DVD Review: Michael Clayton

Movie •••• Picture ••• Sound •••½ Extras •••½

The corporate-malfeasance thriller may just be the movie genre for our times, and Michael Clayton has arrived to set one very high standard. George Clooney is letter-perfect as the fixer for a major (read: unethical) law firm, who stumbles across more corruption than even he can stand. But writer and first-time director Tony Gilroy deserves most of the credit for this absorbing and entertaining film.

The DVD picture is a little soft, even murky in spots - though the cold, blue-and-silver world of Manhattan's board rooms and offices comes through in all its sinister glory. The audio mix puts the emphasis on the soundtrack's most important element: the subtle voice inflections of the remarkable cast, whose standouts also include Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack. Deleted scenes add up to just 5 minutes, but they're as sharp and revealing as it gets. And a commentary by the Gilroys - Tony and editor John - is endearingly warm and open, making amends for the otherwise skimpy batch of extras.

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