Tony Gilroy, best known for his fantastic ”Bourne” screenplays, makes his directorial debut with the legal thriller, Michael Clayton. Opening scenes have Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) a powerful, high profile attorney in a huge New York law firm having a breakdown. For the past seven years, Eden has been the lead defense attorney for the U-North Pesticide Chemical Company, against a multi-million dollar law suit and the case is about to be decided. During a deposition, Eden seems to snap and strips down to his birthday suit. The president of the law firm, Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack) calls in fellow attorney and right-hand-man, Michael Clayton (George Clooney) to take care of Edens and hide the break down. Clayton, who is highly respected, has been retained by the firm of Kenner, Bach and Leedes as the “fixer,” cleaning up complex or dirty cases on behalf of corporate clients. When Clayton, jokingly referred to as the Janitor, can’t clean things up quickly enough, the in-house U-North attorney Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) decides to take matters into her own hands and the action gets kicked up a notch. Finally! A refreshing film that has complex characters, a smart script, outstanding directing, and a superb cast. Sure, other actors could have stepped into these roles, but without the visible chemistry between Clooney and the rest of the cast. You might think that two hours of attorney talk would be excrutiating but the plot is so intriguing that you hardly notice. This is an intelligent film that will have wide appeal to most movie goers. I say most, because there are men who need action every couple of minutes and there are women -like my wife- who just want to see George Clooney. I asked her what George Clooney has that I don’t – besides eyesight. (The list was longer than one physical attribute.) I really enjoyed this film (as did my wife) and I’m giving it an A rating.
This movie has been given a R rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.