Michael Clayton Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Michael Clayton script is here for all you fans of the he George Clooney & Tilda Swinton movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Michael Clayton quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Michael Clayton Script




Dear Michael. Of course it's you.
Who else could they send?

Who else could be trusted?

And I know it's a long way
and you're ready to go to work.

All I'm saying is wait, just wait, just...
Just please hear me out.

Because this is not an episode,
relapse, fuckup.

I'm begging you, Michael,
I'm begging you.

Try and make believe
this is not just madness...

... because this is not just madness.

Two weeks ago,
I came out of the building, okay?

I'm running across 6th Avenue,
there's a car waiting...

... I got exactly 38 minutes to get
to the airport, and I'm dictating.

There's this panicked associate
sprinting along beside me...

... scribbling in a notepad,
and she starts screaming.

And I realize we're standing
in the middle of the street...

... the light's changed and there's this wall
of serious traffic speeding towards us.

And I freeze. I can't move.

I'm suddenly consumed
with the overwhelming sensation...

... that I'm covered
with some sort of film.

And it's in my hair, in my face.
And it's like a glaze, like a coating.

And at first I thought,
"Oh, my God, I know what this is.

This is some sort of amniotic,
embryonic fluid.

I'm drenched in afterbirth.

I've breached the chrysalis.
I've been reborn. "

But then, the traffic, the stampede,
the cars, the trucks, the horns...

... this poor woman screaming,
and I'm thinking, "No. This is not rebirth.

This is some kind of giddy illusion
of renewal...

... that happens in
the final moment before death. "

And then I realize,
"No, no, no, this is completely wrong"...

... because I looked back
at the building...

... and I had the most stunning
moment of clarity.

I realized, Michael...

... that I had emerged, not through
the doors of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen...

... not through the portals
of our vast and powerful law firm...

... but from the asshole of an organism...

... whose sole function is
to excrete the poison...

... the ammo, the defoliant necessary
for other larger...

... more powerful organisms
to destroy the miracle of humanity.

And that I had been coated
in this patina of shit...

... for the best part of my life.

And the stench of it, the stain of it
would take the rest of my life to undo.

And you know what I did?

I took a deep, cleansing breath
and I set that notion aside. I tabled it.

I said to myself, "As clear as this may be,
as potent a feeling as this is...

... as true a thing as I believe
that I have witnessed today, it must wait.

It must stand the test of time. "

And, Michael, the time is now.


BARRY: I'm not sure what else I can tell you
that I haven't already.

about U/North, Barry. They're your clients.

So you tell me why you're settling
a six-year-old case on the fly at midnight.

Because I'm writing this story
whether you like it or not.

What does that exactly mean?

Give me something I can print.

We found 97.

I've got that cunt from
The Wall Street Journal on my cell phone.

She will not go away.

Marty Bach. How can I help you?

WOMAN: Marty, hi. It's Bridget Klein.
We're going with a story tomorrow...

... about a settlement in the U/North
defoliant case. You wanna comment?

Case you're referring to is now,
as it has been for the past six years...

...pending and unresolved.

Till such time as our client
has their day in court...

...or the plaintiffs drop the suit,
I'll have nothing of value to tell you.

Come on, Marty, you're closing
the U/North case. You're settling.

I know that. I know you're up there with
600 people jamming this thing through.

Here's what I know.
Your deadline was 20 minutes ago.

So you're fishing for a story or
trying to get out of writing a retraction.

In either case,
I wish you the best of luck.

Where the fuck is Karen Crowder?



MAN 1:
I'll see the turn.


MAN 2:

MAN 3:

Half the pot. Two hundred.

Two hundred to go.

You don't remember me, huh?

We played together a couple times.

That lamp place on Bowery.

That guy's showroom?
All the lamps and shit?

- The Galaxy.
MAN 1: That's it.

You had a restaurant
you were opening, right?

My old partner bid that job,
the plumbing.

- You don't remember me?
- I remember you.

MAN 1:
Because I lost a lot of weight since then.

You bought some hair too.

With your money.

So, what happened with the bar?

You just had to be a rock star, huh?

Shit, man. I want to listen to Larry King,
I go home and put the fucking TV on.

That was a good location.

Yeah, that's what my partner
kept telling me.

Action's on you.


MAN 1:
Oh, I bet the pot.

Good to see you again.



MAN: Michael.
- Walter.

Michael, thank God, there you are.
Look, I got a situation.

A big problem, all right? A client of mine,
he just called, he hit a guy with his car.

He thinks he did. He thinks he hit him.

Just now?

Yeah, just now. Ten, 15 minutes ago.
He's driving home.

He's home now. He's there waiting.


Westchester. I'm down here in Bermuda.
He just got me up. I'm half asleep here.

Is he drunk?

No. It's the first thing I asked him.
He's good, he's sober.

Tell him to stay off the phone.

All right. But you're on it?
You can get up there?

Because this guy, he's a huge client.

This is half my book, this guy, okay?

I'm walking to the car now.

Okay. Look, look, let me call him right back
and I'll get the address.

Just let me know you're on the way,
and I'll get back to you with the details.

All right. I'll be in the car.

MAN: What they did, see,
they changed the grade there.

They widened the street.

I'm sure somebody told them
that that was an improvement.

But now, you see, when it rains and when
there is fog, and with this new angle...

...and they've got these new...
These, uh... These, uh...

These sodium lamps, it's blinding.

- That corner there. It is just blinding.
- They'll have to work that out.

And it's not just tonight.
I've been saying this for years.

I mean, how many times have we talked
about that corner? Dell?

Mr. Greer, we don't have
a lot of time here.

So the circumstances, the road conditions,
none of this holds any interest for you?

What interests me is finding
the strongest criminal attorney...

...that can be here in 15 minutes.

Well, that sounds ominous.

We have some good relationships
up here in Westchester.

So, what are you? What are you?
You're not a lawyer?

- Not the kind you need.
- What kind is that?

A trial lawyer.

Somebody who can see this through.
That's not what I do.

Okay. I think we're gonna have to
pull Walter back in on this.

I wanna get Walter back on the phone,
get him back into the mix.

Because, I'll be frank with you,
I don't like the way this is going.

Sir, we don't have time for Walter.
Your options are gonna get smaller quickly.

What options?
I'm not hearing any options!

I suggest you go local...

...and I'm telling you there are
people here I like for this.

Great. That's it?
That's what you got for me?

Hey, you believe this?

I have been a client at Kenner, Bach
for 12 years!

You think I paid that retainer every month
for a place at the back of the line?

Mr. Greer, you left the scene of an accident
on a slow weeknight...

...six miles from
the state police barracks.

If there's a line,
you're right up front.

I can get a lawyer any time I want.
I don't need you for that.

We're not sitting here for 45 minutes
waiting for a goddamn referral!

I don't know what Walter
promised you...

GREER: A miracle worker! That's Walter
on the phone, 20 minutes ago.

Direct quote, okay? "Hang tight.
I'm sending you a miracle worker."

- Well, he misspoke.
- About what?

That you're the firm's fixer?
Or that you're good at it?


The guy was running! In the street!

You take that, you add the fog,
you add the lamps, you add the angle...

What the fuck is he doing running in
the middle of the street at midnight, huh?!

You answer me that!


What if someone had stolen the car?


Happens all the time.

Cops like hit-and-runs.

They work them hard,
they clear them fast.

Right now there's a B.C.I. Unit
pulling paint chips off a guard rail.

Tomorrow, they're gonna be looking
for the owner of a custom-painted...

...hand-rubbed Jaguar XJ-12.

And the guy you hit?

If he got a look at the plates,
it won't even take that long.


There's no play here.

There's no angle.
There's no champagne room.

I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor.

The math on this is simple.

The smaller the mess,
the easier it is for me to clean up.

That's the police, isn't it?


They don't call.


Jerry, it's Michael Clayton.

Yeah, look, I'm sorry to wake you up.

No. I'm in the neighborhood.

You got a pen?

Mom, where's my cards?

Where's my cards?

Is my other deck in here?

Did you eat?

Dad's down there waiting already.

There were cards in our bathroom.

Yes, I had a waffle.

Since we're out of waffles,
I don't see how that's possible.

It's a miracle.




Come on.

Get in.

Got it?

HENRY: So no one's even sure
exactly where they are...

...because there's no borders
or landmarks or anything.

And the town?
It's not even a town really.

It just is this camp where all these people
have gathered to hide.


All these deserters and guys
that got cut off from their armies.

All these people that are hiding
in the woods, trying to stay alive.

This is where they all came.

There's Thieves, Gray Mages,
Unbidden Warriors...

...Dark Avians,
Riverwynders and Sappers.

- There's, like, 15 different characters, okay?
- Okay.

And nobody has any alliances.

You can't even say who you are
because, you don't know...

...maybe the person you're talking to...

...maybe they're like your mortal enemy
in the wars.

So it's just completely like
everybody for themselves.

Sounds familiar.

It's really good.
I'm serious, you should really read it.

Right. But by the time I finish it,
you'll be on to something else.

- How much you wanna bet?
- I don't know. How much you got?

- You got your bus pass?
- It's in my locker.

You're not even gonna look at it,
are you?

- The book?
- Yes.

Bring it on Saturday, I'II...

I did already. I left it in your kitchen.
It's got a red cover.


Well, here we go.

Go. Teach these people something,
would you?

- See you later, Dad.
- Yeah, kiddo.


MAN: Lot 52, lot of assorted
mixing bowls, assorted sizes.

Thirty dollars to start. Thirty dollars.
Thirty dollars I have.

You can get me to 40. I got 40. And 50.
Sixty dollars back there.

Sixty dollars, get me to 70.
I got 70 dollars.

Seventy dollars, I have now, 70.
Eighty dollars there.

Eighty dollars, this gentleman here.
Eighty dollars.

Ninety dollars there. Give me 100.
One hundred I have now.

He says you're still gonna be short.

How short?

Sixty. Plus the points, 75 thousand.

- That's liquor and everything?
- What'd you think it was gonna be?

I don't know. Less. Thirty. Twenty.

He took 1500 on a refrigerator
I paid four grand for.

Make a bid.

Are you telling me you don't have
the 75 thousand?

Just lying around, no.

We both know it's your brother
I should be talking to.

Forget that.

Michael, look, you wanna front this,
that's up to you.

But Timmy's name stays in the book
till we're clear.

If I know where he is,
I don't have to keep asking.

He's upstate. His wife took him back.
I don't know where he is.

He's gotta have something.

He's got the two kids with her.

He's got Jennifer, the coke-dealing waitress
that he knocked up.

He's got four Michelin radials
that he stole from my sister's garage.

Make an offer.

I had a wife who was a drunk.
She was a beautiful girl, young girl.

But live like that? Even they do a program...
She did, I think, once, two years.

And then they slip? Forget it.

It's like you're strapped to a bomb.

What's my timeframe here?

I don't know.

I didn't think it'd be a problem.

I'll ask.

MAN: Hey, Michael.
- Morning, Carl.

MICHAEL: I don't know. Del, I don't know
how hard you want me to press here.

Let me know how brave he wants to be.

MAN 1 [OVER PHONE]: Well, I'm not sure
how brave he can be right now.

We just got a confirmation hearing

Any chance she knows that?

Well, it was in the paper. Who knows?
Maybe she got someone to read it to her.

She called his wife yesterday.
She's calling his house.

This is a total nightmare.

Well, my guess is
she's gonna want the condo.

Come on, that's insane.

Well, what can I tell you?
Don't piss off a motivated stripper.

It's just unbelievable.

All right. Well, find out his pain threshold
and get back to me.

Or you can tell him to call me directly.

All right, I hear you. Let me get into it.

Okay. Thanks.

Hey, where are we with Marty?

We left word.

Hold on. Go back. How old is the kid?

He's not a kid. He's 22.

- This is Miami?
- Nope. Key Biscayne.

And they charged him.

Reckless endangerment. My client...

I think really what they want, they want
a reality check on the attorney down there.

- Yeah.
- Wayne said you have some connections?

- Yeah, let me get a pen.
- Thank you.

MICHAEL: Now, if she calls the INS directly,
she's gonna get nowhere.

MAN 2:
Even with the appointment?

It's retail, Evan.
It's like the DMV over there.

Unless they get a call from
a district supervisor, then nobody moves.

But your guy can do that?

He's a former commissioner.

None of this comes back to me?
Because that doesn't do any good.

No, look, I'm gonna be
the one that's asking.

- Can you hang on a minute?
- Yeah, sure.

Are we merging?

Marty Bach's in London.

They said he was in Atlanta,
then Lara said he was in the building.

So I called back.
I know you want this meeting.

Now she tells me the truth.
He's really in London.


So are we merging?
I mean, that's what everyone's saying.

All these Brits?
That this time it's for real.

Like I would know.

I don't know.

But even if we are, I mean, even if
they merged, it wouldn't affect us, right?

Your phone's ringing.


Hey. Okay, here's what I'll do.

Let me give him a call
and set up a meeting for next week.

I'll walk her in,
I'll make the introduction...

KAREN [IN VOICEOVER]: At the moment,
U/North currently has 70,000 employees...

... in 62 countries around the world.

Around the planet.

Operating in 62 countries
around the planet.

At work in more than 60 countries
around the globe.

We have... We have, right now...
We have...

At U/North right now,
we've got 75,000 employees...

...in over 60 countries around the planet.

We are a very successful
and highly diversified company...

...so you can imagine...

...the volume and the variety
of legal issues we have to deal with is...


It's just enormous.

So you can imagine,
the volume of legal issues...

It's quite substantial.

And as general counsel, what I do...

...what our in-house department does...

...is to analyze the dimension
of the problem or the opportunity...

...to determine the jurisdiction...

...and to outsource our business...

...to those firms and talents
that we think can help us the most.

So with all that pressure and workload...

... how do you keep a balance
between work and life?



I think that's, um...
That's something that...

...you search for your whole life, isn't it?

It's a shifting balance, really.

It's, you know, you, uh... You try to...

When you really are enjoying
what it is you do...

...who needs balance?

There's your balance.
There's your balance.

When you're really enjoying
what it is you do, there is your balance.

When Don asked me to take...

When Don Jeffries brought...
Don Jeffries brought me...

Don Jeffries brought me in here
12 years ago...

...trusted me, mentored me.

Welcomed me into the U/North family.

And when he moved up to the boardroom,
I never really...

...dreamt that I would have
the opportunity to move into his position.

But is it challenging? Yes.

And I think that it's possible that those
first few months were a little shaky.

But then you realize that you've been
taught to be ready, and you take the helm.

Because if you're not comfortable
with that level of responsibility...

...you're in the wrong place.

It's your department, your capacity to
make tough decisions in real time, and...

We're in the middle of an interview.

They said it was urgent.


Oh, for chrissake.

You're saying he did this in...?

Oh, my God.

- Barry.
- Hang on.

Arthur Edens just stripped down naked
in a deposition room in Milwaukee.

Oh, Michael...

... I took a deep, cleansing breath
and I set that notion aside. I tabled it.

I said to myself, "As clear as this may be,
as potent a feeling as this is...

... as true a thing as I believe
that I have witnessed today, it must wait.

