'The Ides of March' and 'The Descendants' give us an excuse to dissect the actor's best work
4. "Michael Clayton" (2007)
Clooney was nominated for his first Best Actor Oscar for Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton" in 2007, and he might have won, too, if a) he hadn't taken the Best Supporting Actor prize two years prior, and b) Daniel Day-Lewis hadn't been a beast on the circuit for "There Will Be Blood." In this lawyer drama, he tackled a character reminiscent of the cinematic heroes of the 1970s, a law firm "fixer" confronted with a crisis of conscience and all the complexities that come with it.