Michael Clayton


Michael Clayton

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.



Reviews Counted: 198

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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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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 astronomical debt. Though he longs to leave the cutthroat, ethically dubious world of corporate law behind, Clayton's poor financial situation and devotion to firm head Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack) leave him little choice but to remain on the job and tough it out. Meanwhile, litigator Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) finds her entire company's future hinging on the outcome of a multi-billion-dollar settlement overseen by Clayton's friend, star lawyer Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson). When Edens snaps and decides to blow the whistle on the questionable case, sabotaging the defense, Clayton must decide between his loyalty and his conscience. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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George Clooney
as Michael Clayton
Tilda Swinton
as Karen Crowder
Tom Wilkinson
as Arthur Edens
Sydney Pollack
as Marty Bach
Michael O'Keefe
as Barry Grissom
Denis O'Hare
as Mr. Greer
Robert Prescott
as Mr. Verne
Terry Serpico
as Mr. Iker
Ken Howard
as Don Jeffries
Julie White
as Mrs. Greer
Kevin Hagan
as Raymond Clayton
Austin Williams
as Henry Clayton
Remy Auberjonois
as Fifth Year
David Lansbury
as Timmy Clayton
Heidi Armbruster
as Anna's Sister
Sean Cullen (II)
as Gene Clayton
Wai Chan
as Chinese Dealer
Brian Poteat
as Deposition Lawyer
Christopher Mann
as Lieutenant Elston
Alberto Vasquez
as Player No. 1
Edward Furs
as Milwaukee Captain
Brian Koppelman
as Player No. 2
Frank Wood
as Gerald
John Gerard Franklin
as Corrections Officer
Richard Hecht
as Auctioneer
William Raymond
as Gabe Zabel
Jason Strong
as First Year
Pun Bandhu
as Fourth Year
Amy Hargreaves
as Interviewer
David Zayas
as Detective Dalberto
Danielle Skraastad
as Bridget Klein
Pamela Gray
as Cindy Bach
Julia Gibson
as Stephanie Clayton
Susan Egbert
as Michelle
Doug McGrath
as Jeff Gaffney
Sam Gilroy
as Copy Kid
Maggie Siff
as Attorney #1
Sarah Nichols
as Barry's Assistant
Jordan Lage
as Partner
Neal Huff
as First Associate
Paul Juhn
as Second Associate
Mike Scelza
as Poker Consultant
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News & Interviews for Michael Clayton

Critic Reviews for Michael Clayton

All Critics (198) | Top Critics (46)

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.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

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
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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