The American

Rated 3.0

Whatever George Clooney’s limitations as an actor, his strongest and most laudable impulse as a star has been to install himself as the reincarnated paragon of 1960s existentialist cool. The American takes that impulse further than any Clooney vehicle yet (much of the film is just him ordering coffee and moping against scenic backdrops), and many of his fans will probably find it unwatchable. Clooney plays Jack, a terse killer for hire who has sacrificed his self-identity for the job; he’s a complete cipher from start to finish. After an attempt on his life ends with him shooting his own lover, Jack retreats to a small Italian village to hide out and await his fate. Music video director Anton Corbijn (Control) has made a good-looking film, and there’s enough artistic pretensions to pique your interest, but The American is ultimately a vapid and pointless excursion.