This film sees George Clooney playing an Irish-American former district attorney whose invaluable freelance fixing helps keep a big New York law firm on the rails.
He tries to rescue a buddy, played by Tom Wilkinson, who is struggling with both his own mental health and the sinister secrets of a contract to service a dubious pharmaceutical company. Tilda Swinton, another fine British actor, plays the villain.
The overall tone is measured and understated in terms of lighting, camerawork, script and performances, contrasting with the big issues at stake.
Michael Clayton knowingly revisits anti-corporate masterpieces of US cinema in the early 1970s, such as The Parallax View and The Conversation. The result is a high quality movie that shows up the shallow fare of US films today.
directed by Tony Gilroy
film on general release