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A former cop who now earns a wage as a crime scene cleaner unknowingly participates in a cover-up at his latest job.



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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Lorenzo
Det. Jim Vargas
Edrick Browne ...
Det. Darrin Harris
Rosalind Rubin ...
Crying Woman
Mike Guy ...
Priest #1
Richard Folmer ...
Priest #2
James Barnes ...
Linda Leonard ...
Francine Mason


A former cop who now earns a wage as a crime scene cleaner unknowingly participates in a cover-up at his latest job.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Solving a crime can be dirty work. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody images, some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 January 2008 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Čistač  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Renny Harlin: [Finland] In scene when Tom tells Eddie about the book of bribed officers, Helsinki (capital of Finland) is spray painted on a concrete pillar. See more »


At the end, Ed Harris is pointing his gun at Samuel Jackson with the trigger in the rearward position, something that only happens when the double action/single action Beretta is cocked. The trigger should be at rest, in the forward position. When agitated, Ed cocks the hammer and we see that the trigger is still in the rearward position. Only at cocking should the trigger have gone from forward position to rear position. See more »


Eddie Lorenzo: [repeatedly] She was gonna have our baby, she was gonna have our child.
See more »


Referenced in In the Land of Women (2007) See more »


Mend This Heart
Written by Barbara L. Jordan and William Peterkin
Performed by Crit Harmon
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Yet Another Twist on Police Corruption
8 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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

32 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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