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Michael Clayton (2007)

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.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 26 wins & 110 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bridget Klein (voice)
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Wai Chan ...
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Player #1
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Player #2
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Walter (voice)
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Ivy
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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

Plot Keywords:

law | fixer | law firm | debt | attorney | See All (264) »

Taglines:

The truth is what he makes it. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avukat  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£601,196 (UK) (28 September 2007)

Gross:

$49,024,969 (USA) (14 March 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Wilkinson have all been in comic book movies. George Clooney played Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman & Robin (1997), Tilda Swinton played the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (2016), and Tom Wilkinson played Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins (2005), making him and Clooney related to the same media. See more »

Goofs

The cop tells Michael Clayton about Arthur's death, "There were pills all over the place." This would not have been possible, whether they were scattered on the floor or, as the murder scene suggested, shaken into the sink, because the bathroom was flooded, presumably from the sink where the pills would have been taken. The water would have dissolved any pills in the time it would have taken to flood the downstairs. 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 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) 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

 
An elegant work showing a filthy world
31 January 2008 | by (Los Angeles, Ca.) – See all my reviews

"Michael Clayton" is the name of the best lawyer in the powerhouse litigation firm of Kenner, Bach, & Ledeen. So good, he's not allowed to waste himself in court; he's used to clean up the messes the firm's rich and powerful clients cause -- and he's damn good at his job. Problem is, it's destroying him from the inside out. At least...it's doing so until he slams headlong into a problem that forces him to see the decay growing within. That problem comes in the form of a brilliant but guilt-ridden attorney named Arthur Edens, whose spectacular meltdown during a deposition has thrown a HUGE class-action suit against a conglomerate called UNorth into turmoil. Michael is sent to get him back under control...or else, thus setting in motion what is, in my mind, one of the most breathtaking suspense dramas I've seen in years.

Starting with a tight, stunning script by Tony Gilroy, this movie has every cylinder firing in perfect sync. The acting is, without exception, exceptional. George Clooney takes a vile human being and inhabits him with such sympathy and understanding, he becomes just another man fighting to keep his life going who IS still capable of decency. (The moment where, after Michael's son has seen a beloved uncle who's an addict come groveling for forgiveness, he stops the car and lets the boy know he's stronger than that uncle is so right and so perfect, I nearly wept.) And Tilda Swinton's litigator, Karen Crowder, is so desperate and unsure, you can almost understand why she makes some of the decisions she does. And Tom Wilkinson blazes across the screen as Arthur Edens, who has finally seen the evil within himself and wants to make it right but who, despite all his legal brilliance, is still naive enough to think he can get away with it.

The direction is taut, cinematography and editing cool and precise, and all are at the service of an elegant work that uses the suspense genre to illuminate a filthy world that has been glossed over by money and power. Magnificent in every way.


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