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Michael Clayton (2007)

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8/10: An intelligent movie with reasonably wide appeal
Sunday, September 30, 2007

During one scene, high powered corporate lawyer Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) practices answers for a coming interview. How do you achieve a work-life balance? The question, of course, could apply to us all.Ideals versus the reality of paying a mortgage? Trapped in a fast lifestyle. You maybe realise what you are doing is less than perfect. How easily can you get out? (One might also ask, how do serious actors balance worthwhile projects against box-office returns. A question that seems to prompt the fluctuating choices of stars like Swinton and Clooney.)By putting such an impasse at the heart of the movie, Michael Clayton becomes more than an edge-of-your-seat legal drama: it is a powerful psychological study that asks how far we will go to avoid facing unpalatable truths.Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is an in-house 'fixer.' He works for a big New York law firm. He sorts out their dirty work. For...

7/10: Stylish Legal Thriller Ends in Hung Jury
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So there's this giant corporation that creates some super-pesticide (or something) that gets into the ground water of some rural upper Midwestern farmers, and low and behold, leads to all kinds of hellish cancer (exactly what the in-house scientists warned of) that then--Surprise!-- turns into a three billion dollar class action lawsuit. Six years into the seemingly endless proceedings, the lead attorney defending the evil corporation (Tom Wilkinson, channeling Peter Finch from "Network") turns into a raving morally conflicted lunatic. In steps the firm's "fixer" (George Clooney, somber and serious), the film's title character, to make sense of things and perform damage control. Meanwhile, the corporation's in-house counsel (Tilda Swinton, perfect as an unethical lawyer in way over her head) scrambles towards a fiscally feasible settlement before the truth is leaked.Despite the convoluted legal mumbo-jumbo, "Michael Clayton" is entertaining enough, as much of it results in some well executed scenes...

2/10: Big disappointment
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I was eagerly awaiting the release of this movie only to be dropped flat. Excellent actors, lousy parts. I didn't get attached to anyone in the movie, except for George Clooney's son, who was more of a plot device prop, than a character. There are extra, pretty useless characters, like the drunk brother that waste the viewers time and don't really pay off in the end. The same set up could have existed without the extra family. I'll allow one coincidence to every screenwriter, but this movie is chock full of them. Clooney just happens to have a brother on the police force. He just happens to run into the lunatic lawyer who's hiding from everybody. He just happens to pull over to look at horses when his car blows up. And so on. We have to see this stupid scene not once, but twice. Why does he stop to look at the horses for...

7/10: Front row attention for a back bench man
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nobody wears the Canali two-piece like George Clooney does, standing tall as his character Michael Clayton picks up the pieces left behind by law firm big shots like Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack) and legal masterminds like Arthur Eden (Tom Wilkinson). While Clooney looks good as Clayton struggles to make ends meet, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton strike gold in their superb performances as a penitent genius and his nemesis. Karen Crowder (Swinton) ends up paying a high price to play hard ball with the big boys, while the late Arthur Eden disappears in a whirlwind of raving madness and moral sense. I'll eat my hat if this part doesn't get Tom Wilkinson his second nomination for best actor. But then, the part of the madman has been everyone's favorite since the dawn of drama. Thanks to his impeccable box office pedigree as the man behind the "Bourne" trilogy, the producers let writer-director Tony Gilroy get...

8/10: Terrfic writing - thrilling from start to finish
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Came here to write a review to this excellent film. Wonderfully written by Tony Gilroy. I have not seen any of his earlier/or later works except Duplicity, which to me was a pretty average film. Everyone in MC are top of the line pros - Tilda Swindon, Tom Wilkinson, Sidney Pollack and George Clooney, doing what he does best. The story is cleverly written, adapted in a tight and flawless manner. Surprised by the lower rating here. For me a good 8/10. Yes, it has an interesting ending but that doesn't do justice to the excellent journey the film takes you on from start to finish. If you enjoy edgy, legal thrillers, get yourself going with it. I've watched after an article on Atlantic describing it as a treatise on human soul's intense cry for help today. We all want something about this world to desperately change but we see it turning against us with more...

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