Michael Clayton - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Clayton Reviews

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February 1, 2016
George Clooney portrays a slick, powerful and wicked smart lawyers who's realm is the shadows. Emerging only when a clean up is required, referring to himself as a janitor rather than a miracle worker. The joust between Swinton and Clooney keeps the viewer suspended on the edge of the seat until the movies very conclusion. Although it doesn't have a true mission and nor will it change your mind about much, it certainly serves as a sign that there are still fresh stories to tell in the Business/ law suspense genre.
January 29, 2016
Impeccably scripted and terrifically acted, "Michael Clayton" delivers a riveting and potent story of corporate conspiracy.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2007
In this twisty plot that skips a lot through time and place the actors reign supreme. Having said that, I still don't know much about who Michael Clayton, the man and the fixer, is. It seems relatively clear that Clayton, played by Clooney, is growing a conscience. In the midst of the Bourne series (which I haven't seen yet), Tony Gilroy builds tons of mystery and deception into this story. You hope that Tom Wilkinson's Arthur gets better and gets out of the dirty legal life. You hope for the downfall of the conglomerate represented by Tilda Swinton's Karen. And Clayton's son's fantasy novel is this weird piece that just completes the puzzle.
December 28, 2015
Kept me on the edge. Good movie but did Clooney seem just a bit too casual?
½ December 3, 2015
Any other year but the 2008 Oscar awards and Michael Clayton probably would have been the favorite to take home Best Picture. It has pretty much everything a great movie usually has. But the fact that it had to go up against No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood for the top prize that year, pretty much put it on the back burner to those two films, not to mention Atonement, which critics loved as well. Clooney probably would have secured his second Oscar for acting if Daniel Day Lewis didn't deliver one of the best performances of all time in There Will Be Blood. But all that aside, Michael Clayton is a great movie. A really fresh and interesting story with great performances from everyone involved makes it one of my favorite movies of the last decade or so. Its not really a complicated story to follow either, it's so well written and directed that it takes a complicated subject matter and makes it enjoyable to the viewer.
½ November 30, 2015
Any other year but the 2008 Oscar awards and Michael Clayton probably would have been the favorite to take home Best Picture. It has pretty much everything a great movie usually has. But the fact that it had to go up against No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood for the top prize that year, pretty much put it on the back burner to those two films, not to mention Atonement, which critics loved as well. Clooney probably would have secured his second Oscar for acting if Daniel Day Lewis didn't deliver one of the best performances of all time in There Will Be Blood. But all that aside, Michael Clayton is a great movie. A really fresh and interesting story with great performances from everyone involved makes it one of my favorite movies of the last decade or so. Its not really a complicated story to follow either, it's so well written and directed that it takes a complicated subject matter and makes it enjoyable to the viewer.
Bradley T. Johnson
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2015
Though Michael Clayton is solidly acted, it doesn't grab the audience in any major way to make them care about any of the main characters. The plot is also a bit contrived never quite successful in letting the audience in on the struggles of the characters. George Clooney does what George Clooney does and is rather good at it. Tom Wilkinson is great in his few scenes as well as Tilda Swinton, but there was never much revealed about these characters. Overall, Michael Clayton is sophisticated but lacking in thrills and in a strong story. Rating: 60
½ May 18, 2014
A very slow burning thriller that is enough for one viewing and George Clooney's presence alone
October 21, 2015
I can't argue against its many AA nominations. However, I didn't feel it did better than "solid" as a legal thriller.
September 29, 2015
Such an excellent year for film. Clooney outperformes a smart script and superb direction in one of 2007's best.
March 31, 2009
Update; August 27, 2015 - Every time I watch this film I like it more and more. I give it four stars now because it is a very good story, finely directed, with strong performances by the whole cast, precision in almost all aspects of the film.

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Been about three years since I last watched this and I want to give it four stars because it really is a fine film but the pacing is just a little too slow, it's about twenty minutes too long and the big ending just isn't satisfying enough.
August 9, 2015
Wound as tightly as a snare drum from start to finish, Michael Clayton meticulously dismantles the motives of several desperate people instigated in a scandalous legal battle, following their conversations out of the court room and into the hotel lobbies, back alley ways, and country roads where split-second decisions are made, and fates are ultimately sealed.
March 30, 2012
Tony Gilroy's directorial debut managed to accomplish on how to make a thriller. George Clooney and Tilda Swinton (after winning an Oscar for this role) act like normal people thanks to a well-written script. It kept me hooked until the very end.
November 26, 2007
Tight and tidy thriller which gets forgotten in the long back catalogue of George Clooney's career.
July 6, 2015
Smart and well acted but not to to that much of a gripping degree.
½ June 21, 2015
Good film, but a bit too long. 4 stars if they would've cut out 15-20 minutes.
June 9, 2015
A perfect movie. I do not know how you make a script this smart.
February 22, 2009
I may have to change the low rating someday. It is one of those movies that really makes you think. For me, it was confusing and I didn't get what was going on a lot of the time. The ending did make some sense, but still no cigar.
March 3, 2008
This one's not bad, lots of good acting performances. The script is good, not great, but engaging enough. It's interesting to see all the internal conflicts being struggled through.

Edit: I watched this again (April 2015), and bumped it up to 4 stars. The intensity and drama are pretty good.
½ August 24, 2008
A slow moving dialog based movie. Tom Wilkinson did an amazing job, but the movie itself drug a little. The ending was good, but just took forever to get there. I like the storyline but I needed a little more.
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