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Clean (2021) Movie Review ‘Calmly Built Thriller’


Clean – Calmly Built Thriller

Director: Paul Solet

Writer: Paul Solet, Adrien Brody (Screenplay)

Starring: Adrien Brody, Glenn Fleshler, Richie Merritt, Chandler DuPont, Mykelti Williamson, Michelle Wilson, RZA

Plot: Tormented by his past, a garbage man named Clean attempts a quiet life of redemption. But, soon finds himself forced to reconcile with the violence of his past.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Clean starts as a garbage man known as Clean (Brody). Finds himself struggling with his own nightmares in life from his past. Seeking help for the troubles he goes through with other people dealing with loss. Helping people in need around the local neighbourhood.

When Clean helps a local girl Dianda (DuPont) who reminds him of his own daughter. He finds himself clashing with local drug lord, forcing him to return to his life of violence to protect the family.

Thoughts on Clean

Characters & Performances

Clean is a reclusive figure, trashman for a job, with a dark and tormented past. He looks to help the local hard workers, protect people in trouble and never get involved with law. He finds himself needing to return to his previous life, after getting involved protecting an innocent person from drug dealer. When they come after him. His calm approach to life will see him seen as less of a threat by the drug lord.

Michael is the local drug lord that is ruthless with the suppliers that do him wrong, or anyone that does him wrong. Which will see him cross paths with Clean, seeing him as a harmless trashman. He wants to wipe of the Earth.

Dianda is the teenager Clean looks to watch over, she reminds him of the daughter he lost. Being a parental figure she doesn’t have in her life. Travis and Pawn Shop Kurtis are the loyal friends that have been there for Clean. Willing to help him with anything that comes his way.

Adrien Brody is great in the leading role, showing the calm observant side to his character. The supporting cast are strong, doing everything they need to, to make this a ruthless feeling environment.


The story in Clean follows a mild-mannered trashman that has a violent past. Needing to come back into action while defending a teenage girl from a ruthless drug lord who has crossed path with him.

Clean is a slow building movie, which spends a lot of time looking at the tormented life Clean has been through, over the years, saving any of the violent side of the movie until much later in the story. When it comes to see Clean go back after the criminals, we get to see him needing to use connections and take on a larger group, pretty much how most of the reluctant hero movies go.


Clean is an action thriller that will take a much calmer approach before giving us an explosive conclusion with some of the best gun splatter moments in recent years. The movie keeps the smaller town, to show how an operation can be run smoothly without needing to get greedy and how people can look to escape the pain of their previous life.

Final Thoughts Clean is a slow burning thriller where Adrien Brody gets show his balance in calm and action side of the performance.

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