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Michael Clayton (2007)


Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 197
Fresh: 178
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: Michael Clayton is one of the most sharply scripted films of 2007, with an engrossing premise and faultless acting. Director Tony Gilroy succeeds not only in capturing the audience's attention, but holding it until the credits roll.

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 42
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: Michael Clayton is one of the most sharply scripted films of 2007, with an engrossing premise and faultless acting. Director Tony Gilroy succeeds not only in capturing the audience's attention, but holding it until the credits roll.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 298,363


Movie Info

Michael Clayton (George Clooney) handles all of the dirty work for a major New York law firm, arranging top-flight legal services and skirting through loopholes for ethically questionable clients. But when a fellow "fixer" decides to turn on the very firm they were hired to clean up for, Clayton finds himself at the center of a conspiratorial maelstrom. Once an ambitious D.A., Clayton is now a shell of his former dynamic self, thanks to a divorce, an unfortunate business venture, and … More

R (for language including some sexual dialogue)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Tony Gilroy
In Theaters:
Feb 19, 2008
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Michael Clayton

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (178) | Rotten (19) | DVD (27)

[A] smoldering corporate thriller.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

By now, George Clooney is so smooth, he could be a brand name like Gillette or Ex-Lax.

Full Review… | January 18, 2008
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Confident in the story's power and the moviegoers' intelligence, Gilroy uses only one explosion to own our rapt attention.

Full Review… | October 13, 2007
Denver Post
Top Critic

A throwback to trim, intelligent moral thrillers like The Verdict and Absence of Malice.

Full Review… | October 13, 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

This doesn't begin to deserve the Oscar nominations it's likely to get, but I had a good time with it nonetheless.

Full Review… | October 11, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Smart and exciting, Michael Clayton takes the audience on a ride whose pleasures almost sneak up on you and are all the more satisfying because of it.

Full Review… | October 11, 2007
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

There's a lot of skill involved in Michael Clayton and an understated, ambiguous hero that's becoming rare in modern film. Even if under its subtle surface there isn't really much there, the surface is good enough to make it worthwhile.

Full Review… | April 8, 2011

Michael Clayton is a chilling, intense conspiracy thriller, filled with intriguing characters and great performances.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Equates serious inquiry with inert filmmaking

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Clooney's latest venture into panache is thriller style in Michael Clayton.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

If I had to sum this movie up with one word, it would be tense.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Three Movie Buffs

Grisham for exceptionally bleeding hearts

Full Review… | August 9, 2008
Apollo Guide

Michael Clayton definitely has its heart in the '70s.

Full Review… | May 1, 2008

Malo je gledatelja koji od prve ne%u0107e shvatiti tko su u filmu pozitivci a tko negativci.

Full Review… | April 10, 2008

A killer voice-over by Tom Wilkinson sets the tone for this dramatic thriller, and you're willing to go on the journey even if you don't understand it all the time.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
The Scorecard Review

The cast is outstanding, with Clooney giving the strongest performance of his career, which says a lot since he already has an Oscar

Full Review… | March 1, 2008
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

A serviceable drama/thriller that starts a little slow, but ultimately gets into a nice rhythm.

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Clooney's glamorous intelligence is deepened by his constant hints that slickness, like corporate integrity, is just an act.

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
I.E. Weekly

A straight-ahead suspense melodrama, complete with villain and a climax with satisfyingly clean lines. But Gilroy constantly elevates the material with surprise gifts. [Blu-Ray review]

February 20, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Each new viewing brings something fresh and insightful with it.

Full Review… | February 5, 2008
Movie Metropolis

a thriller of the most sophisticated type, playing the macrocosm of Clayton's professional problems against the microcosm of the soul he thought he had conveniently compartmentalized

Full Review… | January 30, 2008
Killer Movie Reviews

Michael Clayton, The Re-Release: Suits in deadly combat may not sound like the ideal setup for an action thriller, especially if the labels are of the pricey designer variety. But hey, this is George Clooney, who isn't half bad no matter what he's wearing

Full Review… | January 25, 2008

Clooney is just one of a stellar cast perfectly suited to their roles, with Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Sydney Pollack sharing his command of the material whenever they're on screen.

Full Review… | January 15, 2008
Dark Horizons

Un drama en clave de thriller sobre la corrupción corporativa, a medio camino entre El Informante y Erin Brockovich. Estupendo debut en la dirección del guionista Tony Gilroy.

Full Review… | December 25, 2007
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for Michael Clayton


Though not the most entertaining or innovative film, Michael Clayton is still a compelling, smart, and satisfying thriller that features strong acting and an interesting premise.


Corporate greed's at the middle of this look at the behind the scenes legal wrangling in a wrongful death lawsuit, greed vs. morality.
The leads are good (especially
Swinton) even if the pace is slow at first, so distracting.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

The standard of filmmaking in ''Michael Clayton'' is impeccable. The plot threads tie together wonderfully, the performances from Clooney, Swinton and Wilkinson are outstanding and the tension that runs throughout the film is so high. Gilroy's script is wonderful with such hard-hitting dialogue and the development of each character is incredibly solid. If you're looking for a superbly assembled and suspenseful drama, ''Michael Clayton'' is as perfect as you could get.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

Michael Clayton is an ex-ADA who now works as a fixer for a corporate law firm. When his old friend and mentor seemingly has a psychological break while defending another corporate giant he is called in to "handle" the situation. I must admit that this film had me hooked right from the incredibly intense monologue from Tom Wilkinson that opens the film. It plays out like a corporate Cold War film; the fact is that the plot will be very familiar to anyone who has seen a few legal dramas and the conclusion has a definite air of inevitability about it. But it's the journey there that makes it so worthwhile. Wilkinson is superb as the corporate slave who has a life changing catharsis, as is Clooney as the complex and morally ambiguous Clayton and Tilda Swinton as the immoral but anxiety riddled executive. It has no pointless action sequences and no gimmicks or twists; it's simply an very well written, extremely well acted and attractively and intelligently directed film full of interesting characters and excellent dialogue. Even the portrayal of Clayton's homelife, which is usually cinematic poison is realistic and unsentimental. Very much in the tradition of the likes of All The President's Men, Michael Clayton is the best straightforward and unpretentious low-key thriller I've seen in recent years.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Michael Clayton Quotes

Michael Clayton:
Im Sheeva, the god of death!
– Submitted by Aron B (2 years ago)
Michael Clayton:
The police don't call.
– Submitted by Annie A (3 years ago)
Michael Clayton:
I'm not the guy you kill. I'm the guy you buy! Are you so fucking blind that you don't even see what I am? I sold out Arthur for 80 grand. I'm your easiest problem and you're gonna kill me?
– Submitted by Alejandro O (3 years ago)
Michael Clayton:
You're so fucked. Here let me get a picture while I'm at it.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
Michael Clayton:
Do I look like I'm negotiating?
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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