Michael Clayton

Movie review by Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Michael Clayton Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Smart, mature legal thriller isn't meant for kids.

R 2007 119 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 7 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 16+

Gripping and Moving Legal Drama Packs a Punch!

MICHAEL CLAYTON is an extremely intelligent and mature drama/thriller that is a perfect respite from dumb "action" movies that thrive on cheap violence as opposed to genuine thrills. This movie is genuinely gripping, but its engaging thrill emerges from its strong emotional core as opposed to bullets and explosions. It isn't a movie for kids by any stretch, but mature teens and adults will have a great time watching. The movie follows a "fixer" lawyer named Michael Clayton, who is in charge of burying controversial and possibly illegal behavior of his clients before it hinders their business prospects. When Michael's friend uncovers a conspiracy behind a multi-million dollar lawsuit, Michael is convinced that his friend is only looking for a problem where there isn't one. Soon however, Michael begins to see cracks in his previous vantage point, and the decisions he makes will make all the difference. The movie isn't for kids at all. It is very mature and adult-oriented, and contains some adult content. The "f" word is used more than 20 times, and other milder language ("s**t", "d**n", and sexual slang) is used almost non-stop. "C**t" is used once early in the film. A man describes being in a "whorehouse" and trying not to "come" as he recieves oral sex from two prostitutes. "D**k" and "c**k" are also used as slang in this scene. The same man strips naked after having an emotional breakdown (nothing shown). A man is assassinated onscreen (poison is injected into his foot after he is knocked unconscious), and another man's car explodes (with the intent of killing him). One character is also a drug addict. The majority of characters in the movie make very poor decisions (and are thus poor role models), but the overall message of the movie is very inspiring: how a handful of people in a corrupt world have the courage to change their actions and do the right thing. In an age of superficial movies, MICHAEL CLAYTON courageously and inspiringly offers an alternate thriller: one driven by plot and meaning, not bullets.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
not rated for age

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Erin Brockovich Poster Image

    Erin Brockovich

    Legal drama based on a true story has lots of cursing.

    age 15+
  • Damages Poster Image


    Dark, criminally good legal thriller. Adults only.

    age 17+

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