Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that that although teens might be interested in this mature thriller thanks to star George Clooney, it's definitely aimed at adults. Fast-talking and complicated, it deals with complex issues like corporate corruption, toxic consumer products, and legal manipulation. An empty car explodes twice (the first time is a flashforward), and a murder is committed very coldly (by needle, with the killers attacking the victim in his apartment). A woman appears in her bra and slip, with visible cleavage, and a male lawyer undressing (down to his underwear) during a deposition is a significant plot point. Language includes many uses of "f--k," plus other profanity.
Michael says his brother "knocked up" a waitress. Karen appears in her bra, showing cleavage. Several references to Arthur stripping during a deposition (a sign of his insanity); a grainy video of the event shows him upset and removing his clothes down to his boxers as he declares his love for the deposition witness. Slangy description of Arthur "with [his] d--k hanging out." Arthur describes being in a whorehouse with two prostitutes (he says they were "sucking my d--k," and reports "two Lithuanian mouths on my c--k").
Michael's car explodes when he's at a distance; he turns to see it (this is a flashforward the first time it occurs, then appears again later). A man is attacked by two others, who drug and kill him, methodically and disturbingly (they inject his foot with poison, wait for him to die, check his pulse, then put his sock and shoe back on).
Lots of angry language, including more than 20 uses of "f--k," plus several uses of "s--t," "hell," and "damn," and fewer of "son of a bitch" and "ass." Occasional slang for genitals ("c--k," "d--k," and "c--t").
Lawyers and corporate executives use increasingly devious and illegal methods to cover up previous wrongdoing. Michael Clayton tries to do the right thing.
Repeated clips from a promotional film for the film's central fictional company, U/North; fancy cars (Jaguar, BMW).
Drugs / Tobacco /
Several characters smoke cigarettes. Several references to Michael's brother's alcoholism (which adversely affected the restaurant they tried to start); characters drink in bars; Michael drinks several times. Brief glimpse of prescription pills in a medicine cabinet.