For Michael Clayton, critical praise has been more plentiful than box-office receipts — but that balance is set to shift, at least a little, when Warner Bros. re-releases the George Clooney film on January 25.
The studio made the announcement Wednesday, noting that Clayton has been “named to more than 100 critics’ top-ten lists, including those of the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, People, and Time.” (Not to mention yours truly.) If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a synopsis, just to get you in the mood:
In “Michael Clayton,” George Clooney stars in the title role of an in-house “fixer” at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. At the behest of the firm’s co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), Clayton, a former prosecutor from a family of cops, takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen’s dirtiest work. Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Though burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm. At the agrochemical company U/North, the career of in-house chief counsel Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) rests on the settlement of the suit that Kenner, Bach & Ledeen is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. When the firm’s top litigator, the brilliant Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), has an apparent breakdown and tries to sabotage the entire case, Marty Bach sends Michael Clayton to tackle this unprecedented disaster and, in doing so, Clayton comes face to face with the reality of who he has become.
Currently boasting a 90 percent Tomatometer rating, Michael Clayton looks to improve its roughly $40 million domestic gross with the re-release, which will roll out to approximately 1,000 theaters, where it’ll go up against How She Move, Rambo, and Untraceable.