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Michael Clayton | 2007 | R | - 4.5.6

George Clooney stars as a man referred to as a "janitor" and a "fixer" since he works for a law firm cleaning up messy situations that involve powerful corporations. His most recent task is to find out why the lead attorney defending a large chemical company is instead preparing briefs that prove his client is indeed guilty of knowingly using poisonous chemicals that have killed several people. Also with Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack and Pamela Gray. Directed by Tony Gilroy. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man talks about having two prostitutes taking turns to perform oral sex on him while trying to distract himself so that he would not ejaculate. A man talks about a woman being a "motivated stripper."
 We hear that a man has stripped naked during a deposition and we see a video of him removing his clothing (we see his bare chest). A young woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A man is grabbed by two men, one strikes him and the other puts something in his mouth (the man lies motionless but is apparently still alive); then one man injects him between the toes with something, the man twitches briefly and dies.
 A man's car explodes while he stands in the distance, and we hear people talking about the driver having been killed in the explosion.
 A man breaks into another man's apartment, searches through his possessions, and two police officers hold him at gunpoint and threaten him. A man kicks a door in trying to find another man who turns out not to be in the room.
 A man plants a bomb in another man's car that later causes it to explode (no one is harmed). A man drives fast along a narrow, dark road.
 A man yells at a man when he thinks he's incapable of helping him and a woman (presumably his wife) throws a glass against a wall, shattering the glass.
 Two men argue. A man accuses another man of tapping his telephone.
 We hear that a man thinks that he has hit a man with his car and needs a lawyer (we see a crumpled bumper and the man provides details of the incident). A man says that he has "blood on his hands" from participating in deceptive practices for a chemical company that makes a "deadly weed killer." We read a few lines of a report that indicate a chemical company produces a weed killer that can causes tissue damage in humans. A man talks about another man being the "keeper of the hidden sins." A man says that he has been sober for 8 days and seems to be feeling remorse for things that he did while under the influence of alcohol and perhaps drugs.
 Two boys play fight with foam swords.


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LANGUAGE 6 - 15 F-words, 6 sexual references, 11 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 12 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid), 9 religious profanities, 13 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man is forcefully injected with something that kills him. A man drinks alcohol straight from a bottle, a man drinks wine, and people drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in a bar scene. Several men smoke cigarettes while playing cards. A man holds a vial of prescription medication.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The legal system, large corporations, deadly chemicals, guilt, grief, gambling, debt, miracles, involuntary commitment, co-conspirators, vision, conquest, losing one's business, greed, manic depression, suicide.

MESSAGE - It's easier to live with yourself if you are on the right side of the law and morality.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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