Watch The American
- 1 hr 45 min
The American is a 2010 action thriller film directed by Anton Corbijn, starring George Clooney and Paolo Bonacelli in lead roles. The movie tells the story of Jack, a gunsmith and assassin who seeks to retire from his dangerous profession after a close call in Sweden. After an attempt on his life, Jack retreats to a small village in Italy, where he takes on the identity of an American photographer named Edward. Seeking refuge and solace in the beauty of the Italian countryside, Jack embarks on his final mission - to construct a weapon for a shadowy client. Despite every precaution, Jack eventually finds himself at odds with a hostile group of assassins, and must use all his expertise to stay alive. Along the way, he develops a relationship with a local woman, Clara (played by Violante Placido), which complicates his already precarious situation. One of the defining characteristics of The American is its slow pace and attention to detail. The film takes its time in establishing Jack's character, giving the audience a glimpse of his introspective and meticulous nature. Through his interactions with the various Italian villagers that he encounters, including a kindly priest and a curious prostitute, Jack's personality is gradually revealed. Despite the relative quietness of the film's first half, the tension begins to ratchet up in the second as Jack becomes increasingly paranoid and realizes that his past has caught up with him. As the various factions that are pursuing Jack begin to converge, the movie becomes a thrilling, high-stakes race against time. Clooney is perfectly cast in the role of Jack, imbuing the character with a world-weary air and an understated charm. He is by turns aloof, brooding, and surprisingly vulnerable, all while maintaining a steely resolve that never wavers. Bonacelli is also impressive as Father Benedetto, a priest who befriends Jack and becomes a confidante of sorts. In his interactions with Jack, Benedetto serves as a symbol of the movie's themes of redemption and forgiveness, urging Jack to take a different path and reminding him that it's never too late to change. Placido's Clara is also a standout, bringing a sense of warmth and humanity to the movie's often cold, shadowy world. Her budding romance with Jack adds a welcome layer of complexity to his character, and the chemistry between the two actors is palpable. In addition to its strong performances, The American is also visually stunning. Corbijn's stylized direction, combined with Martin Ruhe's elegant cinematography, creates a moody, atmospheric film that is a feast for the eyes. One aspect of the movie that may be polarizing is its deliberately ambiguous ending. Without spoiling anything, it's fair to say that the movie doesn't wrap things up neatly, leaving many questions unanswered. Some viewers may find this frustrating, while others will appreciate the film's refusal to provide easy answers. On the whole, The American is a tense, engrossing thriller that rewards viewers willing to stick with it. With its strong performances, striking visuals, and thoughtful exploration of its central character's psyche, it's a movie that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll.