Michael Clayton is an example of something all too rare in modern day Hollywood: a dramatic adult thriller, full of character and intelligent dialogue that doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator. It’s a film that isn’t afraid to leave its audience behind if they can’t keep up and isn’t afraid to take its time either.

Like The Insider, it’s less a thriller than a drama with thriller aspects. There are no hokey plot devices, no shoot-outs – you get the impression that this is the kind of thing that actually goes on under our noses.

The film stars George Clooney in the title role as a “fixer” for a big corporate law firm. He’s the guy they bring in to clean up the messes of the rich and powerful in order to avoid any unwanted publicity.

Tom Wilkinson turns in a fevered performance as a bipolar law partner who has a crisis of conscience when he goes off his medication and gets a good look at whom he’s defending. Oscar winner Tilda Swinton is the icy, in over her head in-house litigator for the corporate defendants of a class-action lawsuit. All three performances are stellar, as is the direction by first-timer and Bourne series screenwriter Tony Gilroy.

Extras: commentary by the brothers Gilroy (John Gilroy, editor) and deleted scenes with commentary.

Grade: A

Michael Clayton is currently available.