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Michael Clayton is an in-house “fixer” at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. The career of litigator Karen Crowder rests on the multi-million dollar settlement of a class action suit that Clayton’s firm is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. But when Kenner Bach’s brilliant and guilt-ridden attorney Arthur Edens sabotages the U/North case, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good Michael Clayton builds to a fitting conclusion and doesn't need surprise twists or cheap theatrics to get to that point.
Roger EbertFull Review Excellent I know it is just about perfect as an exercise in the genre. I've seen it twice, and the second time, knowing everything that would happen, I found it just as fascinating because of how well it was all shown happening.
USA TodayFull Review Excellent Although a key plot point is revealed early, it serves to heighten our fascination with the story. A climactic confrontation between Swinton and Clooney is one of the most satisfying moments in a film bristling with fierce intensity.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 53 moviegoers:
TEENS: Three loved it, one rated it average and one rated it below average. That's pretty decent and worth recommending, but not strongly.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS: The two males enjoyed this movie. Half the females really enjoyed it. The remaining reviews are average and below average. These are pretty good reviews overall.
ADULTS: Great Reviews! Over three-quarters rated "Michael Clayton" highly. Most of the remaining quarter rated it as average, with just a few rating it below average. Highly Recommended.
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 (Sydney Pollack), 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. Though 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 (Tilda Swinton) rests on the settlement of the suit that
Kenner, Bach & Ledeen is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. When
the firm's top litigator, the brilliant Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), has an
apparent breakdown and tries to sabotage the entire case, Marty Bach sends
Michael Clayton to tackle this unprecedented disaster and, in doing so, Clayton
comes face to face with the reality of who he has become.