Search - Cleaner on DVD

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, Eva Mendes, Luis Guzmán, Keke Palmer
Director: Renny Harlin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
R     2008     1hr 28min

Single father and former cop Tom Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) has an unusual vocation - he cleans up crime scenes. But when he's called in to sterilize a wealthy suburban residence after a brutal shooting, Carver is shocked ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, Eva Mendes, Luis Guzmán, Keke Palmer
Director: Renny Harlin
Creators: Alix Madigan, Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, David Pomier, Eli Selden, Joe Gatta, Matthew Aldrich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Samuel L. Jackson, Renny Harlin, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Cantonese, Chinese, English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Chris M. from ASHLAND, OR
Reviewed on 4/12/2022...
Lots of twists in this movie. It's worth watching. Recommended.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 4/12/2022...
Diehard Director Renny Harlin brings you a crime drama suspense movie that feels like the negotiator. There were a few slow spots but you will enjoy the cleaner, Samuel Jackson!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 4/2/2021...
Fascinating movie. Samuel L is ALWAYS great!
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 1/3/2015...
I really liked this movie. Suspense!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Yet Another Twist on Police Corruption
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"CLEANER is somewhat of an enigmatic movie: it starts out as though it is going to be a sassy comedy about a retired cop whose job it is to 'clean up' after homicides (a distinctly messy and repulsive job), turns into a rather grisly crime investigation story, adds a dollop of 'ain't life grand', and finishes as an exposé of police corruption. The story line by Matthew Aldrich is further fragmented by being so full of holes that the audience has to toss credibility overboard in order to make it through, and the method of direction by Renny Harlin can't seem to settle on which style to take. It is all kind of a mess and justifies the straight to DVD move. The saving grace of the film is a cast of stalwart actors who can make even a shaky script palatable.

Tom Cutler (Samuel L. Jackson) is a 'retired' cop who makes his living cleaning up the gory remainders of criminal acts of homicide and other grisly crimes. We learn his wife was murdered some years ago, leaving him as a single father of the bright and charming teenager Rose (Keke Palmer). Cutler happens on an assignment to clean a particularly gruesome homicide scene in the home of one Ann Northcut (Eva Mendes in a nicely understated role) and as the convoluted story develops, Cutler realizes that the crime scene represents a culmination of forces that threaten to uncork a long history of police corruption - a history that involves him and his best friend Eddie Lorenzo (Ed Harris) and the tough Detective Jim Vargas (a terrific Luis Guzmán). How the story ties together and ends is too loose to convey and would ruin the minimal drama present.

Each of the actors, even the minor roles played very well by such artists as Jose Pablo Cantillo and Robert Forster, give it the full court press. But the see-through script and the jumbled camera work and direction prevent this from being a significant film. Grady Harp, June 08"
Something is not clean around here
H. Schneider | window seat | 06/02/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Jackson is a former cop who apparently resigned from the force for reasons related to the general standard of morality there (I lost my stomach for it, he says), and started a business that cleans up the most unspeakable mess, often crime scenes, but also pet infestations and other stuff. The movie starts badly, like a black comedy that is not funny.
Then it turns into an interesting story. We learn that Jackson's character is a widower with a teenage daughter. The wife got killed by a burgler and then the burgler got killed by somebody while in prison. His best pal in the force was Ed Harris, who was somehow involved in everything. Jackson doesn't handle his single parenthood too well.
One day he gets a job order, seemingly from the police, to clean up a murder scene. He does, and then finds out he was trapped: he has helped hide an actual murder case and now is on the police's suspect list.
Mendes is the not-yet-confirmed widow. We think the police are the bad guys, with a big case of an IA investigation causing panic all over.
I will not tell here what happens next, though it is so unlikely that it makes me withdraw a star for incredibility.
I drop one more star because the centre of the plot doesn't hold water. If one could accept the trap in a technical sense, it would be a good idea, but with some CSI training one spots the holes in the trap with eyes wide shut."
An entertaining yet predictable crime thriller
z hayes | TX | 06/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The premise of Cleaner centers around an ex police officer, Tom Carver [ Samuel L Jackson] who quit the profession due to some messy business having to do with a criminal dying in prison under suspicious circumstances. Tom is a widowed, single dad to a teenage daughter Rose [Keke Palmer] who is intelligent and spirited. Tom finds it harder each day to deal with his daughter's questions regarding her deceased mom and the circumstances surrounding her death. His job as a 'cleaner of crime scenes' seems to go along well until a fateful day when he gets called in to clean-up a homicide scene and finds that he was set-up - the crime he cleans up after was never reported to the police, and he in fact inadvertently acted as an accessory to cover it up. Soon, Tom finds himself the prime suspect in the case- and there are a bunch of crooked cops after him.

He turns in desperation to his ex-partner, Eddie Lorenzo [Ed Harris in a wasted role] who seems helpful enough yet resentful of Tom's cutting him out of Tom's and Rose's [Eddie is Rose's godfather] lives. Then there is Mrs Norcut [Eva Mendes in a subtle yet effective performance] whose house was the one Tom 'cleaned' and whose husband is missing. Is Mr Norcut the victim of foul play and if so, who is the party responsible? Things get messy and confusing and Tom finds himself being besieged by all sides, whilst he tries to figure everything out.

The movie certainly has an interesting idea yet suffers from poor execution. It is only saved by the performances of a good cast - from Samuel L Jackson's Tom Carver, to Eva Mendes's Mrs Norcut, and even credible acting by those performing in the minor roles such as Rose [Keke Palmer], Det Vargas [Luis Guzman] and Tom's assistant. Ed Harris offers a lacklustre performance here - and his role is wasted. Also, the movie suffers from an incredulous plotline halfway through, and we can see some of the twists from miles away.

It's not a bad movie, just lacking some spiciness. Final verdict: an average crime thriller.