The Bottom Line
- A star vehicle for George Clooney, who is at his watchable best
- Fine performances in supporting roles by Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack
- A polished, entertaining, mainstream Hollywood movie for grownups
- An unchallenging movie that plays it very safe
- A heavy-handed film that makes it excruciatingly obvious what the viewer should think and feel
- Movie isn't particularly interesting visually
- DVD containing legal thriller Michael Clayton (2007)
- Movie was nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (George Clooney)
- Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
- DVD provides audio commentary by writer-director Tony Gilroy and editor John Gilroy
- DVD contains 3 deleted scenes with total runtime of 5 1/2 minutes
- Feature film runtime: 2 hours 0 minutes
- MPAA rating: R for language including some sexual dialogue
- DVD release date: February 19, 2008
Guide Review - Michael Clayton DVD Review
Michael Clayton received seven Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkinson), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Score. Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. It's a polished, entertaining, mainstream Hollywood movie for grownups that is a star vehicle for Clooney, who is at his watchable best, and he gets strong support from Wilkinson, Swinton and Sydney Pollack.
Clooney plays the title character, an attorney who goes through a crisis of conscience. His firm is defending the corporate giant U/North in a class action suit that has arisen because its use of a weed killer has resulted in many human deaths. When the firm's senior litigating partner (Wilkinson) has a nervous breakdown during a deposition, Clayton is tasked with trying to cope with this situation. But U/North's chief counsel (Swinton) sets in motion her own approach to dealing with the mess.
Michael Clayton is a well-crafted entertainment that moves along smoothly to a tidy, feel-good ending. But it lacks subtlety in characterizations and message, and it's an unchallenging movie in that it often makes it excruciatingly obvious what the viewer should think and feel. However, this was Tony Gilroy's directorial debut, and it's understandable he would want to take few chances and make a crowd pleaser. In any case, the performances make the film worth watching.
The DVD provides an audio commentary by writer-director Tony Gilroy and editor John Gilroy. The Gilroy brothers don't make the commentary particularly interesting or informative for the general moviegoer, although budding filmmakers may find it helpful. The only other extra on the DVD consists of three deleted scenes with optional commentary.