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Michael Clayton [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 559 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Clayton (BD)

George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson star in this riveting drama of an attorney who, in the four worst--and last--days of his career, must confront the person he has become--Michael Clayton. Known among his colleagues as "The Janitor" for his 15 years of working behind the scenes to clean up high-profile clients' messy personal problems, Clayton (Clooney--Good Night, And Good Luck.) is sent to handle damage control when the top attorney (Wilkinson--Batman Begins) defending a multimillion dollar suit suffers a mental breakdown prompting the client's in-house counsel (Swinton--Constantine) to a desperate course of action.

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Michael O'Keefe
  • Directors: Tony Gilroy
  • Writers: Tony Gilroy
  • Producers: George Clooney, Sydney Pollack, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Samuels, James Holt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (559 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00123C7SW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,611 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Michael Clayton [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2007
'The truth can be adjusted' is the official tag line for this brilliant film MICHAEL CLAYTON, a film that deserves and demands audience attention to appreciate all of the layers of complexities of thought and message while delivering a slick, brooding, polished piece of cinematic art. First time director is highly regarded writer Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Cutting Edge, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, The Devil's Advocate, Proof of Life, Dolores Claiborne, etc) who understands the tension of suspense films and here adds to that entertainment element the key ingredients of social and philosophical statements. It is a film that works on many levels.

Michael Clayton (George Clooney, in one of his finest moments) is a lawyer with a major firm headed by tough yet compassionate CEO Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack, finally in top form as an actor), but Michael's position in the firm has been reduced to a 'fixer/janitor', a man who cleans up messes that are always part of legal cases. Michael is cool, brilliant, but is struggling with his own demons of gambling addiction, inherited debt from covering for his wasted alcoholic/druggie brother's failure as a restaurateur, and a divorced man trying to relate to his son. When a long term law suit against a major chemical corporation comes to a head, the chief lawyer for the case Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) falls victim to the pressure of the case, and while he holds the key to the truths involved, he disintegrates into a manic depressive state. The chemical company's lawyer Karen Crowder (a brilliant Tilda Swinton) struggles to please her Board of Directors in a plea bargain that is backed by all manner of lies and crimes.
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8 Comments 82 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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George Clooney once again shows us the Hollywood powerhouse he is as lead actor and producer of this engaging film.

While the film is essentially well-written and extremely well-acted, it offers nothing new to the corporate thriller genre and most of Amazon's comments in their review are dead on accurate. The film is essentially a mystery that involves corporate baddies trying to screw over the little guy by covering up a danger to the public. We've seen this plot before in film's like Erin Brockovich. In addition, we have a conscience driven lawyer who is tired of defending criminals he knows are guilty and another lawyer who is burnt out from playing the firm's "Janitor" and now wants to find some moral ground to land upon. Both lawyers are seeking some kind of redemption. The first has a nervous breakdown finding it and the second is forced to find it as his life spirals out of control. This is very much like Paul Newman's Oscar nominated role in the fabulous film The Verdict.

The script is clever, but all too predictable by the final third of the film. In fact, as generally satisfying as the finale is, it is something of a letdown too. Things are wrapped up far too neatly for what was a complex film with deep round central characters. Clooney's character has his nature revealed to us slowly as if peeling a rotten onion. Each layer is ultimately unsatisfying until we get to the core which seems damaged, but salvageable. I certainly expect another Oscar nomination for him and it's well-earned here.
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Tony Gilroy has already proven that he can weave/write a great story via his writing for the "Bourne" franchise. And the striking thing about "Michael Clayton" is how Gilroy has written ironic, conflicted, complicated characters that are at once "good" (and in the world that Gilroy has created here...this is in itself a term that is up for interpretation) yet are often bad as in unethical, mean, misanthropic. These characters can and do betray themselves and others: There's no one to truly love or hate, from Sydney Pollack's quietly devious law firm CEO, to Tom Wilkinson's holy madman of an ace courtroom defense attorney, to Tilda Swinton as a tricky senior partner in nice suits that peel off to reveal sweaty armpits and a gift for rationalization. Even our hero, Michael Clayton as portrayed by George Clooney is a loser: a 12 year veteran at his law firm who is utilized as a bag man, a fixer usually dispatched to do what amounts to private eye work.: cleaning up the firm's client messes. Clayton is a failure both professionally and personally: a failure as a father, brother, husband and Clooney strikes just the right notes here as Clayton struggles, fights to regain his dignity both as an officer of the court and more importantly as a father and a human being.
The central plot revolves around a large chemical firm's responsibility for sickness and deaths in a farm community and because Gilroy weaves and bobs among the big ensemble cast and among the various plot points, I was hard pressed to figure out just exactly what was going on for the first half hour. But this is to Gilroy's credit: he refuses to foreshadow or explain thus adding texture and ambiguity to the film.
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