In the opening sequence of The American, George Clooney is in the middle of a hookup in snowy Sweden when he bumps off the two men who've been hired to kill him and shoots the woman he was sleeping with in the back. (She's innocent, but he can leave no witnesses.) That's a promising moment - it suggests that Clooney is playing the sort of sociopathic hitman one remembers from films like The Day of the Jackal (1973). But The American, directed by Anton Corbijn (Control), turns out to be a draggy, rather morose art thriller. Clooney's Jack, a weary veteran of the assassin lifestyle, is a sinner out to save himself, and the film portrays him like Jason Bourne on a fake-Antonioni journey of redemption.
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