George Clooney is at his typical best portraying Michael Clayton, the ‘fixer of tough problems’ (while having his share of them as well) for Kenner, Bach, and Ledeen, a firm which is handling a slippery case for the U-North corporation. His problem this time is close to home: co-worker and close friend Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson in top form), who has been working on the U-North case for far too long.
Upon discovering info that could bring the corporation to its knees, he is brought to his, while losing his mind and yet claiming to have found his soul. Clayton (Clooney) has a simple job – save the case (which is in shambles) and save his friend Edens – however he soon finds himself searching for much more than simply a way to fix this problem.
The story is convincing and compelling (Tony Gilroy – writer/director) and the parts are well-played. Among many well-casted parts, Tilda Swinton is a brilliant (not to mention Oscar-winning) Karen Crowder – U-North’s head attorney-come-propagandist.
Conservative viewers will find parts overly gritty (for example, Edens’ description of his coming to his senses, which includes details about his encounter with two prostitutes), and there is the fair share of strong language. But, if one can endure these, Michael Clayton is to be praised as a prophetic take on the vast and far-reaching effects of corporate greed.
Reviewed by: Dale Campbell.
Rating: M – Contains Violence & Offensive Language.
Duration: 120 mins.
Director: Tony Gilroy.
Actors: Tom Wilkinson, Michael O’Keefe, Sydney Pollack, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney.
Release Date: Available now.