Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Here is a gripping film with the focus of a Japanese drama, an impenetrable character to equal Alain Delon's in "Le Samourai," by Jean-Pierre Melville.
The American, a movie as coiled as a snake and as still as a sleepy villa, is the rare grownup thriller that knows the link between peace and danger and the tension that comes from both.
Orlando Sentinel
Crisp, compact and cryptic, The American is a standard-issue hit-man thriller tailor made for George Clooney.
Corbijn makes the familiar strange, focusing on details other filmmakers would gloss over.
Chicago Tribune
The movie is a paradox. It's ostentatiously restrained. You cannot say Corbijn lacks rigor. You can, however, say that when a talented director's approach too precisely mirrors the tightly calibrated performance strategy of his leading player, a movie risks stalling out completely.
It is a reasonably skillful exercise in genre and style, a well-made vessel containing nothing in particular, though some of its features - European setting, slow pacing, full-frontal female nudity - are more evocative of the art house than of the multiplex.
The Hollywood Reporter
Nothing really adds up, and the ending is downright absurd. You would like even the most austere, doctrinaire existential movie to earn its downbeat ending. This one fails utterly to do so.
The role requires Clooney to dial down his charm to nearly zero, and frankly, he looks twitchy and uncomfortable without it.
The film is overripe with erotic symbols.
Charlotte Observer
A slow, grim, atmospheric but virtually plotless look at a blank-faced loner who is obsessed with his work, has no friends except for one woman inexplicably attached to him, and ends up making those around him miserable.

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