Michael Clayton Reviews

  • Jun 24, 2020

    Not always a happy story, but there are a number of powerhouse performances and an absolutely wonderful conclusion.

    Not always a happy story, but there are a number of powerhouse performances and an absolutely wonderful conclusion.

  • Jun 18, 2020

    Legal thrillers tend to be hit or miss for me. George Clooney being one of my favorite actors definitely aided in my finishing this flick in its entirety. His 3-dimensional performance carries the movie as does some really good dialogue throughout and good performances all across the board. The plot, however, just didn't do it for me. It plods along in the middle act until the juicy finish where Tilda Swinton gets exposed (best part of the movie). It has its moments of intrigue and mystery but those are far and few between in an otherwise average movie anchored by Clooney's presence.

    Legal thrillers tend to be hit or miss for me. George Clooney being one of my favorite actors definitely aided in my finishing this flick in its entirety. His 3-dimensional performance carries the movie as does some really good dialogue throughout and good performances all across the board. The plot, however, just didn't do it for me. It plods along in the middle act until the juicy finish where Tilda Swinton gets exposed (best part of the movie). It has its moments of intrigue and mystery but those are far and few between in an otherwise average movie anchored by Clooney's presence.

  • May 02, 2020

    Great watch from beginning to end.

    Great watch from beginning to end.

  • Apr 20, 2020

    A mildly interesting and entertaining movie. Certainly did not live up to the hype. There is nothing particularly gripping, suspenseful or powerful about either the movie or the performances. The acting, script and direction are solid, just not superb as the hype and reviews suggested.

    A mildly interesting and entertaining movie. Certainly did not live up to the hype. There is nothing particularly gripping, suspenseful or powerful about either the movie or the performances. The acting, script and direction are solid, just not superb as the hype and reviews suggested.

  • Feb 25, 2020

    Excellent screenplay and well constructed narrative featuring Clooney at his best.

    Excellent screenplay and well constructed narrative featuring Clooney at his best.

  • Jan 24, 2020

    Great Movie. Brilliant acting and wonderful dialogue/speeches. The interactions are first rate. From the top billed stars to the late great Sydney Pollack, everyone shines. No dead air in this film. A must see movie. "Have I got your heart racing?" "Do I look like I'm negotiating?" "Michael, I have great affection for you. And you lead a rich and interesting life, but you're a bag-man not an attorney." "I'm not the guy you kill, I'm the guy you buy!"

    Great Movie. Brilliant acting and wonderful dialogue/speeches. The interactions are first rate. From the top billed stars to the late great Sydney Pollack, everyone shines. No dead air in this film. A must see movie. "Have I got your heart racing?" "Do I look like I'm negotiating?" "Michael, I have great affection for you. And you lead a rich and interesting life, but you're a bag-man not an attorney." "I'm not the guy you kill, I'm the guy you buy!"

  • Dec 12, 2019

    The movie is peace of art.. what a magnificent role had played by mr.Clooney

    The movie is peace of art.. what a magnificent role had played by mr.Clooney

  • Oct 03, 2019

    Positives: acting direction and plot Negatives: screenplay, dialogue and execution.

    Positives: acting direction and plot Negatives: screenplay, dialogue and execution.

  • Sep 17, 2019

    George Clooney has never been my favorite actor as he tends to give two types of performances, either he is cold and calculating, Up in the Air (2009), Syriana (2005) etc., or supposedly charming and suave, Ocean's 11 (2001), Out of Sight (1998) etc., and he is just OK at playing both of these roles. The quality of the films he is in depends entirely on the people working around him as while he flails in The Peacemaker (1997) he comes across very well in this film which features talent such as Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson in front of the camera and Tony Gilroy and James Newton Howard working behind the scenes. An absorbing crime thriller as well as a character study this is a film with wide appeal as it is intellectual and thrilling at once. ‘Fixer' Michael Clayton, George Clooney, experiences a mid life crisis as he struggles to pay back debts owed to dangerous individuals over his risky investment in a restaurant and continues gambling despite knowing it is wrong. He works for a law firm run by the brusque Marty Bach, Sydney Pollack, from whom he wants a loan and he is directed to fix a situation with longtime friend and senior litigator in their firm, Arthur Edens, Tom Wilkinson. Edens has gone off of his medication leading him to strip naked at a meeting and decide to reveal the secrets of one of his major clients, the agrichemical conglomerate U-North, who have been poisoning people for years with their products. Edens goes missing and Clayton has to race to find him while also contending with his own personal issues. When the general counsel of U-North, Karen Crowder, Tilda Swinton, decides to have Edens murdered it leads Clatyton down a rabbit hole as he wants revenge and must fight to stay alive with assassins trailing him. Crowder is possibly the most interesting character in the film as Swinton plays her as an insecure bundle of nerves desperately trying to prove herself to the others working in her corporate world. Her façade slips constantly and Swinton gets the awkwardness of someone who is not a natural public speaker right as her body language suggests how uncomfortable and stiff she is. As much as we want to see Clayton succeed and disagree morally with what Crowder chooses to do she is one of the film's major assets as she is a villain worthy of sympathy and a person who doesn't quite believe she fits in. In many ways she and Clayton are fairly similar. Giving the most bombastic performance in the movie is Wilkinson whose rambling, excited monologue introduces the film as he talks about how "Life is a marigold" and references the various new age beliefs he has picked up. Wilkinson proves himself equally capable of portraying the desperation of a man who wants to be good and moral and he has a kindness to him that allows us to understand why Clayton is so loyal to him. Few other actors could have played the role as well as Wilkinson does as he has to walk a very fine line at so many points in the film and does it so well that you have to applaud him. Finally, the titular Clayton is played with restraint by Clooney who keeps his anger and hurt locked away under a thin veneer of professionalism and manipulations. He has the power to walk into any room and dominate it but he also gets lost in his own thoughts as he wonders whether his life has taken the right track and laments missed opportunities. This is more than the average mid life crisis movie however as Clayton never achieves full closure, he is still distant from his son, semi-estranged from his brother and angry at the world, yet he has achieved some form of justice. Yes, the ending could be seen as taking the easy way out but more than most films of this sort we want to see what the outcome of a negotiation between these two characters will be and when Clayton comes out on top despite our interest in Crowder we do feel slightly triumphant as we want to see Edens avenged.

