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Michael Clayton (2007)

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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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Popularity
3,517 ( 390)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 113 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 Can Be Adjusted 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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Details

Official Sites:

CMC [Taiwan] | Official Facebook

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tony Gilroy has written the scripts for all the Bourne series with Matt Damon. He never directed a Bourne edition with Damon in it. The first time he wrote AND directed a Bourne edition was The Bourne Legacy (2012). Tony's brother John Gilroy edited this movie, and some of the Bourne editions. Tony's son, Sam Gilroy, plays the clerk who hands the documents to George Clooney in the copy shop. See more »

Goofs

When Michael Clayton asks Marty for a loan, a crew member is reflected of a wooden door over Michael's left shoulder, moving back and forth. The actors are standing completely still. 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

Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Cadence Kickoff
Written by Bert Ferntheil
Provided by APM Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The law firm's janitor
10 November 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In the title role of Michael Clayton, George Clooney is described by himself as exactly that. Whenever there's a big mess he's the one they send in to clean it up. The law firm under managing partner Sydney Pollack has a real mess on his hands. One of the firm's top attorneys Tom Wilkinson has gone off the deep end. He's representing a chemical company accused of poisoning people with a new insecticide they've developed. Cleaning up this mess might be just a baby sitting job with Wilkinson who mentored Clayton. But it has the potential to be worse because this company is guilty as sin and will do anything to limit the liability and keep their good name.

Michael Clayton was nominated for a flock of Oscars including Best Actor for George Clooney as a much flawed hero. Takes a while for the better angels of Clooney's nature emerge. Tom Wilkinson as the lawyer with both conscience and schizophrenia steals the acting honors though. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Michael Clayton got a flock of other nominations including Best Picture.

The film did take home one bit of Oscar gold. Tilda Swinton as one of the chemical company executives who also has an attack of conscience got a Best Supporting Actress Award. She's quite good herself.

The film is an interesting look at big business and the high priced lawyers they must retain to keep them out of trouble. Sad in some cases we have to rely on consciences coming to the fore for any justice at times.

Michael Clayton, a well done piece of cinema.


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