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February 21, 2008

'Michael Clayton'



This tense and nuanced legal thriller about an attorney named Michael Clayton (George Clooney), a "fixer" at a powerful New York law firm, took in seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture, director and screenplay (both for Tony Gilroy), actor (Clooney) and supporting actor and actress (Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton). Clayton has to deal with a major crisis when the firm's top litigator goes over to the other side and becomes a whistleblower. The DVD includes a commentary by writer-director Tom Gilroy and editor John Gilroy (Tom's brother), plus additional scenes. (Warner Home Video, $28.98, rated R)

- By McClatchy Newspapers




'American Gangster'



Ridley Scott directs a powerhouse cast, including Denzel Washington as a Harlem crime boss, Russell Crowe as an NYPD detective out to get him, plus Josh Brolin, Oscar nominee Ruby Dee, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The two-disc Extended Edition includes the original R-rated theatrical version, an unrated version with 18 additional minutes, an alternate ending, a commentary with Scott and writer Steven Zaillian, deleted scenes and eight short documentaries on the making of the movie; the three-disc Collector's Edition adds four more documentary features, a digital copy of the movie for downloading and a 32-page collectible book. (Two and three discs, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $29.98/$34.98, rated R and unrated versions)

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- By McClatchy Newspapers




'In the Valley of Elah'



Tommy Lee Jones is up for an Oscar for his performance as the father of an Iraq war vet who has gone missing upon his return home. This highly charged drama from writer-director Paul Haggis ("Crash") raises serious questions about what wars do to the men who fight in them. Charlize Theron plays a police detective who helps Jones look for his son, while Susan Sarandon portrays Jones' wife. The DVD includes additional scenes and a documentary on the making of the movie and its message. (Warner Home Video, $27.95, rated R)

- By The Associated Press




Also new this week



'Rendition'
(New Line)

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