Michael Clayton

Rated 4.0

George Clooney plays a lawyer whose job it is to “fix things.” When a lawyer at his firm (Tom Wilkinson) has a nervous breakdown during a giant case, bad things start to happen and his own life is targeted. Director Tony Gilroy (writer of all the Bourne movies) makes an astonishingly good debut, with Clooney in top form. The actor brings none of his usual charms to the part, playing a man who is both angry and desperate. The film is a mystery-thriller of sorts, although its goals don’t become clear until deep into the movie. This is not a courtroom drama by any means. Clooney will probably get some Oscar consideration for this one. Ultimately, this is the sort of hollow mess that made ’80s films like Red Dawn and Missing in Action so sickening. Jamie Foxx plays an FBI agent who gets himself into Saudi Arabia after a lethal terrorist bombing at an American compound. A prominent American agent was killed in the attack, and this makes Foxx’s elite team consisting of Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman, thirsty for some blood. It’s when the film tries to masquerade as a message movie that it falters. The movie’s final moment is nothing but laughable, some sort of ominous statement about how terrorists are always being created. Junk.