Michael Clayton (Fullscreen)

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Product Overview

Attorney Michael Clayton is a "fixer," the go-to guy when his powerful New York law firm wants a mess swept under the rug. But now he's handed a crisis even he may not be able to fix. The firm's top litigator in a $3-billion case has gone from advocate to whistleblower. And the more Michael tries to undo the damage, the more he's up against forces that put corporate survival over human life -- including Michael's.

George Clooney portrays Michael, backed into a career corner that offers little room to fight free in this suspense- and star-packed thriller written and directed by Tony Gilroy (writer/co-writer of the Bourne movie trilogy). Keep your eyes on Michael Clayton. He has some life-or-death decisions to make. Fast.

Specifications

Studio Warner
SKU 206827219
UPC 085391140344
UPC 14 00085391140344
Format DVD
Release Date 9/28/2010
Rating Rating
Keywords
Divorce
Law/Lawyers
Mental Illness
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is what is known in the legal world as a "fixer," or in the character's own pejorative version, a "janitor" who cleans up legal messes for VIPs and corporations on behalf of a prestigious New York City law firm. A former litigator, Clayton has found a niche that capitalizes on his legal acumen and shrewd people skills, and yet, after 13 years on the job, finds himself increasingly disgusted with his clientele. The film covers four pivotal days of his life, in which a midlife crisis and a crisis of conscience neatly converge when he is called in to "fix" a situation unfolding in one of his firm's hottest cases. Brilliant lawyer Arthur Edens (another powerhouse performance by Tom Wilkinson), representing a huge agro-chemical corporation being hit by a class action suit, has a bipolar breakdown, compounded by guilt over his defense of a company that is probably in the wrong, but is wealthy enough to buy its innocence either way. The company's CEO (Tilda Swinton) will stop at nothing to keep Edens from sinking the case. Clayton must decide how much of Edens's mad rebellion against the company is sheer mental illness, how much is true, and how much it will cost him to do the right thing.^Clooney delivers a rich performance as a hangdog and haunted man who wants to stay on the side of good, but is a little too skilled at moral margin-walking to make that an easy choice in every situation. Swinton glows as a secretly frail Amazon who somehow won't let a tortured conscience prevent her from getting ahead. The final third of the film is as suspenseful as any courtroom drama, without ever resorting to legal-thriller cliches.
Reviews
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] zesty, brainy chaser....A thought-provoking exposé that could land Clooney an Oscar..." 10/01/2007 p.56
Sight and Sound "Clooney can suggest depths of weary self-loathing...and his eventual hard-won redemption accordingly carries more emotional weight....Gilroy draws vivid performances from his cast..." 10/01/2007 p.62
USA Today 4 stars out of 4 -- "A deftly written, tautly suspenseful and intellectually demanding morality tale, it stays a step ahead of the audience and features multidimensional characters played by actors at the top of their games." 10/05/2007 p.5E
New York Times "Dark in color, mood and outraged worldview, MICHAEL CLAYTON is a film that speaks to the way we live now....[The film is] adult, sincere, intelligent, absorbing..." 10/05/2007 p.E1-E17
Entertainment Weekly "[A] terrifically engrossing, tethered-to-the-real-world drama....It's better than good; it's such a crackling and mature and accomplished movie that it just about restores your faith." 10/12/2007 p.52-53
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he film is a triumph for George Clooney, who is at the top of his dramatic form in the title role..." 10/18/2007 p.131
Los Angeles Times "[A] smart and suspenseful legal thriller that comes completely alive on-screen." 10/05/2007
Film Comment "[A] solid, well-crafted, beautifully written and acted thriller....The execution is splendid and the dramatic payoff is considerable..." 01/01/2008 p.40
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] Tom Wilkinson as a hot-shot lawyer in spectacular meltdown. Tilda Swinton is also memorable as a conniving suit....A very grown-up thriller." 03/01/2008 p.123
Ultimate DVD 4 stars out of 5 -- "Clooney plays against his movie star persona, delivering a subtle performance....Thematically MICHAEL CLAYTON bears some comparison to THE INSIDER and, like that film, any morally satisfying pay-off is tempered by the human cost of corporate greed." 04/01/2008 p.109
Wall Street Journal "[T]he pieces coalesce into a stirring portrait of a man reclaiming his soul from a scrap heap of discarded principles." 12/04/2009
Directors
Tony Gilroy
Actors
Tom Wilkinson
George Clooney
Tilda Swinton
Cast & Crew
Clay Brown - Art Director
George Clooney - Actor
George Clooney - Executive Producer
James Newton Howard - Original Music By
John Gilroy - Editor
Kevin Thompson - Production Designer
Robert Elswit - Cinematographer