It must stand the test of time. "

And, Michael, the time is now.

This moment, today,
here, this room, this air...

... and this, especially this, Michael,
that you're here.

There's a reason.

A reason it's you, Michael.

Surely, you have some sense of that,
how it pulls together, how it gathers.

Nurse Michael, the secret hero,
the keeper of the hidden sins.

Tell me you can see that, Michael,
for God's sake.

But, I mean, yeah, yes, yes.
The nudity, the parking lot, I admit it.

It was... It was... It was a mistake.
It was wrong. It was lame.

It was obvious. And therapeutically,
it was completely useless...

...because I swear, I could stand here
and tear off my fucking skin...


...and I could not get down
to where this thing is living.

Six years, Michael.
Six years I've absorbed this poison.

Four hundred depositions,
a hundred motions, five changes of venue...

...85,000 documents in discovery.

Six years of scheming and stalling
and screaming, and what have I got?

I've spent 12 percent of my life defending
the reputation of a deadly weed killer!

- We had an agreement, Arthur.
- One night.

One night, right?
I look up and there's Marty in my office.

He's got some champagne.

He tells me we just hit 30,000 billable hours
on U/North and he wants to celebrate.

So an hour later, I find myself
in a whorehouse in Chelsea...

...with two Lithuanian redheads
taking turns sucking my dick.

I'm laying there and I'm trying not
to come and I wanna...

I wanna make it last,
so I start doing the math.

I think, "Thirty thousand hours,
what is that? That's 24 times 30.

That's 720 hours in a month,
8760 hours in a year..."

- Arthur.
- No, wait, wait, wait!

Because it's years! It's lives!

And the numbers are making me dizzy
and, you know...

...now, instead of trying not to come,
I'm trying not to think, and I can't stop.

I mean, is this me?

Am I this freak organism that has been
sent here to sleep and eat...

...and defend this one horrific chain
of carcinogenic molecules?

Is that my destiny? Is that my fate?

- Listen, you promised me.
- Is that it, Michael?

Is that my grail?
Two Lithuanian mouths on my cock?

Is that the correct answer
to the multiple choice of me?

You wanna go off your medication,
that's fine. But you call me first.

- That was our agreement.
- Sue me.

We okay in there?

We're fine. We're fine.

They killed them, Michael.

Those small farms, the family farms.

Did you...? Did you...?
Did you meet Anna?


You gotta see her, you gotta talk to her.
She's a miracle, Michael.

She's God's perfect little creature.

And for 50 million dollars in fees,
I've spent 12 percent of my life...

...destroying perfect Anna
and her dead parents and her dying brother.

When did you last take one of these?

ARTHUR: No. I'm not losing this.
Everything is finally significant.

The world is a beautiful place.
I'm not trading that.

- Lf it's real, the pill won't kill it.
- I have blood on my hands.

You are senior litigating partner
of one of the largest...

...most respected law firms in the world.
You are a legend.

- I'm an accomplice!
- You're a manic-depressive.

I am Shiva, the god of death.

Let's get out of Milwaukee,
we'll talk about it.

We came back from the hospital
and everybody was crying...

... and we were in shock, but we still...
We had to milk.

The cows won't wait, will they?


And when you went to the barn?

We found the note. My sister found it.

- From your mother?
- Yes.

MAN 1:
Could you read it for us, please?

Just read the third paragraph,
just the highlighted section there.

"I don't want you blaming Ned Hardy
or any of the people..."


- Anna.
- "Down at...

It's all right, Anna, go on.

ARTHUR: I'm just...
- Excuse me.

ARTHUR: Anna, they're...
MAN 1: What's he doing?

Excuse me. She's a...
No, this is testimony. This is...

Excuse me, I have an objection.

ARTHUR: You can be a witness here.
You can be a witness.

MAN 1:
I am not a witness to this, sir, l...

Anna, I love you.

And I'm sitting here
and I'm listening to you and I swear...

... that I love you more than anything
in the world. And this is my moment.

This strange conference-table moment.

MAN 2:
Turn off that camera!

ARTHUR: This is my offering!
MAN 1: No, I want this on the record!

MAN 3:
How do I turn it off?

ARTHUR: This is my offering. My clothes
are my offering. This is my shame.

My credentials! I'm ashamed!

And I love you, and I swear to God...

I guess that's it.


When do we get Don?

She said to try back in half an hour.

And how about the flights?
What's the story at O'Hare?

- Closed four minutes ago.
- Shit.

There is a foot of snow
in Detroit already.

Todd, could I get that coffee now?

Who is this guy they sent from New York?
Clayton? I never heard of him.

Michael Raymond Clayton.

Born September 9, 1959,
St. Joseph's Hospital, Bronx, New York.

Father is NYPD patrolman
Raymond Xavier Clayton.

Mother, Alice Mary Clayton.

Graduates Washingtonville Central
High School, Orange County, New York...

... in 1977.

Graduates St. John's University, 1980.
Fordham Law, '82.

'82 through '86, he's ADA with
the Queens district attorney's office.

1986, he's with
the Joint Manhattan-Queens...

... Organized Crime Task Force.

And then in 1990, he starts
at Kenner, Bach & Ledeen.

So he's a partner?

No. He's listed as special counsel.

Says he specializes in wills and trusts.

KAREN: He goes from criminal prosecution
to wills and trusts?

He's been there 17 years,
he's not a partner?

This is the guy they send?
Who is this guy?


- Hi.
- Close the door.

All right. So nobody, none of you,
had any idea he was coming?

To Milwaukee? For a deposition?

We thought there was a settlement
in the works. There's been some rumors.

Okay. Look, it's very simple.
Arthur has a chemical imbalance.

He's supposed to be taking his medication.
He's fallen behind on that.

He's back on the mend.
He'll be fine in three or four days.

Now, I wanna make this crystal clear.
What happened here stays in this room.

This is not a piece of information
you wanna be out in front of.

Anybody has a problem with that,
I need to know right now.

All right.

We're stuck here overnight.

I'm gonna take him
home tomorrow if I can.

Who's in charge of
the deposition schedule?

- I am.
MICHAEL: Where do we stand with that?

I guess it's on hold.
We didn't know what to do.

Nothing is on hold.
Keep doing what you were.

Other side wants to talk about it,
they can call New York.

- I need his briefcase.
- Arthur's? I don't... I didn't see it.

- He said it was in the room.
- It might be the stuff Jody grabbed.

Find it.

HENRY: So all these people,
they all start having these dreams, okay?

You know what a vision quest is?
You know, for, like, Navajos and stuff?

Yeah. I think so. Like a...

Like a special dream.

HENRY: Except this is like a whole bunch
of people having the same dream.

They're all having this dream
that they should go to this one place.

They don't know why or anything.

They just have this feeling
that they have to go there.

That they've been summoned.

That's the chapter.

Seriously, that's what it's called:
"Summons to Conquest."

That's the title.

Yeah, but do they know? Do they know
they're all having the same dream?

No. That's what's so cool.

They all think it's just them.

That maybe they're, like, going crazy
or something, so they don't wanna admit it.

Yeah, but they're not crazy, are they?

No. It's real. It's really happening.

Yeah, it is happening, isn't it?

Something larger than themselves
and they're not ready, are they...

...to hear it?

Yeah. But later they will.

So if you're gonna read it,
I don't wanna spoil it.

What are you doing?
Who you talking to?

I called my dad. It's a friend of his.

HENRY: Mr. Edens. You don't know him.

- Hello? Hello?
GERALD: Henry, it's after 11.

I gotta get off now.

No. Wait, wait. The book.
I need the book. The title.

The book is Realm and Conquest.

Realm and Conquest.

