Although attorney Michael Clayton (George Clooney) has been with Kenner, Bach and
Ledeen for 17 years, he's never made partner. Ironically, despite being low man on the totem
pole, he still enjoys a certain grudging status, since the nature of his work makes his services
invaluable to the prestigious Manhattan law office.
You see, as the firm's fixer, Michael's job involves mopping up other's messy situations by any
means necessary, even if that might sometimes mean breaking the law. For example, when a
wealthy client is involved in a hit-and-run accident, he's quickly called-in to in order to devise the
best strategy to keep the story out of the press.
But nothing in his checkered career has prepared him for the chain of events about to unfold in
the wake of the apparent mental breakdown of Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), a colleague
defending a billion-dollar class action suit against U-North, an agro-chemical company accused
of manufacturing cancer-causing chemicals. After six years as the lead lawyer on the case,
Edens inexplicably did a striptease while mumbling incoherent flibbity-jibbity to himself during a
deposition being conducted in Milwaukee.
So, the firm's managing partner, Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), rushes his reliable "fixer" to
Wisconsin to do damage control. However, Clayton soon discovers that he's in over his head
because Edens hasn't merely gone off his meds as suspected, but has had a crisis in
conscience and plans to go public with some very incriminating U-North internal memos. Plus,
the rogue attorney has developed a crush on one of the plaintiffs, a cute, young, milk-fed farm
girl he hopes to seduce during a rendezvous in the Big Apple.
"I'm not a miracle worker. I'm a janitor," an exasperated Clayton complains about a situation that
even he can't cover up completely. This doesn't sit well with steely Karen Crowder (Tilda
Swinton), U-North's chief in-house counsel who reports directly to CEO Don Jeffries (Ken
Howard). With so much money at stake and no longer trusting anybody at Kenner, Bach and