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A Reel Life film section

Summer 2008

The Cleaner movie review

Dirty Business

An ex-cop Tom Cutler(Samuel L. Jackson) runs a cleanup business specialising in biohazards such as crime scenes. After cleaning up one crime scene he returns to hand in the door key only to discover that the owner was unaware of the murder, and his cleanup. Suddenly our hero is caught up in a murder investigation.

Cutler is a single dad raising a daughter alone. She wrestles with the death of her mother. Cutler's ex-partner (played by one of our favourite actors, Ed Harris), who Cutler calls upon to help, is nursing a great deal of bitterness.

Movie poster, The Cleaner; Festivale film review

Movie poster, The Cleaner; Festivale film review

Solving a crime can be dirty work.

After his wife's death, Cutler moved house, changed his life, his job, and divorced himself from his old friends, including his partner.

As a crime story, The Cleaner is reasonable. What makes the story unusual is the rhythm of the film, the strange disassociated moments of cleaning, and the contrast between Cutler's highly organised life and the havoc in the emotions of those around him.

Strangely compelling, and despite the subject matter, the graphic crime scenes are sufficiently distanced to not be offputting.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 18 Jan 2008
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: The Cleaner (2007)
Written by: Matthew Aldrich
Directed by: Renny Harlin
running time: 88 mins
rating: MA

The Players: Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, Eva Mendes,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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