- It's Book One, with the red cover.
- Henry, give me the phone.

I gotta go. Tell my dad I called. Okay?

Yeah. Yeah. Thank... Thank... Thank...
Thank you, Henry, thank you.

Realm and Conquest. Thank you.

Karen? Hi, I'm Michael Clayton.

- You're late.
- I know.

I'm sorry, it was more complicated
than we thought.

Where is he?
We've been here since 5:30.

- He's asleep.
- Well, wake him up.

That's not gonna happen.
We just got him sedated.

Once he gets back
on his regular medication...

...then it's just a matter of time.

- Have you seen the video? The tape?
- I heard about it.

What happened after is worse.

This is in the parking lot, okay?
People running for their cars.

He's there in his socks, nothing else.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
I will not sit with this sickness any longer.

I cannot aid this sickness any longer."

What does this mean?

I'm not sure.

You've been with him the whole evening.
What's he saying?

He wasn't really making much sense.

This is totally unacceptable.

This is a 3-billion-dollar
class-action lawsuit.

In the morning, I have to call my board.

I have to tell them that the architect
of our entire defense has been arrested...

...for running naked in a snowstorm,
chasing the plaintiffs through a parking lot.

I understand.

What sickness is he talking about?

- I don't know. It could be anything.
- Well, give me one.


You think this is funny?

Look, his wife was sick
and she died last year.

His daughter doesn't talk to him.
He's all alone. All he does is your case.

He skipped his pills.
He had a bad day. That's it.

And you're somehow
the authority on this?

His last episode was eight years ago.
I was there.

I helped bring him home.
I watched him get better. That's it.

Come on, Karen, you didn't hire this guy
because of his low-key regularity...

...you hired him because he's a killer,
because he's brilliant...

...because he's crazy enough
to grind away on this case...

...for six years without a break.
- We pay for his time.

I thought you wanted an explanation.

In the morning, I'm calling Marty Bach.

But, then, you know that.
Thank you, Michael.

He was mostly just quiet.

I heard him moving around,
I gave him a pill 15 minutes ago.

MICHAEL: He took it?
- A deal's a deal, right?

A super job, Elston.

You get to New York, you need tickets
to the game or anything, you let me know.

I'll do that for sure.

Did you see her?

- Who?
- Anna.


No, I didn't see her.
She probably went back to the farm.

Well, we need her.

Marty, even then, and the rest of them,
they won't understand.

Well, if anybody can explain it to them,
it's you, Arthur.

No, they're lost.

- They have what they want.
- Let it go, man.

This what you wanted?

To be a janitor?

Live like this? All this?

Do what you do?

It can't be.


It's a burden,
that's what I'm trying to tell you.

That's... That's how it feels.

Well, I know that
we've been summoned.

Get some sleep.



Yes. Hi, I'm looking for Verne?

You have a number?

Don Jeffries gave me the number.
He said I could call at any time.

No. The account number.

The code? I do.
I have it right here. One moment.

Excuse me one moment.

It's right here. 12-BKR-6.


Am I speaking with Verne?

It's Mr. Verne.

Mr. Verne. I'm sorry it's so late.

Don said that I could...

I'm not exactly sure how this works.

Do you have e-mail
at your current location?

I do.

- Are you alone?
- I am.

Okay, I'm gonna upload you
a little encryption package we like to use.

It's pretty self-explanatory.

- Okay.
- Okay.

But you have to give me a minute
to get to my desk. Hold on.

Okay. Thank you.

What I was wondering is...

...I have an option on the lease
for six more years.

I was wondering if there's any way
I could lay that off.

Is the lease worth anything?

Eighty-nine hundred a month. It's...

The fixtures are gone, but there's...

But there's the bar, there's a kitchen,
it's a great space.

But there's a...

Yeah, I understand. Mm-hm.
No, I understand.

Okay, yeah, I will.

All right. Thanks.


Come on, Arthur.


Arthur, open the door.

Arthur, open the door!

Arthur, open the goddamn door!

Arthur, op...!

Open the fucking door!


Goddamn it, Arthur! Open the fucking...!


MAN 1: Mr. Verne, hey.
MAN 2: Hey, Danny.

MAN 1: You guys are early.
I was pulling the other bags.

You can put them back.
There's been a change of plans, sorry.

MAN 3: We ready?
- Yep.

Oh, for chrissake.

Don Jeffries signed this?

- That's really his signature?
KAREN: Mm-hm.

Where's the original?

We had a warehouse fire five years ago.
We lost a number of documents.

What the hell is this doing
in Arthur's bag?

Well, I don't know, Marty.

That's something I was hoping
you might be able to tell me.

What are we looking for?

MARTY: If it says U/North, pull it aside.
Anything that says U/North.

What a mess this is.

I want all this...

...everything here, I want it all packed up
and sent up to the house.

Any luck, Michael?

He booked a limo from Newark Airport at 3,
got out at West Fourth Street...

...tipped the driver 100 bucks
and walked away.

Did you try his apartment?

- He moved.
- I know.

It's a loft. No doorman.
I rang, nobody answered.

- I called, I got the machine.
- So he could be anywhere.

Arthur downtown is not a good idea.
Some goddamn loft.

BARRY: Where's his daughter?
- I don't know. Spain, India.

Mars. She's crazier than he'll ever be.

Barry's taking over on U/North.

We got a lot of groveling to do.

You didn't exactly charm Karen Crowder.

I was punting.

You gotta saddle up here
and get things under control.

Saddle up?

He needs to be under a doctor's care.
He needs to be admitted.

- Where?
MARTY: Does that really matter?

Michael, U/North needs to know
he's under control.

He's in a facility. They've been shook up.
They need to be reassured.

- It's not gonna be that easy.
BARRY: Why the hell not?

Because the laws in New York are
pretty tough on involuntary commitment.

Did you see this fucking tape?

I'm not arguing with you, Barry.
I'm telling you how it is.

You know what, guys?
We got 600 lawyers in this place.

Why don't we find out which one knows
about psychiatric-commitment statutes?

I can tell you that right now. It's Arthur.

I'm at the door. We're good to go.

Yeah, roger that.
Let's keep a radio check every five, okay?

Every five minutes, copy that.



Hello, you've reached Arthur's machine.

If you wish to leave a message,
please do so after the tone.


Arthur, pick up the phone.

Arthur, pick up the phone
and talk to me.

No? Not gonna do it, huh?

What happened yesterday morning,
forget it. It doesn't matter.

Someday you and I
are gonna laugh about it.

But you gotta call me back.

You gotta call me back soon, Arthur.

I'll tell you what.

Because you said it yourself.
Part of this is definitely madness.

And there's a chemical part to this.
You know it and I know it.

But if you're willing to start with that...

... then I'm more than willing to
meet you halfway and say, yes...

...this situation sucks.
This case sucks. U/North sucks.

We can start with that.
All right, Arthur? You hear me?

You're right about what we are.

I'm saying you're crazy. I'm saying
that your behavior is out of control.

But I'm telling you you're right.

You called it. We're janitors, I get it.

But we came to this, Arthur.

We made decisions.
It didn't happen overnight.

You can't just suddenly stop and say,
"That's it, game over. I'm into miracles."

Arthur. Come on.

Goddamn it,
pick up the phone and talk to me.

Because whatever else
you think is so important...

...you better let me help you,
because I'm telling you straight up...

...janitor to janitor, I don't see
anybody else with a broom on the horizon.

It's me, buddy. I'm the...


COMPUTERIZED VOICE: Mailbox is full.
Your message cannot be recorded.


- Hello?
ARTHUR: Hello. Is Anna there?

Hang on.


Where is she? Anna!

- Anna!
GIRL: Anna!

