Michael Clayton Reviews

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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
[A] smoldering corporate thriller.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 13, 2007
Confident in the story's power and the moviegoers' intelligence, Gilroy uses only one explosion to own our rapt attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 13, 2007
A throwback to trim, intelligent moral thrillers like The Verdict and Absence of Malice.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 11, 2007
This doesn't begin to deserve the Oscar nominations it's likely to get, but I had a good time with it nonetheless.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 11, 2007
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 | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 11, 2007
Stop printing the ballots. Don't waste money on those "for your consideration" Oscar ads. There is but one contender for best supporting actor this year, and it is Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
October 9, 2007
Full of plausible characters who are capable of surprising - and surpassing - your expectations.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 8, 2007
One of my favorite movies of the year.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 5, 2007
This is unequivocally a thriller for adults
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
October 5, 2007
While the plot is complex in the telling, it unfolds onscreen with propulsive fascination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 5, 2007
This is Gilroy's first film as director; I can't wait to see what he's got next.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 5, 2007
The ultimate showcase for the defining male lead of our time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
October 5, 2007
In an accomplished directorial debut, Gilroy gives the film a shadowy, autumnal hue and combines image and sound in sometimes surprising and ingenious ways.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 5, 2007
It's about issues of personal responsibility and moral duty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 5, 2007
There are more than ample rewards for discerning adults: Some of the best dialogue in a recent movie and a gallery of unforgettable performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 5, 2007
Every performance in this film is spot-on.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 5, 2007
The movie's plot may be familiar, but its hero is a unique and memorable creation.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 5, 2007
If Michael Clayton's particular mix of law and commerce gets a little murky, that murkiness also gives the film a shadowy aura.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 5, 2007
Clooney, for his part, allows his movie star looks to go flabby and soft (all things being relative, of course), and he buries the performance way down in his gut.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 5, 2007
...sharp writing from Tony Gilroy and an intelligent, subtly powerful performance from George Clooney.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2007
The pieces come together into a stirring portrait of a man reclaiming his soul from a scrap heap of discarded principles.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 5, 2007
It is just about perfect as an exercise in the genre. I've seen it twice, and the second time, knowing everything that would happen, I found it just as fascinating because of how well it was all shown happening.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
October 5, 2007
Dark in color, mood and outraged worldview, Michael Clayton is a film that speaks to the way we live now.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 5, 2007
Instead of the typical John Grisham-style connect-the-dots legal thriller, we get a film that's idiosyncratic, with a time-shifting structure, a surfeit of subplots and characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 4, 2007
Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton feels so fresh, so smart, so different from the standard-issue legal thriller that it isn't until nearly an hour in that you notice how conventional a movie it actually is.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2007
With the George Clooney-starring Michael Clayton, [Tony Gilroy] has not only saved his best script for himself, he's also turned out a smart and suspenseful legal thriller that comes completely alive on-screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 4, 2007
Without [Clooney], and without some fine playing from Wilkinson and from Sydney Pollack as the firm's lead partner, Michael Clayton would be glossy claptrap.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 4, 2007
The filmmaker, best known as the scribe of the Bourne trilogy, wears both director and writer hats here, and the results are electrifying.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 4, 2007
This uncommonly intelligent thriller evokes the great films of the 1970s (All the President's Men, Klute, Three Days of the Condor) that managed to elicit gritty urban realism while maintaining a suave sense of style and moral complexity.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 4, 2007
It's one of the most satisfying films of the year, recalling a classy breed of studio film more common in the 1970s and the early '80s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
October 4, 2007
It's invigorating and impressive on a formal level, but ultimately wearying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 3, 2007
When critics complain about the dumbing down of movies into franchise popcorn, what we're really doing is yearning for a terrifically engrossing, tethered-to-the-real-world drama like Michael Clayton.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 3, 2007
Michael Clayton literally knocks its brains out trying to be clever, but it ends up being the same kind of smart-alecky filmmaking most of Mr. Clooney's movies are famous for.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 3, 2007
Deliberate, demanding and character-driven, Michael Clayton flies in the face of what sells at the multiplex.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
October 2, 2007
It will no doubt be said time and again of Michael Clayton: best John Grisham adaptation ever.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 2, 2007
Michael Clayton builds to a fitting conclusion and doesn't need surprise twists or cheap theatrics to get to that point.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
October 1, 2007
Clooney looks a little worn, and the shagginess becomes him. He gives a beautiful, modulated performance, and he's never been more likable. Nor has he ever had better lines.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 1, 2007
Clooney is as good as he has ever been.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
September 11, 2007
George Clooney's subtle, affecting performance is the chief reason to see this super-sincere social drama.
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Brian Lowry
Variety
August 31, 2007
[A] lack of fireworks makes Michael Clayton refreshing in a sense, eschewing traditional white hats and black hats for more realistic shades of gray.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 31, 2007
As with the Bourne films, Gilroy has a knack for creating strong characters and situations that resonate with tension.