Michael Clayton

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -3

George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack. Drama/thriller. Written & directed by Tony Gilroy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is an in-house fixer at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, Clayton takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeens dirtiest work at the behest of the firms co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack). Though burned out and hardly content with his job as a fixer, his divorce, a failed business venture and mounting debt have left Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. At U/North, meanwhile, the career of litigator Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) rests on the multi-billion dollar settlement of a class action suit that Claytons firm is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. But when Kenner Bachs brilliant and guilt-ridden attorney Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) sabotages the U/North case, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: With its insightful, nonlinear script coupled with trenchant dialogue, engaging directing and masterful performing, Michael Clayton is a masterpiece. That is said from an appreciation of the films artistic and technical merits. Alas, my appreciation is dampened by the films often abusive language. Dont worry, for once I wont take up your time with my frustration with the profane use of Gods name, Christs name and the ever present F-word, which dominates the palate of nearly every Hollywood artiste. Suffice it to say, the script is peppered with obscenity and profanity. What a shame, because I thoroughly enjoyed the other elements of this film. The lead is drifting, finding no solace in his work or life, then suddenly finds himself head on with a dilemma whereby he can find a sort of redemption.

Mr. Clooney has never been better. Though Im often frustrated with his political bent and the fact that he manages to follow Gods name with a curse in nearly all of his films, he is truly a movie star. A throwback to old Hollywood, George Clooney reminds me of Burt Lancaster in that he has rugged good looks, a strong persona, a moving talent and a regard for social issues. Whats more, I hear hes a nice guy. And he is in fine form here. But doggone it, its hard to get past that constant misuse of Gods name. I know that saying, Pray for George Clooney sounds pious to some and corny to others, but to me he represents all of those in Tinseltown who have been blessed with looks, talent and success, yet seem to disregard a need for Christs salvation. I dont want to think of him or Britney Spears or Barbra Streisand or anyone else who has entered our consciousness via the entertainment mediums having to face eternity without our Lords redemption. Again, may this not sound sanctimonious, but perhaps when we see their flagrant disregard for spiritual matters, we should be reminded of those in our daily life who also need spiritual discovery. And then offer up a prayer of gratitude that we have been forgiven for our own misdeeds.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: An occasional crude term.

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the f- and s-words, but with a few other crude terms.

Profanity: Around 16 profanities, split mainly between an irreverence for God and an abuse of Christs name.

Violence: We see a man overpowered and murdered by an injection; we see a jolting car explosion.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: There are several very offensive sexual discussions and terminology; these come from a man who is losing his mind.

Drugs: Some drinking and smoking.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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