With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.
Michael Clayton, a high-priced law firm's fixer, leaves a late night poker game, gets a call to drive to Westchester, and watches his car blow up as he's taking an impromptu dawn walk through a field. Flash back four days. He owes a loan shark to cover his brother's debts (Michael's own gambling habits have left him virtually broke). His law firm is negotiating a high-stakes merger, and his firm's six year defense of a conglomerate's pesticide use is at risk when one of the firm's top litigators goes off his meds and puts the case in jeopardy. While Michael is trying to fix things someone decides to kill him. Who? Meanwhile his son summarizes the plot of a dark fantasy novel. Written by
The film's director Tony Gilroy grew up about 65 miles north of New York City in Orange County, New York and did not forget where he came from in his directorial debut. It is mentioned that Michael Clayton attended Washingtonville Central High School; graduating in 1977. Gilroy, himself, graduated from Washingtonville High School in 1974. The home of Michael Clayton depicted in the film is actually in Blooming Grove, NY. The airport where Michael boards a private jet was filmed at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor/Newburgh, NY. And the pivotal moment of the film involving an incident with a main character's automobile was filmed at the Moodna Viaduct in Salisbury Mills, NY. All of these locales are within 7 miles of his hometown. See more »
When Michael Clayton asks Marty for a loan, a crew member can be seen in the reflection of a wooden door over Michael's left shoulder. The crew member moves back and forth during the scene, making it clear it's not one of the actors, who are standing completely still. See more »
Michael. Dear Michael. Of course it's you, who else could they send, who else could be trusted? I... I know it's a long way and you're ready to go to work... all I'm saying is wait, just wait, just-just-just... please hear me out because this is not an episode, relapse, fuck-up, it's... I'm begging you Michael. I'm begging you. Try and make believe this is not just madness because this is not just madness. Two weeks ago I came out of the building, okay, I'm running across Sixth ...
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With previous works on similar subjects such as "The Firm," "A Civil Action" and "Erin Brockovich," how can this one pull it off better? No one would ever believe it can until they see it themselves. Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of "The Bourne" trilogy, revisits the saint-or-sinner theme in "The Devil's Advocate" and brings an excellent script that is full of precise dialog and intense sequences.
Michael Clayton, the senior lawyer in his firm, has fixed up many troubling cases which might not be considered as justice methods. Until another senior partner of the firm, Arthur Edens, freaked out at a hearing, the turning point of his life comes along with it unexpectedly.
Just like any of us, Clayton has to deal with many difficulties in life. Besides the handful works, there are also the child support and the dept owed by his brother. His son, Henry, is a smart kid and fully realizes the way life is. On the contrary, Timmy, his younger brother, just couldn't know how to stay out of trouble despite of having an older brother, Gene, who happens to be an officer.
The case which makes Edens freak out or just pretend to is a lawsuit involves with billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. It's not a rare affair in the U.S. and also one of the bigger ones that makes law firms make profits by helping big industries. But do the lawyers can all manage the deals without their conscience? Yes is the more likely answer.
Unlike the conscience Edens discovers within himself, the executive spokesman, Karen Crowder, doesn't care anything else but the welfare of the firm and, of course, of herself. But she is in fact very diffident due to her position and her sex. The only way she can breakthrough these odds is to make her bosses impressive.
As many have said in their reviews, George Clooney gave his best performance to date. He portrayed this role which is the key to the success of the movie brilliantly with every look, every move and every line that he has to as also an executive producer. He's a strong Oscar contender already.
The acclaimed but overlooked actor Tom Wilkinson does another great job as Edens. The reason and insanity of the role can both be seen through his limited but powerful interpretation.
It's even more thrilling to see Tilda Swinton in the cast. Very different from her previous roles which are well-known as authoritative and neuter, she dealt with a feminine role which tries to act strong but actually weak this time.
Another executive producer and the director of "The firm," Sydney Pollack, took the part which is only bigger than a cameo, shows his interest in this genre once more and being an actor besides already an acclaimed film director. Along side is Steven Soderbergh, the old pal of Clooney and the director of "Erin Brokovich."
With the constant dialog, it might fail to satisfy action-flick fans easily which it seems like one in the trailer. But as a suspense thriller, it's possibly the best one of the year or even in years. The important topic of the downfall sense of justice is a very present message to the society which is filled with the value that measured by money and power. And the gripping storytelling and the dream-alike ensemble cast shows what a good movie is made of.
As the credit shows on the right, the face of Clayton is still shown on screen which tells more about his feeling after the immense scenes he has just been through. Gilroy added a touch of realism to the ending after the metaphor sequence with the horses in the mist.
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