Black Man vs Train. Black Man wins. Who needs more when you're dealing with a missile the size of the Chrysler building?

Deathly Hallows Part 1

The first part of the last part of the ever-darkening franchise, Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the best film of the lot. Yes, even The Columbus Years.

The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

This TV movie spends one hour in hospital, one in court. It's basically an episode of Casualty and Kavanagh QC back-to-back.

The American

Veteran hitman shacks up in southern Italy. Sleeps with women. Befriends priest. Takes pretty pictures. Classy stuff.

Potterthon 2010

Poor boy with no friends lives in cupboard under the stairs. Decides to live blog all Harry Potter films in a row. 902 minutes. 6 films. 1 television. Accio life.


Machete don't text. Machete disappointing. Machete better as trailer.

Leap Year

Disturbing, graphic and painful to watch. Yes, it's realistic, but that’s part of what makes it so unpleasant.

Due Date

The Funniest Film Since The Hangover? Due Date ticks every comedy box. Except the one labelled jokes.

Despicable Me

Likeable fun with a lazy conclusion, Despicable Me shoots for the moon, steals it, then lets it go again. Above average, but below Pixar.

https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/375117unstoppabletop.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/296878Voldemort_Harry_Potter_Deathly_Hallows_Wallpaper_2.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/321631hornets_top.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/456263americantop.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/726318HPDH1_05058c.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/836279machete_top.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/419267leapyeartop.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/589146duedatetop.jpg https://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/819482despicableme_top.jpg

Star Ratings

Very Good


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Home Reviews Cinema The American
The American Print E-mail
Written by Selina Pearson   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:57
Director: Anton Corbijn
Cast: George Clooney, Thekla Routen, Violante Placido
Certificate: 15

Old veteran hitman shacks up in southern Italy. Sleeps with women. Befriends priest. Takes lots of pretty pictures. One might be forgiven for thinking that this film fits the Bourne mould. It doesn’t. This is closer to Le Samourai, and it's all the better for it.


Grey-haired and world-weary, Jack (Clooney) is an assassin and weapons expert. After having his peaceful Swedish sanctuary violated, he quite literally comes in from the cold with an icy determination. But his handler in Rome still has a job for him to do.

Eager to avoid attention, Jack hides out in Abruzzo, where he tries to blend in as a photographer. During his sluggish small-town life, Jack, ever conscious of his need to remain isolated, begins to interact with the locals. The gossipy priest won’t take no for an answer and his favourite prostitute (Placido) is getting pretty (ahem) attached to him.

As he starts to settle down, an enigmatic femme fatale (Routen) enters the picturesque scene. But there are no explosions or sudden shootouts - The American is a slow and methodical film, driven by Clooney’s stoic protagonist. Some will feel frustrated by Corbijn's calm pace, but his composition is consistently eye-catching. Even the twisting roads look beautiful.

It's not as good as the director's debut film, Control, but there is definitely something captivating about its drawn-out narrative. From the silhouetted opening credits to the final moralised frame, The American is an old-school existential thriller, more a treatise on loneliness than the adventures of an assassin. Classy stuff.


Cooly confident, The American sticks to its guns for a slice of sedated but sure-footed cinema.


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