The American is subtle but satisfying

How you feel about Anton Corbijn's film depends on how you feel about Clooney.

One’s enjoyment of The American depends on one’s feelings about George Clooney. Director Anton Corbijn is clearly a fan, having placed almost the entire weight of his movie on the actor’s immaculately dressed shoulders. Clooney plays a professional killer hiding out in small-town Italy following the tragic conclusion of his previous job. He divides his time between a kindly priest, an even kindlier prostitute, a mysterious weapon-manufacturing assignment and pulling his gun whenever there’s a sudden, loud noise. Corbijn takes his time connecting the plot dots and building suspense, putting the focus on Clooney’s quiet, minimalist portrayal of a paranoid man recognizing too late the consequences of his chosen occupation. His performance is the engine that, along with Corbijn’s gorgeous compositions, drives this subtle yet satisfying film.

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