Anna, you've got a phone call!

Where is she? Anna!


Anna, hi. It's Arthur.

- Hey.
- Did you get some sleep?

I guess.

Did you think about what we said?

- Yeah.
- You didn't tell anybody, did you?

No. My sister's spying on me,
but that's normal.

Yeah. Because I meant what I said.

I know. I know. It's just...

...there's, like, 450 people in this lawsuit.

Why are you choosing me?

I don't know. I'm crazy, right?

That's for sure.

I mean, does it...?
Does it really matter?

I mean, isn't it what we wait for?
To meet someone? And they're...

They're like a lens...

...and suddenly you're looking
through them and everything changes...

...and nothing can ever be
the same again.

Who you talking to?

It's for me, okay? I get calls too.

That guy?

Same guy. Same guy.


No. That's... That's okay.
My mother used to listen to my calls.

She can't believe I can do anything
on my own.

Well, that'll change.

I guess.

ARTHUR: Yeah, but, see,
that's something we can show her.

That you can do something.

That we could... We could do that together
if you want. I mean...

I mean that I can help you do that.

I can get you 12 by Monday.

Twelve's weak. Twelve looks bad.

How do you figure that?

They look at 75 and they look at you
and they wonder what the problem is.

You say 12.
That's gonna make people nervous.

This was the day before yesterday.
Let me get my ducks in order.

What's the car worth?

It's a lease. It's the firm's.

So? You go to the bank.
You've got the apartment. You refinance.

I can't. I did that three months ago.

Are you back at the tables?

Like I need that kind of action.
I don't have enough going on.

I hope you're kidding.

If he finds out you're playing cards with
his money, there's no dialogue after that.

Do everyone a favor.

Get out the treasure map
and start digging.

You got a week.

WOMAN: Hey, Michael. How are you?
MICHAEL: Hi, Cindy. I'm good.

Come in. He's been on the phone
all morning. What else is new?

I am trying to get him out
in 15 minutes.

- Is he upstairs?
- He's taken over the living room.

What are you guys doing?
Get down here.

Soroyo, I told you to keep an eye on
these kids, make sure they're downstairs.


You know what he's doing?
He's making their case.

I'm going through his files here,
I'm reading this...

...he's building a case against U/North.

- Nobody's gonna let him do that.
- Let him?

Who the hell's gonna stop him?

You know what I just heard?
He's calling these plaintiffs.

This woman from the deposition,
he's calling these people now.

He's got these discovery documents.
This is a fucking nightmare.

I tried him. Can't even leave a message.
He's got the machine jammed up.

- Is that his briefcase?
- Yeah.

- Why?
- We've been looking for it.

I don't know. It came up here
with all the other stuff from his office.

You can't believe
the crap he's got in here.

Listen, Marty...

...I'm in a bind here.

I need a loan. I need 80 grand.

- I thought you were done with that.
- It's not that.

It's not the cards. It's none of that.
It's the restaurant.

Eighty thousand.

I'm sorry to jump you like this.

I've been trying to get a meeting
with you for two weeks.

And I know about the merger,
whether I'm supposed to or not.

There's nothing final on the merger.

Well, that's why I'm asking you now.
You're my meal ticket.

Once you're out,
it's me and Barry with strangers...

...and I'm trying to explain what I do.

Everybody knows how valuable you are.
Everybody who needs to know.

I'm 45 years old and I'm broke.

I've been riding shotgun for 12 years
and I got no equity.

I'm sorry, I don't feel reassured.

Nobody told you to
go into the bar business.

I only opened it so I'd have
something else, a way out.

I had no idea you were so unhappy.

How many times did I ask you
to put me back on a litigation team?

- How many?
- Anybody can go to court.

You think that's special?

- I was good at it.
- Wonderful. So are a lot of people.

At this, what you do, you're great.

For chrissakes, you got something
everybody wants. You have a niche.

You made a place.
You made a niche for yourself.

And if it's nostalgia..."You should've seen
me when I was a DA back in Queens."

- Let me give you a serious piece of advice:
Leave it there.

God forbid you're not as good as
you remember. I've seen that happen too.

But I didn't come here for advice, did I?

So this is what? I give you the loan
or you don't help out with Arthur?

- I never said that.
- No?

Maybe you should have.

I don't know how you're gonna take care
of this, but this, this is cancer.

This is something, we don't get it
reined in and cleaned up soon...

...everything's vulnerable. Everything.

- What are you telling me?
- That I'm counting on you.

I'm telling you that by this time next week,
Arthur will be under control...

...and everybody who needs to will have
been reminded of your infinite value.

Jesus, Marty.


When did you get so fucking delicate?

I'm late.


Why don't you just call Uncle Gene
and get the cops to help you?

It's not that kind of a problem.

HENRY: How much longer are we doing this?
- I don't know.

If he comes back to get his car,
you call that number and let me know.

- Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
- Okay. You're welcome.

If we're not gonna get to the movie,
why don't you just say so?

- What?
- I wanna go home.

Come on, Henry.

Hold up!

Stay in the car. Lock the door.

- Arthur! Arthur!

Wait up.

Michael. Jeez. You scared me.

- Making a delivery?
- No, no, no.

Very funny. No, nothing like that.

Here, take one, please. Really.
It's... It's still warm.

It's the best bread I ever tasted.

So welcome home.

Oh. I know, the hotel. I'm sorry.

I was beginning to feel
a little overwhelmed.

- But you're feeling better now?
- Yeah.

- Much better, definitely.
- Not enough to call me back.

Well, I was trying to,
um, gather my thoughts...

...before I called you,
and that's what I was doing.

And how's that going?

Yes, it's good, very good. I just...

Well, I just need to make my thoughts
a little bit more precise. That's...

That's my goal.

As good as this feels,
you know where it goes.

No. No. You're wrong.

What makes this feel good
is that I don't know where it goes.

How do I talk to you, Arthur?
So you hear me?

Like a child? Like a nut?
Like everything's fine?

What's the secret?
Because I need you to hear me.

- Well, I hear everything.
- Then hear this.

You need help.
Before this goes too far, you need help.

You got great cards here.

If you keep your clothes on, you can
do any goddamn thing you want.

You want out, you're out.
You wanna bake bread, go with God.

There's only one wrong answer
in this whole goddamn pile...

...and you've got
your arms around it.

- Well, I said I was sorry.
- You thought the hotel was overwhelming?

You piss on this case,
they'll cut you off at the knees.

- I don't know what you're talking about.
- I'm covering for you.

I'm telling them everything's fine.
You're fine. Everybody's cool.

I'm out running this "price of genius" story
to anybody who'll listen.

And then I wake up this morning and I hear
you're calling this girl from Wisconsin...

...messing with documents
and whatever else.

- How can you know that?
- They're gonna take everything.

Your partnership, your equity.
They're gonna pull your license.

- How do you know I called Anna?
- Marty told me.

- Well, how does he know?
- I don't know. I don't give a shit!

- You're tapping my phone.
- Jesus, Arthur.

Then explain it.
Tell me how Marty knows!

Because you're chasing a girl through
a parking lot with your dick hanging out.

You think she didn't get off the phone
and dial her attorney?

No. She wouldn't do that. I know that.

Really? You think your judgment
is state-of-the-art right now?

They're putting everything on the table.
You need to stop and think this through.

I'll help you think this through.

I'll find somebody to help you
think it through.

Don't do this.
You're making it easy for them.

Michael, I have great affection for you.

You lead a very rich and interesting life,
but you're a bagman, not an attorney.

If you wanted to have me committed...

...you should have kept me in Wisconsin,
where the arrest report, the videotape...

...and eyewitness accounts
of my inappropriate behavior...

