Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 262 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is an in-house "fixer" at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. At the behest of the firm’s co-founder Marty Bach, Clayton, a former prosecutor from a family of cops, takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen’s dirtiest work. Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm. At the agrochemical company U/North, the career of in-house chief counsel Karen Crowder rests on the settlement of the suit that Kenner, Bach & Ledeen is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. When the firms top litigator, the brilliant Arthur Edens, has an apparent breakdown and tries to sabotage the entire case, Marty Back sends Michael Clayton to tackle this unprecedented disaster and in doing so, Clayton comes face to face with the reality of what he has become. (Warner Bros.) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    I don't know what vast significance Michael Clayton has (it involves deadly pollution but isn't a message movie). But I know it is just about perfect as an exercise in the genre.
  2. 90
    This loving throwback to the paranoid thrillers of the ’70s is a beauty.
  3. Michael Clayton is a here’s-how-it-happened drama, cleverly but not over-elaborately structured.
  4. Mr. Gilroy hasn’t reinvented the legal thriller here, but I doubt that was his intention; at its best and most ambitious, the film plays less like a variation on a Hollywood standard than a reappraisal. It’s a modest reappraisal, adult, sincere, intelligent, absorbing; it entertains without shame.
  5. 80
    Quite possibly Clooney’s best effort to date.
  6. Has a slow build and a strong payoff, but George Clooney is the element that holds it together.
  7. Without the steadfast intelligence of Clooney's performance, Michael Clayton wouldn't work half as well as it does.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 153
  1. jw
    Nov 9, 2007
    What a great movie. Or should I say: What? A great movie?? If Wilkinson doesn't get an Oscar for support, I'll eat my shoe. All of it. And I walk through nasty stuff. Scenes between him and Clooney are high-end. The words are fantastic. Informed but not sermonic, huge but not bombastic (save where bombast is called for). Come to think of it, Clooney getting an Oscar would not be uncalled for, though that will probably go to Tommy Lee Jones. Tilda Swinton continues to show up in movies I like (SEE: Thumbsucker, Broken Flowers). Expand
  2. miker.
    Oct 19, 2007
    Best legal thriller in recent memory.
  3. Troll
    Dec 2, 2007
    Excellent direction. Clooney in his best inrerpretation: Oscar candidate.
  4. EricL.
    Jan 28, 2008
    Decent movie. Tom Wilkinson was amazing in this movie and so was George Cloony.
  5. Marcelo
    Oct 7, 2007
    Good movie. Needs more action.
  6. d.michelle
    Mar 6, 2008
    Entertaining with no basis in fact. Companies do bad things, but they are entitled to legal defense. Should the company have taken out a full page ad in WSJ announcing thier wrongdoing? Maybe they should settle with the people that were harmed? Oh wait... that happened. A GC that hires hitmen is about as plausible as one that uses her magic wand to curse opposing counsel. Expand
  7. JoyceC.
    Oct 8, 2007
    Just dumb and unactive, it explains things in the best of ways that seems like they exxagerate. The situation is big, but the movie is not. The story is just the situation, and now it has a plot problem. Expand

See all 153 User Reviews