The American ★★★

I'm not quite sure Clooney is versatile enough to pull off this performance, but I do like the idea of a spy movie where the spy is so wrapped up in his own paranoia and self-destructive tendencies that he unintentionally spreads America's destructive imperialist policies abroad without even really knowing it. The movie never quite gets there, and while leaving Mr. Butterfly's backstory opaque is fine, it also unnecessarily obscures the motivations of his colleagues in the final act. I would've liked a bit more investment in the community of the Italian villa, too, or at least for the film to payoff what investment we did have (whatever happened to the priest's son after we meet him?).

It's not The Conversation in Italy, but that's okay. Glad to just see a modern spy movie with only like 6 gunshots.