"Michael Clayton" Review: Yes, Go See It

I saw the new George Clooney movie, Michael Clayton, yesterday. I'm not much of a movie reviewer, since I have a hard time writing without spoilers, but I will say: Yes, go see it. It's very suspenseful. Clooney is better than terrific as the law firm's "fixer" cleaning up the messes of its big clients. Sydney Pollack is great as the head of the law firm.

The movie opens with the present, then goes back to the past to explain which was both helpful and added to the suspense.

Some of the casting choices struck me as odd. Others were dislikeable (like the Westchester couple whose whiny scene went on too long. The point was made in the first two minutes.) I can think of many different actors I would have preferred to have seen in the supporting roles.

A few of the scenes were improbable to me. But, it's fiction. My favorite parts were the scenes with the real criminal fixers and the ones with the kid who plays Clooney's young son.


The very, very last scene struck me as a cop-out, almost like they focus-grouped several and decided to go with an ambiguous one, but it was clever and everyone in the theatre I was in hung around till the last credit rolled to make sure that was really the end.

It's a very good film that will hold your interest and keep you guessing. It will probably garner a number of number of awards. So yes, go see it.

If you've seen it, please let us know what you thought in the comments.

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    not that you don't have enough to do (none / 0) (#1)
    by skippybkroo on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 03:36:13 PM EST
    but, jeralyn, i'd love to see your take on other legal thriller flicks.
     runaway jury?  the firm?  class action?  

    and what's your feelings about damages, the fx series w/glenn close?

    just curious.

    Damages (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 03:42:00 PM EST
    is very strange. I saw about the first six episodes when FX ran them in a row. But the plot didn't seem to advance quickly and I lost interest. Glenn Close is great in her role though.  

    The films you mention were okay, I wouldn't put any in my most favorite category. I'll try to think of some others I think more highly of.


    best movie I can remember in a long time (none / 0) (#3)
    by msobel on Fri Oct 19, 2007 at 10:50:02 PM EST
    I thought what was great about it was that the great corporate and government conspiracy has become a mainstay of our fear filled times.  In this case, not only were they only marginally competent but everyone had moral decisions to make and made them for good or evil.  There was a strong dramatic element of redemption for Arthur, for Michael's brother, for Michael and potential for redemption that was rejected by Swindon's character and Pollock's character.

    Note that at the replay of the card game, he left after 9 hands.  He realized that gambling didn't do it for him anymore.