...would have had
jurisdictional relevance.

I have no criminal record
in the state of New York.

And the single determining criterion
for involuntary incarceration is danger.

Is the defendant a danger
to himself or others?

You think you got the horses for that?

Well, good luck and God bless.
But I tell you this:

The last place you want to see me
is in court.

I'm not the enemy.

Then who are you?

We find the seed.

We shape the soil.

We speed the harvest.

We feed the planet.

We find the seed.

We shape the soil.

We speed the harvest.

We feed the planet.

What the hell is he doing?

We find the seed.

WOMAN: You've reached the voicemail of
Arthur Edens at Kenner, Bach & Ledeen.

Please leave your message
after the tone.


Here we are, all together.
Is everyone listening?

This is the moment you've been waiting for.
A very special piece of paper.

So let's have a big, paranoid,
malignant round of applause...

... for United Northfield Culcitate
Internal Research Memorandum 229.

June 19th, 1991.


The unanticipated market growth
for Culcitate...

...by small farms in colder climates
demands immediate cost-benefit analysis."

Would you guys like
a little bit of legal advice?

Never let a scientist
use the words "unanticipated"...

...and "immediate"
in the same sentence.

Okay? Okay.

"In-house field studies
have indicated...

... that small short-season farms dependent
on well water for human consumption...

... are at risk for toxic
particulate concentrations at levels...

...significant enough to cause
serious human tissue damage."

Well, this is a long way of saying that...

...you don't even have to leave your house
to be killed by our product.

We'll pipe it into your kitchen sink.

- "Culcitate's great market advantage...
- Give me the phone.

... that it is tasteless, colorless
and does not precipitate...

... has the potential
to mask and intensify...

...these potentially lethal exposures."

Now, I love this.

Not only is this a great product...

...it is a superb cancer delivery system.

"Chemical modifications
of the Culcitate product...

... the addition of a detector molecule,
such as an odorant or colorant...

... would require a top-down redesign
of the Culcitate manufacturing process.

These costs,
while assumed to be significant...

... were not summarized here. "

Which, loosely translated, means:

"It's going to cost a fortune to go back
on this, and I'm just an asshole in a lab...

...so could someone else
please make the decision?"

"Clearly, the release of
these internal research documents...

... would compromise
the effective marketing of Culcitate...

...and must be kept within
the protective confines...

...of United-Northfield's
trade secret language."

You don't need me
to tell you what that means.


- It seemed to warrant my coming to...
- Yes.

You have to contain this.

- Contain?
- Right.

Well, that's my question.

What are the?
What's the option that we're looking at?

Along those lines.

You're talking about the paper, the data?
I don't...

Well, I'm wondering
if there is some other option.

I mean something I'm not thinking of?

We deal in absolutes.

Okay. I understand that. I do.

The material, the papers, I'm not a lawyer.
We try, we do what we can.

Well, the other way?

Is the other way.

- Maybe you wanna bring Don in on this.
- No.

This has nothing to do with Don. He's busy.
This has nothing to do with Don.

Do you think it's doable?

Yeah. We have some good ideas.
You say move, we move.

If the ideas don't look so good,
we back off, reassess...


Is that, "Okay, you understand,"
or "Okay, proceed"?

Are you 1? Are you 2? Are you 3?

Are you 4? Are you 5? Are you 6?

- Are you 7? Are you 8? Are you 9?
MAN: Come on.

Come, come on. Come on, I said. Hey!

Come on.

Go on, Dad, make a wish.

If I get what I wish for, it'll kill me.

You're a maniac. Unbelievable.

Give me a hand, Eddie, huh?

All right, Eddie.

STEPHANIE: Now, I did not make this myself
and I don't wanna hear any complaints.

Happy birthday.

You have time for cake?

Yeah, yeah. I'll take one to go.

- You going in?
- Mm-hm.

- I'm late already.
- Shit.

You're not both running out?

I got a situation.

- You can't hang?
- You're going in.

- Yeah. I got a shift.
- So do I.

Come on, man.
You haven't been up here in months.

If you go back now, Mickey,
Henry's staying here.

Good. You can drive him home.

Just stay for an hour.

The girls did all this stuff.

He'll be asleep by then.

Timmy's been calling me.

He's afraid to talk to you.

He should be.

- It closed out bad, right?
- Is that what he told you?

The kids are freaking out.

The in-laws are freaking out.

Pammy can't stop crying long enough
to start freaking out.

- She took him back.
- So what? Fuck her and the kids?

No. Fuck Timmy.
And nothing's closed, okay?

I sold everything and we're still short.
So don't talk about Pammy and the kids.

I got my hands full.

If it was you, he'd be in traction.

Yeah, he's sick, all right?

- He's sick. It's a sickness.
- There's a fresh perspective.

I've seen a lot of people falling off
the wagon lately. It's going around.

Is that pointed at me?

When do I see you?
How do I know what you're up to?

I haven't bet on a game in over a year.

I haven't been in a card room
in 10 months.

I gambled on the bar.
I bet on Timmy and he wiped me out.

That was my big play, all right?

I put up my walk-away money
and it's gone and I'm scrambling.

Okay. Okay.

Cool down. I hear you.

I'd be pissed off too.

Just hang for an hour.

- Okay?
- Yeah.

Ready? And, lift.

Ready and go.




You better hit it.

We're good.



Okay, I found it. That's his number.

Dr. Mullien.
See if you have any more luck.

If I can. As soon as I get a chance.

It's Medicaid. They're running us in circles.
I can pull the file...

Let him go, Steph. He's got a date.

I've got a date with a maniac attorney.

- Take a night off, Mickey.
- You look tired.

MICHAEL: I'm okay. See you soon.
- Be good.

- All right. Bye.
- Bye, Hen.

MICHAEL: Bye, Pop.
- Bye.

- Uncle Timmy, hey!
- How you doing, Henry?

Henry, get in the car.

Good to see you, Hen.

- What do you want?
- I've been sober eight days now.

Been back at the meetings.
I wanted you to know.

In front of the kid?

Mickey, please.
I know how bad I did, I swear.

I don't know how to make it right again.
It's all I think about.

What do I do? I don't know what to do.

Get Stephanie her tires back.

- Is he crying?
- I don't know.

Because of drugs, right?

That and everything else.


Your Uncle Timmy...

...and I mean this, on his best day,
is never as tough as you.

I'm not talking about crying
or the drugs or anything.

I'm talking about in his heart, in his heart.
You understand me?

And all his charming bullshit,
this Big Tim, Uncle, Boss bullshit...

...and I know you love him,
and I know why.

But when you see him like that...

...you don't have to worry.
That's not how it'll be for you.

You're not gonna be someone
that goes through life...

...wondering why shit keeps
falling out of the sky around them.

I know that. I know it.


I see it every time I look at you.
I see it right now.

I don't know where you got it from,
but you got it.




The neighbors came by.
They're renovating the loft downstairs.

They had water flooding from
his bathroom down to their place.

His front door, fire escape,
he had everything locked up pretty good.

It took our guys 10 minutes.
They had to knock the thing down.

There's pills all over the place.

Just the scene alone is
pretty definitive for suicide.

Then I spoke to some of your partners...

...who ran down these problems
he'd been having lately, so...

- Is there a note?
- No. They looked.

It could be an accident or he was gonna
write a note and just messed up.

Can I get in there?

His place? Not now. It's sealed.

Once the seal goes up, it's frozen.
We're gonna try and reach his daughter.

I guess she's off in Europe.
But she's gotta come in.

Or the M.E.'s gotta come back
with a toxicology report.

That's a couple of weeks at least
that it's gotta stay like that.




I know your brother a little.
My wife works the 190 out in Queens.

