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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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4,602 ( 1,128)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 112 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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Details

Official Sites:

CMC [Taiwan] | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Майкл Клейтон See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$719,910, 7 October 2007, Limited Release

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
See full technical specs »
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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 [link=George Clooney in the copy shop. See more »

Goofs

When Michael Clayton spots Arthur Edens in the back alley, Arthur is carrying a bag of bread. In the beginning of the conversation, one loaf in the middle is missing its top, which apparently may have been eaten. In the following shots, the loaf is full. 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 30 Rock: Sandwich Day (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thought of You
Written by Edwina Travis Chin (as Edwina Travis-Chin)
Provided by APM Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Coolness under Pressure
3 September 2017 | by Raven-1969See all my reviews

Law and justice are common misconceptions. For truth is adjustable. It depends on money and influence. Michael Clayton is short on both. Deep in debt, isolated and with his authority as special counsel at a massive law firm becoming increasingly tenuous, Michael has no room error. Then the trouble really begins. Arthur, a leading attorney for the firm, suffers a breakdown. Michael is marked for execution. With billions of dollars and lives hanging in the balance, Michael realizes he must channel the skills he learned as a powerful trial attorney; coolness under pressure, finding and exploiting thresholds for pain, and adjusting the truth.

Attorneys, especially those at gigantic firms like Michael's, must jettison or channel their emotions to win. Even then, winning often does not mean success. Arthur is broken down from years of screaming, stalling, scheming and sacrificing his well-being – and that of those he loves - in exchange for billable hours. Eyes opening to the beauty of life and love, Arthur resists Michael's efforts to bring him back to the tasks of the firm. To help Arthur, the firm and all those who depend upon them, Michael first must help himself. The film reveals why, as a law school graduate, I am not practicing law.

As a thriller, Michael Clayton is first rate. Tensions are heightened as puzzle pieces of the story and the motivations of the fascinating characters are gradually revealed and the film jumps back in time. Those in the audience who pay attention to little details are rewarded. The reason for a malfunctioning vehicle GPS unit, for instance, is revealed near the end of the film and with much impact. George Clooney (Michael), Tom Wilkinson (Arthur) and Tilda Swinton are amazing. With added depth to the dialogue, soundtrack and cinematography, the film could be more compelling, yet viewers will delight, as I did, in the charms of this pulse quickening film. Ten years since the release of the film and the nation receives a daily schooling, from the highest levels of government, in the relevance of its theme of adjustable truth.


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