Most helpful critical review
on 24 August 2009
Hmmm, it seems that Tony Gilroy has been watching Soderbergh's Ocean 11 quite frequently. However, this disjointed effort lacks the finesse and (obviously) the originality , in it's hopeful product. A convoluted plot that tries desperately to be clever with an up-beat jazzy score, yes, ala the Ocean' films, which gives the illusion of a sharp witty storyline, but misses the mark. Roberts seems distracted ( not by Owens) as if, she too were wondering about the script.The repetetive dialogue that becomes the 'signature ' of the films main protagonists(Roberts and Owens) is cliche and bewildering as the hallmark 'duplicity' of their situation and as the film progresses, fails to ring true , so diminishing the plots supposed layers of complexity. Also the finale shows a tying off of all the ends , with an added double-crossing that surely would have been detected by the Roberts /Owens team; it alludes to professional naivete in two hardened and seasoned professionals, not to mention a gross oversight in their grandiose money -making scam. Michael Clayton was a superb film and a return to the much missed genre of a dramatic thriller with 'real -life' implications and moralities, without being too slick or arrogant.
I think Mr. Gilroy should duplicate more where his strengths lie.