15 October 2010 3:45 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This is a stylish vehicle for George Clooney as an ice-cold hitman, but it lacks thrills and spills

George Clooney returns, setting aside the warm and witty persona that his fans love, and giving them instead one of his darkest and most unsympathetic characters: an ice-cold professional killer marooned in loneliness and fear. The director is Anton Corbijn – the former photographer who made his brilliant feature debut with Control, a biopic of Joy Division's frontman, Ian Curtis – working from a screenplay by Rowan Joffe. It is adapted from the 1991 novel A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth, originally about a reserved Englishman abroad with a brutal and murderous secret.

The movie re-imagines this expatriate loner as an American. Clooney plays Jack, an assassin first seen hiding out with a beautiful companion in a Swedish forest cabin. This blissful scene is shattered by violence, and Jack demonstrates his utter ruthlessness both to his attackers, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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