbijn's stylishly evocative framing ensures that the proceedings retain a sense of mystery throughout... until a decidedly predictable climactic showdown rather breaks the spell. The American is always coolly watchable, but the suspicion remains that there's rather less here than meets the eye.


A hitman's resolve is shaken when he is nearly killed during an assignment, and decides his next mission will be his last. While waiting for details of the target, he lies low in an Italian village and tempts fate by forming a friendship with a priest while pursuing a relationship with a local woman. Thriller, with George Clooney and Violante Placido.

Cast & Crew

Jack/Edward George Clooney
Clara Violante Placido
Mathilde Thekla Reuten
Father Benedetto Paolo Bonacelli
Pavel Johan Leysen
Ingrid Irina Bjorklund
Fabio Filippo Timi
Old cheese vendor Silvana Bosi
Director Anton Corbijn
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Other Information

Language: English, Italian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Violence, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 26 Nov 2010