HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
Man Who Skied Down Everest, The
Bottoms Up!
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Michael Clayton Lawman
Year: 2007
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Michael O'Keefe, Thomas McCarthy, Denis O'Hare, Julie White, Austin Williams, Bill Raymond, Merritt Wever, Terry Serpico, Sean Cullen, Julia Gibson, Kevin Hagan, David Lansbury
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is what is known as a fixer in that he takes the trickier cases that come to his law firm and manages to make them go away with his insider knowledge. But even professionally, he's not in great shape, as he wishes to be moved up the ladder of success while around his ears his personal life is taking a hammering, what with his divorce, his unreliable family, his gambling addiction that he is doing his best to give up - and the small matter of his colleague, Arthur Evans (Tom Wilkinson), having a nervous breakdown in the middle of presenting a case to a wealthy corporate client...

Right up until just before the end, this film looks to be the anti-Erin Brockovich, which as Steven Soderbergh was on board as a producer, might not have been too much of a coincidence. Where Erin was an outsider breaking into the double dealings of big business, Michael is already very much on the inside, and where she took on the bad guys in crowdpleasing fashion, everything about him speaks of being a loser, someone who is going from having it all on a plate to having that torn out of his hands. Well, not everything spoke to Clayton's loser status, as for a start he was being played by one of the most successful movie stars in the world.

So maybe Wilkinson would have made a more believable shlub, but he didn't have the cachet of Clooney, so here the star earned an Oscar nomination with his low key, unshowy performance. If anything you feel he could have done less of toning down the charisma, as while that was in the service of the character, it did tend to drain the tension from what could have been a neat, seventies-style conspiracy thriller. The insistence of first-time director Tony Gilroy for making this appear as drab as possible wasn't much help in that department, and although there was an explosion and a murder chilling in its efficiency, you'd never know he was the man partly responsible for making the Bourne franchise the success it was.

In fact, the only actor going all out was Wilkinson as the mentally ill lawyer who has been working on the same case for six years and has finally cracked - not the case, but his mind. We're meant to accept that this has come about due to a crisis of conscience as the company he's representing, and in whose offices he had his meltdown, is covering up some dodgy weedkiller that has resulted in hundreds of deaths that they are trying to sweep under the carpet because of the huge amount of money they would have to shell out in compensation. Arthur is all ready to blow the whistle on them, something they react to by putting him under their own surveillance and dogging his every move.

This is what Clayton gradually discovers over the course of the story, and we piece together the plot equally slowly as Gilroy was reluctant to give too much away too soon. Once you have it worked out, you can see why, as this would make an average two-parter of a long running television series as far as its intrigue goes, so what you're left with is some admittedly classy stylings and solid performances. Among those is Tilda Swinton's Oscar-winning turn as the company's advisor who is undergoing her own crisis, as if to show the effects of this level of corruption are not on a one-way street, but it's very easy to allow the film to wash over you as you acknowledge its skill yet fail to be arrested or better, outraged by the implications of the narrative until it's too late in the day. Couple that to the way that most of the characters talk in speeches at each other, and you have a moderately pleasing work that seems to be about to fulfil its potential but never really does. Music by James Newton Howard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2233 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: