Michael Clayton

Synopsis: Former prosecutor Michael Clayton (George Clooney) works as a "fixer" at the corporate law firm of Kenner, Bach and Ledeen, and takes care of his employer's dirty work. Burned out and deep in debt, he is bound tightly to the firm. Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career when a guilt-ridden attorney (Tom Wilkinson) has a breakdown during a huge class-action lawsuit.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 26 wins & 110 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.3
Metacritic:
82
Rotten Tomatoes:
90%
R
Year:
2007
119 min
$48,976,323
Website
3,791 Views


INT. KENNER BACH & LEDEEN/VARIOUS SHOTS -- NIGHT

It’s 2:
00 a.m. in a major New York law firm. Ten floors

of office space in the heart of the Sixth Avenue Canyon.

Seven hours from now this place will be vibrating with thebeehive energy of six hundred attorneys and their attendantstaff, but for the moment it is a vast, empty, half-litshell. A SERIES OF SHOTS emphasizing the size and power ofthis organization; shots that build quietly to the idea that

somewhere here -- somewhere in this building -- there’ssomething very important going on. MUSIC and CREDITS alreadymixing with the crazed, manic, express train chatter of -

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

...Michael. Dear, Michael. Nurse

Michael. Dr. Clayton. Secret Hero.

Keeper of the Hidden Sins. Of course

it’s you. Who else could they send?

Who else could be trusted? Smoke on

the horizon -- hole in the bucket --

voices crying from Milwaukee to

Manhattan, “Where’s our hero?”

“Where’s our Cleanser Of The Hidden

Sins?” And here you are, sleeves

rolled up, lips sealed -- broom --

dustbin -- bankroll at the ready!

Fifties, is it still fifties? When

you came to Boston, you remember?

God, you must’ve had a thousand of

them! The cash -- the smile -- the

quiet word in the corner -- of course

it’s you, Michael, who else could it

ever be? But Michael, please, before

you sweep, please just hear me out --

just try -- because it’s not like

Boston -- it’s not an episode -

relapse -- f*** up -- I’m begging

you, Michael, make believe it’s not

just madness, because it’s not just

madness --

(continuing, as--)

INT. LAW FIRM OFFICE/DUPLICATION CENTER -- NIGHT

A XEROX MACHINE -- cranking out high-speed copies -- tenpages a second flashing before our eyes -- all informationa blur except for the letterhead which is constant:

KENNER, BACH & LEDEEN LLP

ATTORNEYS AT LAW

As...

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- I mean, yes -- okay, yes --elements

of madness -- the speed of madness --

yes, the occasional, euphoric, pseudo-

hallucinatory moments that, yes -- fine

--agreed -- distracting -- nostalgic --

all of that --

(continuing, as--)

A HUGE EMPTY OFFICE BULLPEN. CUBICLES AND WORKSTATIONS.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- but that’s just the package -

the plate -- think of it as a tax --

The Mania Tax -- The Insanity Tax -

or like advertising on TV -- it’s the

freight -- the weight -- it’s the

price of the show --

A LONG, DARK CORRIDOR. A CLEANING CREW IN THE DISTANCE.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- just please, just hear me out,

Michael, because I swear to you, this

is so much, so very much more, than

the ravings of some hypo-maniacal,

bipolar attorney -

DOCUMENT AREA. ODD THIS LATE. THREE ASSOCIATES STACKING

PAPERWORK ONTO A TROLLEY --

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- Two weeks ago I came out of the

building -- I’m running across Sixth

Avenue -- there’s a car waiting -- I

have exactly thirty-eight minutes to

get to Laguardia,and I’m dictating --

there’s this frantic associate running

to keep up --

A SENIOR PARTNER’S OFFICE. A SECURITY GUARD SNEAKING A

SMOKE IN THE DARK BY AN OPEN WINDOW.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- we’re in the middle of the street --

the light changes -- the traffic --

unleashed -- it’s coming -- serious

traffic -- but there I am -- I’m

babbling -- my mouth -- I can’t stop --

some ridiculous, involuntary part of my

brain just keeps going -- I’m standing

there dictating this trade secret,

Motion to Suppress...

AN OFFICE PHONE. TWELVE LINES BLINKING IN THE DARK.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

...and there, Michael, in the middle

of Sixth Avenue -- as I stood there

jabbering -- and this poor young woman

is screaming -- traffic speeding toward

us -- I looked at my hands and my suit

-- my briefcase -- and it came to me --

overwhelming sensation -- the feeling --

the fact -- that I was covered with

came over me -- through me -- the

some sort of film -- an oil -- an ooze

-- my hair -- my face -- like a glaze --

a coating -- and at first I thought,

“My God, I know what this is, this issome sort of amniotic, embryonic fluid

-I’m drenched in afterbirth -- I’ve

breached the chrysalis -- I’ve beenreborn.” --

ASSOCIATE #1 WHEELING THAT DOCUMENT TROLLEY PAST AN EMPTY

BACK OFFICE KITCHEN.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- but the traffic -- this stampede --

cars -- trucks -- the horns -- the

screaming associate -- I’m thinking,

“No -- reset -- this cannot be rebirth.

If anything, this must some giddyillusion of renewal that happens in thefinal instant before death.” -

A MAINTENANCE WORKER VACUUMING A LARGE RECEPTION STAIRCASE.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

-- and then -- in the fraction of a

moment it took for that idea to form --

I realized all of that was wrong,

because I looked back at the buildingand had the most stunning moment ofclarity...

THE WORD PROCESSING DEPARTMENT. TWENTY PEOPLE -- ACTORS,

DANCERS, ARTISTS, INSOMNIACS -- THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT

HAMMERING OUT OVERNIGHT LEGAL PAPERWORK.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

...I realized, Michael, at that moment,

that I had emerged -- as I have donenearly every day for the past twenty-

eight years of my life -- not throughdoors of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen -

RECEPTION LOBBY. ASSOCIATE #1 WHEELING THE TROLLEY OFF

THE ELEVATOR.

ARTHUR EDENS (V.O.)

--not through the portals of our hugeand powerful law firm, but rather fromthe a**hole of an organism whose sole

function is to excrete the poison --

the ammo -- the defoliant -- necessaryfor even larger and more dangerousorganisms to destroy the miracle ofhumanity --

Rate this script:4.0 / 4 votes

Tony Gilroy

Anthony Joseph "Tony" Gilroy is an American screenwriter and filmmaker. He wrote the screenplays for the Bourne series starring Matt Damon, among other successful films, and directed the fourth film of the franchise. more…

All Tony Gilroy scripts | Tony Gilroy Scripts

0 fans

Submitted by acronimous on April 13, 2016

Discuss this script with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Michael Clayton" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/michael_clayton_125>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Michael Clayton

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.