If you're expecting this film to be an action-packed thrill-a-minute ride about assassins in Europe, turn away. This film is anything but.
The American is like a short film, in that it doesn't explain anything other than what occurs in front of you. Anything about George Clooney's past is completely hidden from us aside from the first 2 minutes of the film. There is no explanation for why anything is happening in the first few minutes, why "Swedes" are after him, or how he came to work for Pavel.
If this is a problem for you, this is not your film. It bothers me a bit, but if you can accept that the film isn't working conventionally, its a marvel to watch.
The film develops at its own pace, taking its sweet time. It is masterfully crafted in the vein of Le Samourai, by Melville. Its protagonist isn't one for talking or communication at all, he is silent and pensive. The movie itself reflects this, meditatively examining the isolation and solitude that he has perhaps forced himself into.
It is beautifully shot, and in 1080p the Italian countryside looks lush and stunning. The details here are very well etched. The sound is fine, presenting no problems to the film. The shipment arrived quickly, within 2 days of ordering, and no real issues except for a strange tear on the spine of the packaging. Aside from this, the blu-ray content and quality is almost perfect - showcases the power of blu-ray quite well. It's a little light on supplements (a commentary with the director and a few making-of featurettes), but it's worth it.
I recommend this film to anyone with a lot, and I mean a LOT of patience. It is a great film solely because it exists within itself, not within a timeframe. It is momentary, contemplative, and sombre. It's European Art-House cinema. If that's not your thing, I can't recommend this.
But for anyone who appreciates the medium, it's an interesting film to watch. Check it out.