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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
According to the movie, the life of an assassin is lonely and filled with extended periods of solitary anxiety and a few brief moments of danger. The nature of the job precludes personal connections, and they always seem to be looking over their shoulder.
Positive Role Models
The main character is clearly a professional and master of his craft, but the work is taking a toll, and his guard seems to be slipping. He makes the job seem soul-killing rather than glamorous, so it's no surprise when he says he wants to get out.
Violence & Scariness
Several intense gunfights. The action scenes come up suddenly and end quickly, with enemies dispatched efficiently and without remorse. A few scenes show bloody bodies, including one dying assassin whose body has been mangled by an explosive.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Plenty of nudity, including extended, full-frontal shots of a female prostitute and a brief glimpse of a man's naked butt. One sex scene is particularly long and explicit, with lots of thrusting, writhing, a suggestion of oral sex, and a woman who appears to climax.
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Not a lot of swearing. A couple of uses of "f--k," and one conversation has several references to "bastards."
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Products & Purchases
A few European automotive brands are mentioned/visible, including a Fiat car and a Vespa scooter.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some scenes show people drinking wine at dinner, and few feature harder liquor, though nobody appears to be drunk. A few people smoke cigarettes, including a half-naked woman who lights up after sex.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this slow-paced, suspenseful drama focuses on an assassin for hire (played by George Clooney), but it's neither an action film nor a thriller. It has some intense gunfights, but the real "action" is watching the quiet life of a lonely mercenary who longs for human connection but is always looking over his shoulder in fear. A few scenes include smoking and drinking, and there's a good deal of nudity (including full-frontal female) and some explicit sex. Teens expecting a violent spy film might be disappointed (and even bored), but more mature viewers may appreciate this intimate look at a solitary life spent on the run. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Anyone expecting a Bourne-like thrill-a-minute experience will be suprised and perplexed by THE AMERICAN. Though suspenseful, it proceeds at a mindful, brooding, and, in some instances, glacial pace. Watch Clooney working alone in his room, drinking alone at a bar, standing alone on a riverbank. (You get the picture.)
Therein lies director Anton Corbijn's genius. Viewers don't just see Edward's isolation and increasing despair -- they feel it by the second. His responses and decisions, then, make perfect sense within his very palpable existence. Clooney once again turns in fine work, but sometimes his superstar George Clooney-ness overwhelms. (It doesn't help that the film is set in Italy, where everyone who has ever read a tabloid knows that Clooney has a villa and lives part-time.) Not everything makes sense at first watching, but it pays to get to know The American.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.