    George Clooney has never been my favorite actor as he tends to give two types of performances, either he is cold and calculating, Up in the Air (2009), Syriana (2005) etc., or supposedly charming and suave, Ocean's 11 (2001), Out of Sight (1998) etc., and he is just OK at playing both of these roles. The quality of the films he is in depends entirely on the people working around him as while he flails in The Peacemaker (1997) he comes across very well in this film which features talent such as Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson in front of the camera and Tony Gilroy and James Newton Howard working behind the scenes. An absorbing crime thriller as well as a character study this is a film with wide appeal as it is intellectual and thrilling at once. ‘Fixer' Michael Clayton, George Clooney, experiences a mid life crisis as he struggles to pay back debts owed to dangerous individuals over his risky investment in a restaurant and continues gambling despite knowing it is wrong. He works for a law firm run by the brusque Marty Bach, Sydney Pollack, from whom he wants a loan and he is directed to fix a situation with longtime friend and senior litigator in their firm, Arthur Edens, Tom Wilkinson. Edens has gone off of his medication leading him to strip naked at a meeting and decide to reveal the secrets of one of his major clients, the agrichemical conglomerate U-North, who have been poisoning people for years with their products. Edens goes missing and Clayton has to race to find him while also contending with his own personal issues. When the general counsel of U-North, Karen Crowder, Tilda Swinton, decides to have Edens murdered it leads Clatyton down a rabbit hole as he wants revenge and must fight to stay alive with assassins trailing him. Crowder is possibly the most interesting character in the film as Swinton plays her as an insecure bundle of nerves desperately trying to prove herself to the others working in her corporate world. Her façade slips constantly and Swinton gets the awkwardness of someone who is not a natural public speaker right as her body language suggests how uncomfortable and stiff she is. As much as we want to see Clayton succeed and disagree morally with what Crowder chooses to do she is one of the film's major assets as she is a villain worthy of sympathy and a person who doesn't quite believe she fits in. In many ways she and Clayton are fairly similar. Giving the most bombastic performance in the movie is Wilkinson whose rambling, excited monologue introduces the film as he talks about how "Life is a marigold" and references the various new age beliefs he has picked up. Wilkinson proves himself equally capable of portraying the desperation of a man who wants to be good and moral and he has a kindness to him that allows us to understand why Clayton is so loyal to him. Few other actors could have played the role as well as Wilkinson does as he has to walk a very fine line at so many points in the film and does it so well that you have to applaud him. Finally, the titular Clayton is played with restraint by Clooney who keeps his anger and hurt locked away under a thin veneer of professionalism and manipulations. He has the power to walk into any room and dominate it but he also gets lost in his own thoughts as he wonders whether his life has taken the right track and laments missed opportunities. This is more than the average mid life crisis movie however as Clayton never achieves full closure, he is still distant from his son, semi-estranged from his brother and angry at the world, yet he has achieved some form of justice. Yes, the ending could be seen as taking the easy way out but more than most films of this sort we want to see what the outcome of a negotiation between these two characters will be and when Clayton comes out on top despite our interest in Crowder we do feel slightly triumphant as we want to see Edens avenged.

  • Apr 16, 2019

    Tony Gilroy's Academy Award nominated directorial debut, "Michael Clayton," stars George Clooney as the titular legal fixer in question, whose firm encounters a snag when one of its top litigators turns coat in the face of a pending lawsuit. First off, as a fan of Tony Gilroy's co-writing work alone, I was pretty stoked to see this. And, to be sure, finally seeing Gilroy with his screenwriting gloves proverbially off made for such a satisfying cinematic experience. "Michael Clayton" is a carefully plotted, yet objectively engrossing story, punctuated with superb dialogue, deliberate thematic resonance, and incredible acting. It's a real bummer this didn't kick off a reinvigorated interest in the "corporate thriller" sub-genre, because the real-world feel and implications of everything just made for that much more of an entertaining watch. And, don't be fooled. Though you may find yourself questioning some decisions here and there, it all pays off in a terrifically gratifying conclusion that I won't soon forget. Fantastic work here.

    Tony Gilroy's Academy Award nominated directorial debut, "Michael Clayton," stars George Clooney as the titular legal fixer in question, whose firm encounters a snag when one of its top litigators turns coat in the face of a pending lawsuit. First off, as a fan of Tony Gilroy's co-writing work alone, I was pretty stoked to see this. And, to be sure, finally seeing Gilroy with his screenwriting gloves proverbially off made for such a satisfying cinematic experience. "Michael Clayton" is a carefully plotted, yet objectively engrossing story, punctuated with superb dialogue, deliberate thematic resonance, and incredible acting. It's a real bummer this didn't kick off a reinvigorated interest in the "corporate thriller" sub-genre, because the real-world feel and implications of everything just made for that much more of an entertaining watch. And, don't be fooled. Though you may find yourself questioning some decisions here and there, it all pays off in a terrifically gratifying conclusion that I won't soon forget. Fantastic work here.