Steven Soderbergh - Executive Producer
Sydney Pollack - Actor
Tilda Swinton - Actor
Tom Wilkinson - Actor
Tony Gilroy - Director
Tony Gilroy - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2007
Catalog ID 1000024057
UPC 00085391140344
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 119 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Awards
Nominee (2008) Golden Globe, Michael Clayton, Best Motion Picture - Drama,Golden Globe, George Clooney, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama,Golden Globe, Tom Wilkinson, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Tilda Swinton, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Oscar, Tony Gilroy, Best Achievement in Directing,Oscar, James Newton Howard, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score,Oscar, Sydney Pollack, et. al., Best Motion Picture of the Year,Oscar, George Clooney, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,Oscar, Tom Wilkinson, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role,Oscar, Tilda Swinton, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role,Oscar, Tony Gilroy, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Nominee (2007) Venice Film Festival, Tony Gilroy, Golden Lion Award
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review When it comes to motion pictures, there are essentially two kinds of thrillers: visceral thrillers, which rely on action to generate tension and excitement, and intellectual thrillers, which burn more slowly but are often more satisfying in the end. Michael Clayton, the directorial debut of screenwriter Tony Gilroy, belongs in the latter category. The movie unfolds at its own pace and makes few concessions to impatient viewers or those who don't pay attention...Michael Clayton builds to a fitting conclusion and doesn't need surprise twists or cheap theatrics to get to that point. If there's a weakness to the storyline, it's that Michael's motivations sometimes seem determined by the needs of the plot. The film develops gradually and stays rooted in the real world rather than the quasi-familiar realm in which many thrillers unspool. The movie makes a damning statement about the profit-above-all business practices of major corporations, but there's nothing new in that. What's worthwhile here is the way in which the story provides us with unique characters in interesting situations and follows them as they pass through the eye of the storm. Michael Clayton is unlikely to be a major box office player but, as evidenced by films like The Constant Gardener, there is an audience out there for slower, more intellectual thrillers. This is a motion picture for them to discover.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review George Clooney brings a slick, ruthless force to the title role of "Michael Clayton," playing a fixer for a powerful law firm. He works in the shadows, cleaning up messes, and he is a realist. He tells clients what they don't want to hear. He shoots down their fantasies of "options." One client complains bitterly that he was told Clayton was a miracle worker. "I'm not a miracle worker," Clayton replies. "I'm a janitor"...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. 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. It's not about the destination but the journey, and when the stakes become so high that lives and corporations are on the table, it's spellbinding to watch the Clooney and Swinton characters eye to eye, raising each other, both convinced that the other is bluffing...The movie was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, son of the playwright Frank D. Gilroy ("The Subject Was Roses"). It's a directing debut for Gilroy, who is a star screenwriter (all three Bourne pictures, "Extreme Measures?" "The Devil's Advocate" and "Proof of Life"). As a first-time director, his taste runs toward the classical style and not toward the Bourne shaky-cam.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
Features
DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), English, Spanish, French, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post ...[an] uncommonly intelligent thriller...[that elicits] gritty urban realism while maintaining a suave sense of style and moral complexity.
Claudia Puig, USA Today A deftly written, tautly suspenseful and intellectually demanding morality tale.
Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly This loving throwback to the paranoid thrillers of the '70s is a beauty.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times A smart and suspenseful legal thriller that comes completely alive on-screen.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Deliberate, demanding and character-driven...I couldn't have liked it more.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald An excellent legal thriller elevated to superb drama by the actor's (Clooney) central performance.
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer A spellbinding action-drama, skillfully built upon a scary corporate conspiracy, chock-full of enjoyable downbeat performances.

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