American Assassin

Rated 3.0

When his fiance is murdered in a terrorist strike, young Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) launches a one-man vendetta. This brings him to the attention of a CIA exec (Sanaa Lathan), who recruits him for training under a veteran cold warrior (Michael Keaton). Directed by Michael Cuesta and adapted by Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz from the novels of Vince Flynn, the movie is an efficient intro to a new franchise, though it can’t avoid a sense that no matter how well it’s all done this time—the globe-hopping, the explosive set pieces, the we’re-not-so-different-you-and-I villain, the apocalyptic climax—we’ve seen it all before. Still, O’Brien has an acceptable (albeit modest) level of charisma, Keaton adds gritty gravitas, and Cuesta keeps it all clipping along. J.L.