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 to learn he may have unknowingly erased crucial evidence, entangling himself in a dirty criminal cover up. Directed by Renny Harlin and co-starring Eva Mendes, Ed Harris, Keke Palmer, and Luis Gusman, Cleaner is a dark, gritty crime thriller that proves cleaning up is the dirtiest job there is. Samuel L. Jackson stars as Tom Carver, an ex-cop who's turned to cleaning up biological waste, such as the messy remains of a violent crime scene. A typical call takes him to an upperclass home, where a white leather sofa is spattered with gruesome viscera. After the living room has been rendered antiseptic, Tom discovers that the murder may be connected to a high-profile police corruption case... a case that may implicate him as well. After establishing the promising premise, Cleaner requires that you overlook a lot of implausible plot turns--but if you can suspend your disbelief, there's a lot to enjoy. Jackson gives a typically skilled performance; like Gene Hackman, Jackson is an actor who never fails to deliver a solid, engaging, thoughtful performance that lifts everything around him. Ed Harris also provides his craggy charisma and Luis Guzman (The Limey) continues to be an indispensable support player. Eva Mendes, on the other hand, comes across a bit flat, though she is as lovely to look at as ever. Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) oversells the story--this twisty tale of corruption and overheated love would probably play better with the lean, cool, minimal production values of film noir, rather than Harlin's constantly prowling camera--but he definitely infuses the movie with bubbling energy. All in all, not a great film, but a decent diversion for crime thriller fans. --Bret Fetzer
The premise of Cleaner centers around an ex police officer, Tom Carver 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 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..