George Clooney is an actor who really seems to get better with age - not to mention that he has now successfully turned his hand to directing in recent years.

George Clooney in Tomorrowland

George Clooney in Tomorrowland

Clooney returns to the big screen this week as he teams up with Disney for their latest live action project Tomorrowland, which sees Brad Bird back in the director's chair.

It is always exciting when a Clooney movie is on the horizon and we take a look at some of his best performances over the years - do you have a favourite?

- Good Night, And Good Luck (2006)

Good Night, And Good Luck may not have seen Clooney in the lead role, but it was still a terrific performance from the actor - Good Night, And Good Luck also saw him back in the director's chair.

This was only the second feature film of Clooney's directing career and came three years after he helmed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2003. The followed the conflict between radio and television journalist Edward R Murrow (David Strathairn) and Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.

Clooney takes on the role of producer Fred Friendly in the film, who stood beside Murrow in his battle against discrediting McCarthy, who was on a crusade to root out Communists within the government. While he takes a supporting role in the film, Clooney excels in the director's chair.

Good Night, And Good Luck really is an edge of your seat political thriller - not bad for a movie that rarely sets foot outside the CBS newsroom. The claustrophobic feel of the newsroom echoes the feel within the community at that time, as people were afraid of being accused of Communism during the Cold War

This is an intelligent movie that explores the role of journalism as well as a rather controversial moment in American history. Clooney has captured the look at the feel of the period perfectly, as well as steering David Strathairn to a terrific central performance. The movie was nominated for six Oscars - including Best Picture and Best Director for Clooney.

Good Night, And Good Luck

- Michael Clayton (2007)

It was back in 2007 when Clooney returned to the big screen in Michael Clayton, which saw him team up with writer and director Tony Gilroy for the first time. The movie marked Gilroy's feature film directorial debut.

Clooney took on the title role in the film - as a fixer for a New York law firm. But when a fellow fixer decides to turn on the firm that they work for, Clayton finds himself in caught in the middle with corruption and conspiracy all around him.

You can't really beat a conspiracy thriller and Michael Clayton is really up there with the best as we are thrown into the murky corporate world. There is tension and intrigue around every corner and you really don't know who to trust.

Clooney is on top from start to finish and delivers one of the performances of his career so far. While Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton are also superb, it is Clooney that really does shine. This trio of fine actors really do benefit from having a wonderful script and they have some wonderful character development and dialogue to get their teeth into.

While Clooney had already received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in Syriana by the time Michael Clayton was released, this movie saw him receive his first Best Actor Oscar nomination. It would be the first of three Best Actor nods over the next four years.

Michael Clayton is one of those thrillers that doesn't lose its tension the more times you see it. In fact, the more times you watch this film, the more you come to appreciate just how great a performance Clooney gives. Sadly, Clooney lost out on the Best Actor Oscar to Daniel Day Lewis for There Will Be Blood.

Michael Clayton

- Up In The Air (2010)

Up In The Air was one of the most talked about movies at the beginning of 2010 as Jason Reitman returned to the director's chair - from the moment that it started screening on the festival circuit, it was obvious that it was going to be an Oscar contender.

Clooney took on the central role of Ryan Bingham, a company hatchet man who enjoys living life out of a suitcase and his life on the road. But that life comes under threat when his company starts to reduce its travel budget - this comes just as he is closing in on reaching five million frequent flyer miles and just as he has met a woman that is more than a match for him.

Up In The Air is an adaptation of the novel by Walter Kirn and was adapted for the big screen by Reitman. This movie also marked the first time that Reitman has teamed up with Clooney. Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga completed an impressive cast list.

Up In The Air is a movie that is funny, touching, heartbreaking and intimate - and the director balances all of these different aspects of the film perfectly. Reitman really is one of the most exciting directors around at the moment and Up In The Air was only the third feature film of his career at the time.

Bingham is a character who likes the non-contact approach his lives a life constantly on the road, not often in his home, speaks even less to his sister - he has no long lasting relationships in either his personal or professional life. And while he could be a character that is incredibly cold, the script and Clooney's performance mean that you can't help but root for him - even more so when the possibility for love comes along.

There is terrific chemistry between Clooney and Farmiga and pair really do spar well together as they bring Reitman's dialogue to life.

Up In The Air went on to pick up five Oscar nominations - including Best Picture and Best Actor - Clooney missed out again to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart.

Up In The Air

- Syriana (2006)

Syriana is one of the most successful for Clooney when it comes to scooping Oscars. Clooney may have missed out more than once on the Best Actor Oscar, but he did manage to get his hands on the Best Supporting Actor gong for his work in this political thriller.

Based on the memoir See No Evil by Robert Baer, Syriana explores petroleum politics and the huge global influence that the oil industry has. The movie looks at the influence of this industry and the political and economic impact through the eyes of a series of characters including a CIA operative, an energy analyst, a Washington attorney and an unemployed Pakistani migrant worker in an Arab state.

Stephen Gaghan was in the director's chair for the film and penned the screenplay - it was only the second feature film of his career and came four years after he made his debut with Abandon.

Syriana is a movie that weaves the different story threads and characters together and Clooney play loyal but exhausted CIA agent stationed in the Middle East. It really is a terrific performance from Clooney - in fact, all of the actors are on top form throughout.

Syriana is an intelligent movie that really does demand the attention of its audience. The director has delivered a complex story with many moving parts and interesting characters. This is also a movie that gives us plenty to think about as the credits roll.


Other great George Clooney performances include Gravity, The Descendants, Three Kings, and The Ides of March.

Tomorrowland is released 22nd May.

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