The American (2010) Movie Review

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The American Movie Poster
Poster design by MOJO (with thanks to IMP Awards)

Assassins, George Clooney and beautiful Italian locations – what more can you ask for from a movie. Let me start by saying there is absolutely nothing American about this movie, it has a very European artsy feel to it bolstered by a European cast.

This is a movie which you will either like it or you won’t, there will be no in-between.

Actors/ Characters

George Clooney plays Jack while the Italian beauty Violante Placido portrays Clara. The cast is supported by Thekla Reuten, Irina Bjorklund and Johan Leysen amongst others. The cast, excluding George Clooney come from all corners of Europe.


The movie centers on an assassin, Jack. Whilst relaxing in a Swedish retreat with his lover Ingrid (Irina) he realises that he has become a sniper target and soon disposes of the sniper, and Ingrid to dispose of all evidence.

His path takes him to Rome, where his associate Pavel (Johan) tell him it’s not safe to be in Rome, and instructs him to go to a small town by the name of Castelvecchio. Feeling slightly uneasy, Jack instead heads to the town of Castel del Monte to hide out and await further instructions.

While hiding out in Castel del Monte he is given another assignment to build a precision sniper rifle for an assassination job for Mathilde (Thekla).

Scene from The American 2010
Violante Placido and George Clooney star in The American

Posing himself as a photographer, he slowly gets to know the locals and in particular Clara, the prostitute he starts to grow fond of.

The assassins after Jack in Sweden have now found out his whereabouts and are hot on his heels, as slowly suspicion builds up as Jack doesn’t know who to trust anymore, including Clara.

It soon becomes apparent to Jack that the assassination plot will be his own, and that he may just have to pay a heavy price if wants to get out of the business, and to get out of it alive.


Having not really seen any trailers, I wasn’t sure what I was really getting myself into, as I was expecting a fair bit of action. However, this movie is minimal on action and focuses more on the character itself. As good an actor George Clooney is, I felt no real attachment to his role of Jack. Yes his and Clara’s romance was cute but for a film with no action it still didn’t grip me like it should have.

As mentioned above, this is definitely a movie which will swing either way for you.

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