A good story can go a long way. Exhibit A: Michael Clayton.
Often, filmmakers mistakenly assume that special effects can compensate for a poor story. Heresy. Exhibit B: D-War.
Michael Clayton has few noticeable special effects and is still exceptional entertainment, thanks to its story’s quality.
If it’s not evident by the aforementioned exhibits, Michael Clayton is a thriller involving high-powered attorneys, corporate litigation and an exhibitionist.
Thankfully, Michael Clayton spares us the overused courtroom-drama sequences for more exciting, behind-the-scenes finagling, giving it inherent intrigue, despite its unconvincing, unappealing trailer. Exhibit C: "Do I look like I’m negotiating?"
Notably, notwithstanding Exhibit C, the film is worth seeing for George Clooney’s title-role performance. Watch him closely during scenes with his character’s son; or, when he holds his composure during a very long close-up of his face.
So, what is the overall verdict on whether to watch this movie? See Exhibit A.