About once a season, there is a film that the critics rally behind, and that movie soon becomes the season’s “must see.” This fall, that movie is none other than “Michael Clayton,” directed by the writer of the “Bourne” series, Tony Gilroy. Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is a fixer. At his job as an attorney in a multi-billion-dollar law firm, Michael is paid to solve the problems created by his coworkers and clientele. However, despite being the best fixer in the business, Michael can’t seem to control his personal life as a divorced father, gambling addict, and small business owner. In the meantime, U/North, an environmental chemical company, is being sued for knowingly selling tainted products that caused the sickness and death of hundreds of people. Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton), a representative from U/North, is working with Clayton’s firm to insure a winning case. However, when the lead defense attorney for U/North (Tom Wilkinson) has a mental breakdown and begins giving evidence to the prosecution, Michael is called in to make sure everything gets back on track. After being told that “Michael Clayton” was the movie to restore my faith in Hollywood (which is, by the way, a bold claim), I knew I had to see this dramatic thriller. However, in the end, it just isn’t that thrilling. One of the things I had heard praise about early on for “Michael Clayton” was the acting, and it is generally well-founded. Clooney delivers some deep, thought provoking acting. However, I can’t help but feel that his co-stars, Wilkinson and Swinton, upstage him. Both of their characters are somewhat “disturbed,” making them hard to portray well, but Wilkinson and Swinton created believable and captivating characters. They’re simply fun to watch on screen. It’s a shame that this movie is so centered on Clooney, because the supporting cast deserves more screen time. When it comes to cinematography, “Michael Clayton” really shines. Every scene is beautifully filmed. The scenes stay crisp and cleanly edited, which is an achievement in itself for a rookie director. Gilroy especially used lighting well, creating an eerie atmosphere that certainly grabs your attention. “Michael Clayton” also boasts an impressive script. The lines are well-written and sharp. They compliment the complex plot and make you think. Gilroy’s “Michael Clayton” script is much more sophisticated than those of the “Bourne” movies and proves that Gilroy is a master of creating clever lines. It might seem that “Michael Clayton” has it all: great acting, a convincing script and some powerful cinematography. Yet, despite all of its attributes, “Michael Clayton” gets boring. Its beginning and end really grab your attention, but the middle just drags on. This thriller fails to thrill. For the most part, this is the director’s fault; he falls short of making you connect with the characters. So, when someone dies or someone else diabolically covers up evidence, you just don’t care. “Michael Clayton” lacks the human component that gives most movies a purpose. For an hour and fifteen minutes of this two-hour-long movie, the audience watches a story that seems like it will never climax. It meanders away from its plot, introducing pointless characters and showing awkwardly out-of-place scenes. No amount of good acting or pretty filming can make up for Gilroy’s poor direction. When it comes down to it, “Michael Clayton” certainly looks good and has some top-notch acting. However, it lacks a soul. The boring middle brings down this entire film. If you are interested, just wait for the DVD. Why go to the Loop to fall asleep watching a movie when you can do it in your dorm?