Monday, October 29, 2007

Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy, 2007)

***½
USA

In a style unfashionable in Hollywood since the 1970s but experiencing a resurgence of late, this thriller mixes strands of character study, political intrigue and questioning of corporate ethics with equal - and commendable - tenacity. It's flawed on a couple of levels - George Clooney's lead performance, although solid and photogenic, doesn't hint at layers that warrant the many pensive, protracted silent close-ups; and the flashback as a framing device is not only redundant but takes away from the tension build-up in the third act. But the majority duels and conversations are absorbing, and director Tony Gilroy finds the perfect note to wrap things up on.

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