Films of 2010

31 12 2010


And so, without further ado, here’s my pick of the best films released in the UK in 2010:

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The American – A Review

1 12 2010

George Clooney, The American

George Clooney in 'The American'

Films about assassins can generally go in one of two directions. They can either play up the inherent air of stylishness, mystery and glamour that we seem to associate with hit-men, or they can try to play these associations down, and instead show us contract killers as they really are: flawed, desperate and, more often than not, a little incompetent.

Most directors seem to plump wholeheartedly for Option A (Le Samourai, Leon, No Country For Old Men), and even those who opt for Option B (Ghost Dog, Grosse Pointe Blank, In Bruges) seem to find it difficult to let go entirely of the studied, self-conscious ‘cool’ that we associate with the genre.

Anton Corbijn, whose 2006 debut Control told the story of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, here finds himself with a foot in both camps too. On the one hand, George Clooney’s Jack is an archetypal cool-as-ice hit-man: methodical, isolated and ready to kill in cold blood at the drop of a hat. On the other, as he lies low in a small Italian town after a bloody opening shoot-out in Sweden, he is a man haunted by his past and by the realisation that, if he were to put his work to one side for just a moment, he would find a life with precious little else left in it to call his own.

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