I'll tell him hello.

If something comes in,
I'll get back to you.

Yeah. I appreciate it.

I'm sorry for your loss.

- Michael.
- Jeff.

This is tough.

Yeah, it is. He in here?

Dumb son of a bitch.

What a thing.

BARRY: Hold on.
- I don't even know...

- I'm so sorry.
- Yeah. All right.

I didn't even get a chance to talk to him.

That crazy goddamn bastard.

What a waste.
What the hell was he thinking?

Marty? I gotta set this up.

Go. Go.

You okay?

Yeah, I'm fine.

Come on, let's get you a drink.

I just keep replaying all this back.
Like, did I push him too hard?

Not a chance.

I just couldn't get through to him.

What, you scared him to death?
Come on. The man was a bull.

- Never happened.
- Why does he fold, then? Why does he?

It's gotta be an accident.

No, no. Arthur without a note?

He couldn't piss without leaving a memo.
Has to be an accident.

I don't get that.
I don't understand that either.

One minute he's gonna
take on the whole world...

...and then 12 hours later,
he's sucking down pills. Why?


Because people are
fucking incomprehensible. "Why?"

Thirty years I know Arthur.

Good years.

And what I feel right now, if I'm honest?

I can't even say, it's so awful.

You can say it.

We caught a lucky break.

We did, didn't we?

Marty? We need to get up to the office.

MARTY: They accepted?
BARRY: In principle.

Don Jeffries wants us
on the phone in half an hour.

I tried to explain about Arthur,
but they're short on sympathy.

Wait a minute. U/North is settling?

BARRY: They see a window. They wanna try.
It's their show. What are we gonna do?

You did what you could, Michael.
We all did.


It's what we got.

- You need a ride?
- No, thanks, I'm fine.



Hello. Hi. I'm looking for Anna Kysersun.

Who is this?

Michael Clayton. I'm an attorney in
New York. I got your number from Arthur.

- You have got some nerve.
- Excuse me?

You get her all the way to New York City
and then leave her at the airport?

This is not a complicated person.

This is a girl who's never been
farther than Milwaukee.

- Wait a minute. Now, wait.
- No, you wait.

She's coming home tomorrow
and when she does, if you call here again...

Are you telling me she's
in New York right now?

This is a young girl, do you hear me?

She's in the city right now?

What kind of people are you?

MICHAEL: Listen. You just stay
on the phone one second. One second.




My name's Michael Clayton.
I'm a friend of Arthur's.

I spoke with your sister.
She told me you were here.

Please open the door, Anna.


What are you thinking?

I don't know. I'll watch the door.
You check his car. Let's get some details.

He didn't want to say
exactly what it was.

Just that when I got here,
he would pick me up...

...and show me, and I would see...

...that it was something
that would win the whole case.

Even this morning...

...I mean, I thought:

"Okay, if I get to the airport
and the ticket's not there, then I'll know.

Okay, you're stupid,
and you can go home now."

But it was there and he paid
like 800 dollars...

...for a first-class ticket.

And I just...

I got on the plane.

I believed him.

You think maybe he was
in some way disappointed?

Let's say that he knew that you
told somebody else about all of this...

...and, I don't know, in some crazy way,
he was disappointed by that?

- But I didn't.
- You must have told somebody else.


He made me promise.

You didn't tell anybody else about this?
Not one other person?


He really was crazy, wasn't he?

- You talking about this?
- Let me see.

- You know what that is?
- Yeah.

You said a favor.
That's more than a favor.

Well, nobody's gonna know
where it came from.

- Are you that jammed up?
- What are you talking about?

Who asked for this?
It's the restaurant, right?

One of these guys you owe?
"Get me a seal."

You really wanna know?

This just gets better and better.

What are we doing?


Right there, asshole! Don't move!

- It's all right, I'm a friend!
- Get your hands up!

Get your hands up now! Now!

- What's in your hand?
- It's a book.

Drop it! Drop it, now! Drop it!

WOMAN: Turn around. Slowly.
- All right. All right. Okay.

WOMAN: Who else is here?
MICHAEL: Nobody.

WOMAN: I said, who else is here?
MICHAEL: Nobody's here!

Check in there.

You move, I'll take your head off.

Now I owe this scumbag and his wife...
Who's a complete piece of shit in my unit.

- Now I owe them both my balls.
MICHAEL: I'm sorry.

- You know I am.
- "Nobody will know it's me."

You know what happens they don't
bury this, that I gave you this?

It's bad. I know it.

I'm 18 months away from my 20.
You just put my pension in jeopardy.

- You made your point.
- It's not a point!

- Who called 911?
- What?

The building was empty. I was quiet.
I wasn't there very long.

Who called it in?
Does that make sense to you...?

This never happened.

You got these cops thinking
you're a lawyer.

You got these lawyers thinking
you're a cop.

You got everybody fooled, don't you?
Everybody but you.

You know exactly what you are.

We tried calling you six times.

But your machine must be
busted or something.

We gave it our best shot.

We ran out of red covers.
We only had 2000 in stock...

...so we did the other thousand in blue.

Is everything all right?

It's fine, yeah.

You have a van or something?
Because I have 25 boxes back there...

Do me a favor. Hang on to them.

I'll come back and pick everything up
next week.

- Seriously? Thanks, man.
- Yeah.


Don. You go ahead. I'll catch up to you.


Do you know Michael Clayton?

Yeah, why?

We have a situation.

Hey, did they find you?

- Who?
- Marty. I don't think they've gone in yet.


Your phone's off. There's too much
going on for your phone to be off.

- I need a minute.
- Yeah, well, we're late...

We never got to finish last night.

Did you close the place?
You look like hell.

- No, I left right after you left.
- Lf you say so.

We've been here all night.
We had to make an announcement.

Jean! I need the thing, the envelope.

I wanted your input. I couldn't get you.
I had to pull the trigger.

I put Bob Nast and Kim,
probably a mistake.

They're gonna pull together a memorial
service by the end of the week.

I told them to call you
if they need any help.

No, no, no.
The other one. The other one.

So we cut you a check this morning.

There's some strings attached.
And Barry...

There's no way around this,
Barry's gonna have to be involved.

What if Arthur was on to something?

What do you mean? On to what?

U/North. What if he wasn't crazy?
What if he was right?

Right about what?
That we're on the wrong side?

Wrong side, wrong way,
everything, all of it.

This is news?
This case reeked from day one.

I gotta tell you how we pay the rent?

What would they do?
What would they do if he went public?

What would they do? Are you fucking soft?
They're doing it.

We don't straighten the settlement out
in 24 hours...

...they're gonna withhold
$9 million in fees.

Then they'll pull out the video of Arthur
doing his flashdance.

They'll sue us for legal malpractice.

Except there won't be anything to win
because the London merger will be dead...

...and we'll be selling off
the goddamn furniture.

That's 80.

We're calling it a bonus.

Three-year contract
at your current numbers.

That's assuming this all works out.

You're doing this now?

Look, I agreed to this, okay?
But there's rules now.

You want the contract,
you sign a confidentiality agreement.

It's gonna be bulletproof
and retroactive.

Because Marty's too nice to say it...

...but with all you know about this place,
the clients and people who work here...

...it makes it a little weird
when you ask for 80 grand.

If I was gonna shake anybody down,
I'd come to you...

...and it wouldn't be for 80 grand.
Is this him or you?

- Lf I'm wrong, I apologize.
- You're way the fuck wrong.

So there you go.

Enough. Okay? Everybody.

He's an asshole, but he knows it.

And you're on the record.
Okay? Everybody happy?

JEAN: Don Jeffries is here.
- We're on the way.

