Clean (Blu-ray)

April 26, 2022 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Adrian Brody stars in Clean as the title character. He is a garbage collector with a troubled past. One that we get glimpses of as the film progresses. Since he has experienced a lot of trouble and violence in his life, he tries to do well. He looks after a young girl who reminds him of his daughter. Circumstances lead him down a road that he had been long hoping to forget once and for all. The early moments of the film follow Clean as he picks up trash and we get a sense of his simple life and routine. This is the sort of character who just wants to keep to himself and avoid trouble. I especially liked these quieter moments of the film as they really draw us in.

If the premise sounds a bit generic and familiar, rest assured that the execution (though no pun intended) is done well here. I should say mostly well. Clean kept me involved and moves at a nice clip that I didn’t stop to nitpick it too harshly. I won’t say Brody is my favorite actor, but he puts in nice work here. While the film can have some predictable beats, it still amps the tension up a good deal in the second half. There’s a subplot here involving a crime boss named Michael who is played by Glenn Fleshler. His son Mikey (Richie Merritt) is something his father isn’t terribly proud of, but he hopes his son will take after him one day. While Fleshler might not be a household name, many will recognize him once they see him. He certainly has a towering presence that makes for a worth adversary to Clean. It should be noted that the film doesn’t shy away from violence when things take a turn.

Your enjoyment of Clean will likely depend on your enjoyment of this sort of premise. A quiet man with a violent past can make for good entertainment when done right. At times the film tries too hard to be profound, but thankfully things don’t become too heavy-handed. Clean narrates portions of the film and I could’ve done without those bits. Still, the film worked its way on me and earns a mild recommendation from me.

Video: How’s it look?

With a wide 2.40:1 ratio, Clean looks exactly that. For such a new film this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Images are nicely detailed and colors are strong. The film has a cold setting and isn’t always the most attractive, but that’s an artistic choice more than an issue with the transfer. Things look fine and viewers should feel pleased with the image.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track also impresses with good clarity and fine vocals. I tend to use subtitles just as a personal preference, but things sounded fine. The film’s second half is when the track gets turned up several notches, and this engages us. Throughout the film we hear various city noises and things in the background. This makes the track more impressive as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no supplemental materials.

The Bottom Line

Clean impressed me as I thought it would. When I read the premise I could tell it would be the sort of film that I would enjoy. I do wish it took more chances, but it kept me with it. Brody turns in a strong performance as our title character and there’s a worthy villain for the taking. We get a few nifty twists and some mostly well-defined characters. Give it a shot. Rent it.

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