Michael Clayton


Crime / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.4


Downloaded 69049 times
8/5/2018 2:27:09 AM

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119 min
P/S 0 / 1
23.976 /
119 min
P/S 3 / 42

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rparham 8

Michael Clayton is not your typical legal thriller. Oh, it has most of the standard trappings of one: double-crossing, shady back room deals, and a guilty client. But in the case of Michael Clayton, the film focuses most of its attention on the questionable moral quagmire of working for guilty clients, living your life protecting those who you can&#39;t help but find reprehensible, wanting to get out, but finding you are good at it and that is where your superiors want you. Michael Clayton isn&#39;t a revelatory film, but it is a smart one that deals in the grey world that we all live in, not the black and white one legal films are usually about.<br/><br/>The central character is Michael Clayton (George Clooney), a &quot;fixer&quot; at a major Manhattan law firm. His job entails him cleaning up other&#39;s messes, not litigating in a court room. He hates the work, but the senior partner at the firm, Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), wants him to stay in the job because he has a talent for it. Things are not rosy for Michael right now: his addict brother has run a business venture that Michael was a partner in into the ground, leaving Michael with thousands of dollars in debt; his relationship with his ex-wife is on the rocks, and into this environment comes a whole new caliber of problem: Michael&#39;s friend, and fellow attorney, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), who is a lead attorney for a major case for the firm involving U/North, a huge, multifaceted corporation, has discovered evidence damning to U/North, and has also, seemingly, lost his senses.<br/><br/>Arthur begins plotting to publicly expose U/North with this evidence, thereby destroying them, something that U/North&#39;s lead corporate attorney, Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton), cannot allow. Michael is called in to help calm Arthur and bring the situation under control, but it becomes quickly obvious that Arthur cannot be reigned in, and Karen begins looking at far more dire methods of containment.<br/><br/>When you walk into Michael Clayton, you need to be prepared for a limited amount of action, and a fair amount of talk. It is a film about words and far less exciting events than found in many movies. Michael Clayton is also not the most straightforwardly plotted film. A great deal of information is suggested through inference and requires the full attention of the audience. But Michael Clayton is hardly boring. It delves into the decisions that individuals make when their livelihood depends on living in a moral quagmire. Michael is a man who is concerned about making sure that he can make the payments on a huge debt and dealing with the sometimes annoying and reprehensible people that the law firm provides its services to. Arthur is in a similar situation, but he can no longer live with himself and the protection of clients who are obviously guilty. It is debatable whether Arthur is mentally unhinged, or simply woken up to the reality of his actions and what they mean in the grander scheme of things.<br/><br/>Michael Clayton is the directorial debut of Tony Gilroy, a longtime Hollywood screenwriter, who crafts a film that manages to keep you involved like a good thriller without providing many of the requisite elements: chases, shootouts and fisticuffs. Michael Clayton is a thriller that works at a slower pace, but still manages to enthrall with its developments. Critical to the film&#39;s success is its performances. George Clooney gives us a Michael who feels many aspects of his world closing around him and tries to keep all the balls in the air. Tom Wilkinson&#39;s turn as Arthur is that of a man who has experienced an epiphany, seeing the world like a newborn baby. Finally, Tilda Swinton&#39;s Karen Crowder is a woman who is all about appearance (one of her first scenes reveals her practicing a speech so that it will appear perfect) and ensuring that no one rocks the boat of U/North. She has sold her soul to the devil and will do anything to keep the company intact.<br/><br/>Michael Clayton is certainly not everyone&#39;s cup of tea. It requires a strong attention span and a willingness to not have everything spelled out for you. If you can provide that, then it is a film experience that will provide some rewards.

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Reviewed by Bobby Elliott 8

After seeing &quot;Superbad&quot; last weekend, I needed a grown-up antidote and this movie is certainly that. A slow moving, adult, serious movie with a message.<br/><br/>The movie has a number of themes including ageing, corruption, principles and truth. The movie&#39;s message is that there is more to life than making money.<br/><br/>The acting is uniformly good but Clooney is outstanding. His character is complex and he&#39;s pretty unhappy with what he has become. But it&#39;s all done very subtly. There are no obvious messages in this movie. As another reviewer wrote, you have to pay attention.<br/><br/>Don&#39;t read too much into my &quot;slow moving/slow burner&quot; descriptions. This movie is not boring. It just doesn&#39;t whiz along with one implausible twist after another. It&#39;s evenly paced with an almost complete lack of silly plot lines (there was no need for the lawyer in crisis to remove his clothes during a trial).<br/><br/>Everyone involved in this movie deserves praise for producing a challenging, grown-up, movie-with-a-message in the face of a torrent of mindless nonsense.<br/><br/>Highly recommended.

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Reviewed by jemmytee 10

&quot;Michael Clayton&quot; is the name of the best lawyer in the powerhouse litigation firm of Kenner, Bach, &amp; Ledeen. So good, he&#39;s not allowed to waste himself in court; he&#39;s used to clean up the messes the firm&#39;s rich and powerful clients cause -- and he&#39;s damn good at his job. Problem is, it&#39;s destroying him from the inside out. At least...it&#39;s doing so until he slams headlong into a problem that forces him to see the decay growing within. That problem comes in the form of a brilliant but guilt-ridden attorney named Arthur Edens, whose spectacular meltdown during a deposition has thrown a HUGE class-action suit against a conglomerate called UNorth into turmoil. Michael is sent to get him back under control...or else, thus setting in motion what is, in my mind, one of the most breathtaking suspense dramas I&#39;ve seen in years.<br/><br/>Starting with a tight, stunning script by Tony Gilroy, this movie has every cylinder firing in perfect sync. The acting is, without exception, exceptional. George Clooney takes a vile human being and inhabits him with such sympathy and understanding, he becomes just another man fighting to keep his life going who IS still capable of decency. (The moment where, after Michael&#39;s son has seen a beloved uncle who&#39;s an addict come groveling for forgiveness, he stops the car and lets the boy know he&#39;s stronger than that uncle is so right and so perfect, I nearly wept.) And Tilda Swinton&#39;s litigator, Karen Crowder, is so desperate and unsure, you can almost understand why she makes some of the decisions she does. And Tom Wilkinson blazes across the screen as Arthur Edens, who has finally seen the evil within himself and wants to make it right but who, despite all his legal brilliance, is still naive enough to think he can get away with it.<br/><br/>The direction is taut, cinematography and editing cool and precise, and all are at the service of an elegant work that uses the suspense genre to illuminate a filthy world that has been glossed over by money and power. Magnificent in every way.

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