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.



Total Count: 199


Audience Score

User Ratings: 299,875
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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
David Lansbury
as Timmy Clayton
Remy Auberjonois
as Fifth Year
Heidi Armbruster
as Anna's Sister
Sean Cullen (II)
as Gene Clayton
Wai Chan
as Chinese Dealer
Brian Poteat
as Deposition Lawyer
Alberto Vasquez
as Player No. 1
Christopher Mann
as Lieutenant Elston
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 (199) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (180) | Rotten (19)

Audience Reviews for Michael Clayton

  • Nov 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
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2015
    WAY overrated. Michael Clayton is a over the top cliche starring George Clooney as a down in the dump lawyer who specializes in fixing various questionable cases. However, he found himself getting trapped in a catastrophe of conspiracy and lies. He must figure out how to turn his life around while saving himself from getting killed. I got so bored and the acting was unconvincing. How could this film be nominated for so many awards is beyond me. Oh wait, I know, liberal critics and Hollywood.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2013
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2013
    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. W Super Reviewer

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