Re-released Review: Michael Clayton (2007)


Michael Clayton

Release Date: October 12, 2007

Director: Tony Gilroy

Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson

Runtime: 119 min

Tagline: The truth can be adjusted.

 The truth is, this was one disappointing film for me, showcased by great talents.

Michael Clayton is a “fixer” for a big law firm in New York, and he has to face the biggest job of his career when a case involving a big chemical company called U/North comes to the surface.

Or something like that, I found myself having a difficult time following because I was frankly not intrigued by the whole thing. The plot seems interesting enough, but I was really disappointed by the film, I was expecting a lot more because of its critical acclaim and generally good audience reception.

I thought the pacing was poor and I found myself getting confused, and I couldn’t get into the story, I felt the general execution of the film was poor.

Clayton is probably one of my least favourite characters Clooney has portrayed because I didn’t feel fascinated by him generally, and I couldn’t connect with him on a high level or really any level for that matter; sure he has his morals straight, but I simply did not care for the guy.

The only part that I found myself being entertained by was Wilkinson’s narrative at the beginning and the last fifteen or twenty minutes of the film; all because it was pretty exciting, I was following what was going on and the film was going to be over soon. And more good notes, it does deliver some thrilling moments (not many as I thought it would, I guess you can’t expect multiple from a law-based thriller), the plot is seemingly intriguing but I had a hard time following, and it really is quite original, so I respect it for that.

George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson (and Michael O’Keefe and Sydney Pollack) and the main three actors were really the only aspect that motivated me to pursue the film to the end credits.

Clooney delivers a good performance, as does Wilkinson and Swinton does deliver a solid performance as well but her Oscar was so undeserved.

Oh look, she’s talking to herself in the mirror; she’s projecting her voice well; she’s so baffled and she can fall to her knees dramatically, she should get an Oscar for that!  Amy Ryan in ‘Gone Baby Gone’ deserved it so much more than her. I like Swinton as an actress (well the only other films I’ve seen her in are some of the ‘Narnia’ films and ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin,’) and good for her for winning it, but I just preferred Ryan’s performance.

For a thriller, it’s really slow and frankly boring. For a Best Picture Oscar nominee, it only rarely ever sparked my interest or gave me any sort of pleasure.

I honestly could only recommend this to Clooney fans, or if you really want to check it out, I was finding myself a little sleepy throughout, it’s probably my least favourite Clooney flick I’ve seen. I only wish I could have enjoyed it more.

If you want a good law film that’s about taking down a large chemical company, just watch Erin Brockovich, I found myself enjoying that a lot more than this one, and it had more charisma, even if I’m suggesting more of a drama with comedic elements than a thriller.



5 thoughts on “Re-released Review: Michael Clayton (2007)

  1. Ha did I inspire this re-released review?

    This film seemed to have an interesting story under the surface, but it didn’t make me want to dig to find it.

  2. Ha did I inspire this re-released review?

    My phone is refusing to let me comment…this is my third try.

    If handled differently, this could have been an interesting movie.

    1. Haha, yes you did! It was my third review I put on here, so I thought I’d try to get some more views for it 😉

      I agree that the story was hidden…

      Yeah, quite true! Maybe throw a car chase or two in…

  3. Good review Daniel. The cast was great and Gilroy’s script just really kicked-ass. It felt like a mixture between Sorkin and Mamet, and all of that is very, very juicy.

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