Michael Clayton - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Clayton Reviews

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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.


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.
½ February 23, 2008
Updated: Smart but complex. Well written, but hard to follow sometimes. Is there a clear message? Or just a intricately written novel. Interesting, but hard to follow, pretty much.
------------Old review-----------
While I enjoy an occasional movie like this, this one just seemed drawn out and melodramatically/slow. It's like reading a book on politics; lots of info, but not quite exciting.
½ June 2, 2014
Michael Clayton is good in theory, but regrettably unremarkable. Twisting simultaneous plot points into a Grisham-esque weave, it becomes clear with its undeveloped characters and plot that this is certainly no Grisham adaptation. The acting is good, with Tom Wilkinson in particular giving a very impressive performance, but Michael Clayton is forgotten within an hour of it leaving the screen.
April 26, 2015
A highly engaging thriller with plenty to offer. Good intense stuff.
½ April 16, 2015
Good movie! George Cloonley's acting was exceptional. Overall the acting in this movie was impressive. I didn't really like the premise. It also was boring for the first hour. I liked the use of the flashforward in the beginning of the movie. I thought this movie was original. I will probally watch this movie again to understand the movie completely.
½ April 4, 2015
Watched this on 4/5/15
Beautifully scripted and extremely well made, Michael Clayton has superb acting from George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton. It's script is flawless and it captures the viewer's attention from the beginning to the very end. I don't understand why people dislike it so much, there may be a few other films of the same nature, but that can't be considered as a fault.
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