Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Engaging but Unfulfilling: Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Released October 5, 2007

George Clooney stars in this legal conspiracy thriller that offers few new ideas but takes the viewer on a decent enough trip that is fun while it lasts. There are a few scenes which really do get the blood flowing, and the direction and cinematography teach the audience to be paranoid even before there appears to be anything to be paranoid about. Clooney is fine but nothing memorable, but then again he did win an Oscar for growing a beard and getting a few fingernails plucked out. Tom Wilkinson does the best he can with the material he has, but his skills have been better used in the past ("In the Bedroom"). Tilda Swinton is stuck in a somewhat miserable role and anyone who enjoys her performance should immediately see her performance in 2001's undervalued "The Deep End". The music is decent, and the movie really is not all that bad. Its biggest flaw is that everyone continually talks about how skilled Clooney's Michael Clayton is, but he seems merely to get off with luck from nearly every situation. Without a believable lead character, a movie is bound to have some problems right off the bat.


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