Movie Review – The American

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What it’s about:  George Clooney plays, Jack, aka Mr. Clark, aka Edward, aka Mr. Butterfly (no, I’m not kidding).  Jack is an aging assassin who begins to question his profession after the death of a female friend. His contact tells him, “you know you can’t make friends”.  Jack goes into hiding in a small town in Italy and proceeds to make friends with a priest and a prostitute.  But trouble follows him.

The film was described as a thriller, but I didn’t see much “thrill”.  I went expecting to see something like Bourne Identity and it certainly is not.  The American was more of an art film than a thriller. The opening scenes take place in a snowy forest, almost black and white, a man dressed in black, the innocent woman dressed in white.  There is no background music in the beginning and then it’s very soft – the beginning is almost silent.  By the end, I was already hearing the Discussion Guide questions in my head.

What was the symbolism of the butterfly?  When did you see butterflies in the film and what did it mean?

The main character makes friends with a priest and a prostitute.  Although at opposite ends of the social spectrum, which one is the sinner?  Or as Jack points out, are all men sinners?

When Jack says to the priest, “I am sorry, Father”, does it mean just a superficial apology for the current situation or is he finally making the confession and expression of regret that the priest had been asking him for?

What is the similarity between the American cowboy, seen on television in the Italian cafe, and the scene between Jack and his boss?

Potential Spoiler: As Jack questions his career choice, he tells his boss he wants out.  Note to Assassins Everywhere:  you are not required to give two week’s notice when you decide to quit.  You are not eligible for unemployment and you cannot use your former boss as a reference.  In every movie, once you tell your boss you want out, you now have a contract on your head.

George Clooney, I love you!  The American, I love you not.

Grade:  C+


  1. 1

    I’m also a Clooney fan so I think I can bear thru it. ha ha I wish I could copies of movies to review I need a connection.

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