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Michael Clayton [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack
  • Directors: Tony Gilroy
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Pathe Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Feb. 2008
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZN63S0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,802 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Thriller set in the murky world of corporate law. Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is an in-house 'fixer' at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, Clayton takes care of his employer's dirtiest work at the behest of the firm's co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), to whom Clayton feels a deep loyalty. He arranges top-flight legal services and skirts through loopholes for their ethically questionable clients. Though burned out, disillusioned and hardly content with his job as a fixer, his messy private life has left him inextricably tied to the firm. Meanwhile, litigator Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) finds her entire company's future hinging on the outcome of a multi-billion dollar settlement overseen by Clayton's friend, star lawyer Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson). When Edens snaps and decides to blow the whistle on the questionable case, sabotaging the defence, Clayton finds himself in the centre of a conspiratorial maelstrom where he must decide between his loyalty and his conscience.

From Amazon.co.uk

George Clooney already has one acting Oscar to his name, and it’s unsurprising that immediately after the release of Michael Clayton, there were many arguing he was deserving of a second. For without a doubt, as impressive as the film is, it’s very much Clooney who powers this one forward.

Written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who previously adapted the Bourne movies for the big screen, Clooney takes the title role as a lawyer who goes in to do the jobs that, bluntly, nobody else wants to know about. And before long, Clooney discovers a cover-up that proves to be a mighty challenge to uncover, and one the inevitably conflicts him as a result.

Aided by a superb supporting cast that includes the likes of Sydney Pollack, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton at its best is a tense and effective thriller, written and directed steadfastly well by Gilroy. It’s not without a few problems, most notably a comparably weak conclusion and one or two underdeveloped characters. But it’s still a worthwhile film, and very much worth seeking out to simply enjoy a terrific performance from a Hollywood leading man who absolutely refuses to shy away from edgier roles. Long may he continue to do so. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film takes time to build its characters, which must be why it has garnered some less positive reviews. Take the time to get involved - it's worth it. There IS a compelling storyline, and this, combined with first-class performances from Clooney, Swinton & Wilkinson, works to produce one of the best films to come out of America in years.

If you need crash, bang wallop every frame instead of every sixth frame, watch something else; for those with an interest in strong characterization, psychology and just a little social comment, sit back and enjoy.
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Format: DVD
I agree that this is not a fast paced film, in this case I didn't mind that. It is an involving film and is probably based very much on real life, ie a large company that has the money and power to step on individuals. In this case though they don't necessarily get away with it due to some rather unusual events. It is a good intelligent film and I am happy to recommend it.
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Format: DVD
The plot outline of "Michael Clayton" is not new. A man who has lost his way finds redemption by doing the right thing in the end.
What sets this apart is the quality of performances and excellent direction. Clooney, Swinton, and Wilkinson are top class.
The director also makes the film more interesting with the relatively slow movement of the plot at the beginning.
There are some great scenes, such as those with Clayton doing his work and forced to bring his son along with him as he has custody for the day.
Swinton well deserved her Oscar for her performance as the lawyer who has gone past the point of return and has no conscience to wrestle with any more.
One complaint would be the ending which is perhaps a bit too swift and tidy.
Overrall though a very good film.
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Format: DVD
I agree with many that this film is, perhaps a bit slow to start off, but then, that's what corruption and the greed it stems from are... insidious. This was seen very clearly in the Karen character...Anything...ANYTHING to hang on to the status she has worked so hard (one gets the feeling) and given up so much (ditto) for! Clooney is alswyas "watchable" and gives an excellent performance here. No, it's true that this is not a fast paced movie like, say, Die Hard or other action movies and perhaps that is what troubles some of the reviewers have with it. But, as they say, "still waters run deep"-here, much deeper than any action flick because, horrible as the all out carnage of the "shoot 'em up" action movie, the cold precision and complete indifference of the professional hit and the impartiality of those who order it is chilling and even...evil. Worth your time if you don't mind there not being any blood and gore.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this film and I am really am not easy to please (so I am told). No need for me to add words to what other more literate reviewers have said. Really good.
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Format: DVD
George Clooney is once again excellent; his acting is as effortless as the charm of his character, the legal 'fixer' Michael Clayton.

Clayton's suit, car and office scream "big shot", but he's actually a professional and personal failure: divorced, addicted to gambling and in debt to some unseen unsavoury characters. His employer, a prestigious Manhattan law firm personified by Sidney Pollack, regards the 'working-class boy made good' as a highly-effective janitor, but nothing more. In short, Clayton is a smooth-talking, immaculately-dressed disaster zone.

A bad week for Clayton gets even worse when his friend and senior colleague Arthur Edens (played by a somewhat OTT Tom Wilkinson) has a breakdown. Edens has spent years defending a toxic weedkiller made by agrochemical giant U North. His evasions and changes of venue have dragged out the case, earning his law firm millions while prolonging the agony of farming families affected by U North's carcinogen. But Eden's mental collapse causes a Damascene conversion, prompting him to secretly (then not so secretly) switch sides.

Clayton unsuccessfully tries to contain the situation while U North's highly-strung, ruthless chief counsel (Tilda Swinton), has more radical plans. Swinton's role is rather less interesting - a caricature friendless, obsessive career woman - but her verbal sparring with Clooney is fun. The whole film is beautifully shot and draws you into a rich world of Upper East side apartments owned by wealthy lawyers, Westchester retreats owned by their even wealthier clients, Clayton's down-to-earth family of cops and U North's sterile corporate videos.
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By Jeremy Walton TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 April 2008
Format: DVD
Given all talent involved in this film, expectations were high and it didn't disappoint. Without showing off or appearing to consciously act, George Clooney has enough presence to make all of his screen time interesting. Since he's playing the title character, there's rather a lot of that (including a lengthy unbroken closeup on his face as he sits in the back of a taxi, during which you're supposed to be reading his mind), but there's also a great supporting cast. Chief amongst them is Tilda Swinton - ostensibly the baddy, she's portrayed in a light that explores her uncertainty and vulnerability in that role and contrasts it to her appearance and actions (however elliptically expressed). Tom Wilkinson does a great job in going off the rails but then, in his last scene with Clooney, suddenly reveals the depth of his intelligence and insight that would have made him such a formidable person before he forgot to take his medication.

The direction and cinematography are first-rate as well. Much has been made of a central scene where Clayton gets out of his car after driving along country roads as the day is dawning. He's looking for something, but we don't know what it is until three horses appear on the horizon. The expressions on his face as he approaches them tell us all we need to know about his feelings: weary, regretful, disappointed, resigned. And then something else happens, which changes everything for him, and leads to a sort of redemption. But it's the moments just before that event which stay with you long after this delightfully intelligent film is over.
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