Call Bob Nast.
Just see if they need help with this thing.

You're welcome.

You said 12. This is 75.

Well, don't get too excited.
You want a drink?

No. I'm working.

So we're square, then. No bad blood.

You're just doing your job.

That's right.

Take it easy, Gabe.


MAN 1:


- Check.
MAN 2: Half the pot. Two hundred.

Two hundred to go.

So, what happened with the bar?

You just had to be a rock star, huh?


What are you doing? You just got here.

Guy plays nine hands, walks away.

I scare you away? What did I do?
Did I scare you away?

Get out.

Get out of the car now.

- Walter?
MAN: Michael.

- Michael. Thank God you're there.
- Yeah.

You have eight...

... six, five...

... four, three...

Get out of the car.

MICHAEL: Tell him to stay off the phone.
MAN: All right. But you're on it?

Am I clean?

Just keep walking.

You copy. Am I clean?

Just keep moving.
He's walking to the car.

MAN: ... to let him know you're on the way.
I'll get back to you with the details.

- Just give me two minutes.
- I'll be in the car.

I didn't finish. It's in, but I don't know.

It's loose. I got a pulse.
He's up there somewhere, but...

Let's find a way to boost the signal.

I don't know what Walter promised you...

A miracle worker!

That's Walter on the phone,
20 minutes ago. Direct quote, okay?

"I'm sending you a miracle worker."

- Well, he misspoke.
- About what?

About the fact that you're the firm's fixer?
Or that you're any good at it?

We're up. Just got a signal.

VERNE: There's nothing back this way.
What's he doing?

Maybe he's lost.

VERNE: Wait a minute.
IKER: That's him.

He was alone, right?

- Yeah, I think so.
- Call it, yes or no?

We gotta turn around.

Talk to me.

It's strobing.

No, we're good. I think we're good.
Just keep going.

No, he turned. Somehow he turned.

- Where?
- He took...

- He took a left.
- I don't have a left.

- East. He's southeast.
- What, so we missed it?

- Or the grid is wrong.
- Hang on.

- We gotta go back to one.
- One is what? Where's our one?

Half a mile straight ahead.
Just keep driving. Just go.

It says we're closing.
But that's west. It can't be west.

The signal or the grid?

- It's both. It just keeps dropping out.
- Goddamn it.

Give me the cell.

Our signal's good.



Thanks, Mickey.

Just get me out of here.

I wanna get a meeting scheduled on this,
soon as we can. Thursday at the latest.

I think we should have someone from
the equity group there.

- Jeff.
- Maybe McDonnell...

- Yeah?
- Did you hear?

- Yeah, yeah. They closed U/North.
MAN: No. Michael Clayton.


Car bomb. Upstate. This morning.
He was killed.


Holy shit.

KAREN: It has been and it remains
the U/North position...

... that this lawsuit is baseless
and without merit.

Our reluctance to negotiate
was anchored by this belief...

...and reinforced by the plaintiffs' demand
for settlement...

...in excess of 3 billion dollars.

The reason that we are
all here today is...

...that several key elements
in the case have changed.

You all have
a tentative proposal packet...

... which outlines the details,
but the bottom line is this:

Over the past several months
we had gotten word...

...that the plaintiffs were
growing impatient...

...and were in the process
of revising their settlement numbers.

We also learned...

... that the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees
were capped at 32 percent...

... up to 400 million dollars...

...above which,
their fees dropped to 24 percent.

So we knew that there would be
this motivational dead zone for them...

...in the middle there.


...our finance team informed us
that they had run the numbers...

...and that the tax benefit...

...provided that we bring
the settlement in under 600 million...

...and within this fiscal year...

...that the write-off on this settlement
would essentially pay for itself.

The package that you have before you
represents, in my judgment...

... the strongest possible position for
our company under the circumstances.

And, as chief counsel...

...it is my recommendation
that this proposal be confirmed.

Thank you, Karen. If you just give us
a few minutes to talk about it.

Certainly. I'll be right outside.


How'd it go in there?

Pretty freaky, huh?

Did you see Arthur?
He's wandering around here somewhere.

I'm kidding. Lighten up.

You got one of these? It's a great memo.
It's an oldie but a goodie.

Got your heart racing, don't I?

I don't know what it is
you think you're doing.

What do you think I'm doing?

The suit's over. We have a deal.

Whatever that is,
it's meaningless at this point.

You think? I must have gotten it wrong.
I thought you had a tentative proposal.

I didn't realize you'd signed
all those checks.

That's a drag. I got a thousand of these.
What am I gonna do with them?

I'm calling Marty.

Good. Good. Do it.
That's a great place to start.

Let's find out who told him
Arthur was calling Anna Kysersun.

Let's find out who tapped those phones.

This memorandum, even if it's authentic,
which I doubt, I highly doubt...

- I know what you did to Arthur.
- It's protected. It belongs to U/North.

- I know you killed him.
- It's attorney-client privilege.

See, now, that's just not
the way to go here, Karen.

For such a smart person,
you really are lost, aren't you?

This conversation is over.

I'm not the guy that you kill.
I'm the guy that you buy.

Are you so fucking blind
you don't even see what I am?

I'm the easiest part of your whole
goddamn problem and you're gonna kill me?

Don't you know who I am?
I'm a fixer. I'm a bagman.

I do everything from shoplifting housewives
to bent congressmen...

...and you're gonna kill me?

What do you need, Karen? Lay it on me.

You want a carry permit? You want
a heads-up on an insider-trading subpoena?

I sold out Arthur for 80 grand
and a contract and you're gonna kill me?

What do you want?

What do I want?

I want more.

I want out.

And with this, I want everything.

Is there a number?

Ten is a number.

Ten? Ten what?

Ten million?

Where do you think I'm gonna get
10 million dollars?

You know what's great about this?

Did you read it to the end?
You see who signed it?

Let's go in and ask Don Jeffries...

...if he wants to pass the hat
for a worthy cause.

This would have to be
a longer conversation...

...and would have to take place
somewhere else.

Where? My car?

All right.

I'm gonna make it easy. Let's make it 5.

Five and I'll forget about Arthur.

Five is easier. Yeah, 5 is something
that we could talk about.

Good. And then the other 5 is
to forget about the 468 people...

...that you knocked off
with your weed killer.

Let me finish up this meeting.
I'll talk to Don...

Do I look like I'm negotiating?!


KAREN: One second.
- Everything okay?


Ten million dollars. Bank of my choosing.
Offshore. Immediately.

- Yes.
- Say it!

Ten million dollars, your account,
the moment this meeting is through.

DON: Karen! Everyone's waiting.
KAREN: I'm coming, Don.

You have a deal.

You're so fucked.


- You're fucked.
- What do you mean?

- Take a wild guess.
DON: Is there a problem?

- I don't understand.
- Let me get a picture while I'm at it.

- You don't want the money?
- Keep the money. You'll need it.

Is this fellow bothering you?

Am I bothering you?

DON: Karen, I've got a board waiting in there.
What the hell's going on? Who are you?

I'm Shiva, the god of death.

DON: Ron! Ronny, I need security
out here immediately.

All right. Here we go.

That guy right there, stop him.
Grab that guy.

What are you doing?

We're detectives with the N.Y.P.D.

Come back with us
and we'll explain everything.

Check on her. Make sure she doesn't need
any medical attention.

You guys go into the ballroom.
Nobody leaves.

Have your guys cover every exit.

DON: Will you please explain to me
what's going on here?

Did you get all that?

Yeah. Got it.

- You okay?
- Yeah. Just gotta get some air.


Just stay close, okay?


So, what are we doing?

Give me 50 dollars' worth.

Just drive.

Special thanks to SergeiK.