A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class action suit.

Director:

Tony Gilroy

Writer:

Tony Gilroy
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2,736 ( 379)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 114 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Wilkinson ... Arthur Edens
Michael O'Keefe ... Barry Grissom
Sydney Pollack ... Marty Bach
Danielle Skraastad ... Bridget Klein (voice)
Tilda Swinton ... Karen Crowder
George Clooney ... Michael Clayton
Wai Chan Wai Chan ... Chinese Dealer
Alberto Vazquez ... Player #1
Brian Koppelman ... Player #2
Tom McCarthy ... Walter (voice)
Denis O'Hare ... Mr. Greer
Julie White ... Mrs. Greer
Austin Williams ... Henry Clayton
Jennifer Van Dyck ... Ivy
Frank Wood ... Gerald
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The truth is what he makes it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both George Clooney and Michael O'Keefe played boyfriends of Laurie Metcalf on Roseanne (1988). See more »

Goofs

After Karen and Michael's final encounter, Karen looks off in Michael's direction as he walks away from her. In the next shot, she's looking straight ahead, 90 degrees to the right of her initial stance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arthur Edens: 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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Connections

Referenced in Castle: Castle, P.I. (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Cadence Kickoff
Written by Bert Ferntheil
Provided by APM Music
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User Reviews

 
Good film, but not for everyone
29 September 2007 | by John K.-2See all my reviews

This is a well-made suspense film. It builds slowly, it features the key characters in sometimes agonising close-up, it weaves an intricate plot (a bit too intricate, in hindsight -- I'm still not sure why some events were included), and George Clooney is masterful as the morally conflicted character who does his best to hold his collapsing life together, while slowly realising that his role in life is not quite what he thought it was in any case.

There are some things this film is not. It's not an action film ... if you expect that, it will seem very slow. It's not a warm and friendly film that leaves you feeling good about the world -- it was shot in winter, just to emphasise its coldness. It's not a comedy in any way, not even through being over-the-top. It's reality rather than escapism.

If you like suspense, unflinching realism, stories of moral conflict, criticisms of corporate America, or George Clooney -- or if you're just in the mood to see that kind of film -- you'll love it. If you're in the mood for a film to wash away the cares of the day (as I was), choose something else.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Michael Clayton See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$719,910, 7 October 2007

Gross USA:

$49,033,882

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,991,835
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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