The American is a subdued thriller about one not escaping his past.
George Clooney plays Jack and he is an American weapons expert in Europe. Plying his trade in secret, Jack goes to a small town of Castel del Monte in Italy to finish a complicated weapon. The isolation and loneliness get to Jack and he breaks protocol by getting involved with the locals-- first, befriending the town's priest and then falling for a local prostitute. But as Jack decides to escape his life of intrigue, his situation becomes even more dangerous.
Two things work for me in the film: First, is the beautifully shot locations in Italy. Castel del Monte's small town appeal is captured wonderfully by the film. Seriously, you can take screenshots of the film and print them as post cards. Second is George Clooney's restrained performance as Jack. He relies so much in his instincts that he grapples with them a lot. I feel comfortable labeling Jack as the "Anti-James Bond."
I left the theater affected and with good reason-- The American succeeds in setting up the mood and atmosphere.
Technorati: The American