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Michael Clayton back to product details

Best law-firm movie
written by Texan99 September 8, 2010 - 12:03 PM PDT
Despite the generic evil-corporation plot device, which normally makes a movie all but unwatchable for me, I was completely drawn in. If you grant some fairy-tale license for the absurd premise of the 007-like ninja bad guys at the beck and call of the corporate villain, in every other respect the texture and atmosphere of the lives of these corporate litigators was the truest I've ever seen on film. The director perfectly captured the tone of a top-tier law firm not just in the unutterably bleak nastiness but also the work-a-day camaraderie, technical skill, and practical judgment. Wilkinson is completely riveting. Clooney, Swinton, and Pollack are very fine. I'm a sucker for movies in which people find their souls against high odds.

Nice work
written by MKaliher February 26, 2008 - 3:20 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Prior to this film, I hadn't seen a memorable George Clooney performance since O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which he did a passable job. But Sydney Pollack's Michael Clayton, it seems, has given Clooney a place to really stretch out and demonstrate his acting chops. His work in this film is outstanding and nuanced at the same time. It's nice to see a film actor come into his own--and in such a well-done picture, one which may help redeem Hollywood from at least some of the garbage it habitually sends to Europe. The story revolves around a multinational corporation headquartered in America which stands to lose some three billion dollars in a lawsuit over its handling of our food supply. When one of the corporation's lackeys has a nervous breakdown, he is transformed like Saul on the road to Damascus, and prepares to go to work for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The corporation, of course, doesn't appreciate that much, and assigns Michael Clayton--their "fixer"--the task of reigning in the renegade lawyer. How Clayton executes his assignment forms the story, yet the character is fleshed out well, in subtle ways, through a good script and excellent direction. Casting is also terrific. This is certainly one of the best American films I've seen in some time. Violence is minimal; crime, however insidious, is of the necktie variety. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Michael Clayton to anyone in Europe. It does require some patience on the part of the viewer, as it takes some time for the story to manifest itself. But when it does, hang on for the ride. Realm and Conquest.


(Average 7.37)
70 Votes
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