It worked out that I had a free evening last night.  I decided to squander away my time watching movies. I'd recently gotten a copy of The American and after a brief run to the used CD/DVD store I decided to pair it up with Safe House.
I pretty knew the gist of what Safe House was about  and thought that the American was similar. Which given the cover the American seemed a safe bet. 
I began the double feature with Safe House.
Safe House: Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds "team up" in this one. Denzel Washington takes a rare turn at playing a bad guy.  To be honest I'd forgotten it was Ryan Reynolds in this one and if I had paid more attention at the store would probably have thought twice about buying it had I remembered. It's not that I don't like the guy, it's more that I don't like the guy.
To be clearer. I haven't actually seen a ton of movie with Reynolds, but I've developed the impression that he's a bit of a goof ball and I expect more of a frat boy performance out of him than that of a soldier/spy. This is probably in a large part because of Van Wilder and the Green Lantern movie, neither of which I saw. 
Safe House has definitely improved things. He was completely believable and did a great job. Granted it was an action flick and didn't really call for too much depth of acting, but nevertheless I enjoyed his performance and the movie in general.
If I have any real bone to pick with the movie it's that it fails in the same way that every movie of this ilk seems to fail.  Which is that the "surprise" bad guy in the movie was about as much of a surprise as plain white toast.  Anyone who didn't know that he was a bad guy the first or second time he was on the screen probably screams in terror every time the toaster pops-up.
The American: So if you've seen this movie and you read my assumptions above you have already realize what I'm about to say in the next sentence. This movie was not at all what I was expecting. It did have some violence and a sort of a car chase  and guns, but it is not an action movie.
Instead it's a movie about a guy whose life is sad, lonely and boring. He then comes to realize how sad, lonely and boring his life is. He decides to stop living a sad, lonely and boring life. This naturally results in the ending that movies of this formula always end with.  Thus, my biggest problem with this movie is that the "surprise" at the end was no surprise at all.
A minor problem could be the slow pacing and lack of action, but then again that is probably more a factor of what I was expecting versus what I actually got. 
Safe House: B+
The American: B+
 - Meaning the Pook took the boys to a Halloween party and I was free to do as I like.
 - Guns, violence, explosions, car chases, etc, etc.
 - George Clooney running with a gun.
 - Sort of.
 - Looking at his IMDB listing doesn't really change that opinion either.
 - So it's more of a bone to pick with these movies in general.
 - Just to be clear, by that I mean none-at-all.
 - Motor scooters count, right?
 - And of course, somewhere along the way he falls in love with a prostitute.
 - So more of a problem with me than the movie.