Clean - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Clean Reviews

Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 2, 2008
A disappointment.
Top Critic
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
October 13, 2006
Cheung makes her character work, despite a weak plot and script, both by director Assayas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 7, 2006
Maggie Cheung gives an astonishingly complex performance as a junkie rock star trying to clean up her act.
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
June 30, 2006
There are so many quiet, understated miracles unfolding in Clean that all you can do is watch in awe and amazement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 30, 2006
It helps -- immensely -- that Cheung is pitch-perfect. Her performance is heartbreaking.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
June 29, 2006
It's a joy to watch the characters in this grown-up drama interact, their exchanges laced with anger and doubt, sadness and regret.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic

Time Out
June 24, 2006
The film locates its heart muscle, however, in its performances.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 23, 2006
Emily is played by Maggie Cheung with such intense desperation that she won the best actress award at Cannes 2004. Only a few actresses in the world could have handled this role from a technical point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 12, 2006
It's a complex, very successful portrayal of an addictive, selfish, volatile soul who knows she might be running out of chances at a decent life.
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
June 9, 2006
Assayas tells her tale sympathetically, but this sad saga lacks substance. He sells the wretch but not the redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 9, 2006
It's a globe-trotting drama with more than a touch of Wim Wenders whim to it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 8, 2006
It's the moral journey of Nolte's character that is the real story in Clean, but Assayas instead focuses on the manipulative habits of an addict, resulting in a mannered study of narcissism and self-pity.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Slate
June 5, 2006
In Clean, Assayas returns to his comfort zone -- the world of appealing young people with interestingly chaotic lives -- and views it through the eyes of a woman who doesn't belong there anymore.
Top Critic
John McMurtrie
San Francisco Chronicle
May 26, 2006
Despite Cheung's efforts (she won the best actress award at Cannes in 2004) and a strong and subtle supporting performance by Nick Nolte, the story could have used a good dose of adrenaline to keep it from often seeming lifeless.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
May 25, 2006
The film that showed the world Maggie Cheung is more than just a strikingly beautiful face.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 25, 2006
Assayas' tale of the difficult search for redemption is less a standard road-to-sobriety story than a chance to marvel, close-up, at Cheung.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 20, 2006
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2006
One of those movies that's slightly off the mark in ways that are hard to put a finger on, but it is shot so soulfully and features such beautiful performances that it's easy to forgive the occasional false note.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
May 18, 2006
The emotional truthfulness of Clean enters into our bloodstreams with its muted vigor, and we find ourselves getting hooked by this tale of getting unhooked.
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
May 12, 2006
The chief pleasure in the picture is Nick Nolte's performance.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
May 10, 2006
Mr. Assayas has given us an international soap opera with little or no dramatic substance.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
April 28, 2006
Maggie Cheung and Nick Nolte seem unlikely co-stars, but co-star they do in Clean, giving gritty performances under the direction of Frenchman Olivier Assayas, Cheung's ex-husband.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 28, 2006
As evidenced by the best actress award she earned at Cannes, Cheung rises to the occasion ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 28, 2006
Clean is one of the few fiction films to evoke realistically the grubby texture of existence for second- and third-tier rock celebrities crumbling under a combination of fading renown and drug addiction.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
April 27, 2006
As Emily's tale rolls out, it does so in fashion devoid of cliche and convention, toying with time and portraying a heroine who provokes contempt as easily as empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
April 27, 2006
The film gets its distinction from the performances by Cheung and Nolte, whose scenes together are suffused with loss and unexpected mutual compassion.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
April 25, 2006
All the same and despite Cheung's deserved Best Actress win at Cannes, the feigned intimacy with inexpressible bio-emotional conditions like addiction and detox leaves us, as it almost always does, on the outside.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 19, 2006
[Cheung] catalogs every up and down on the carousel of a recovering drug addict with a mix of despair, pain, strength, realism and poignancy that is mesmerizing.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 19, 2006
Not your average divorce gift.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 14, 2005
Feels true to the life of third-string musicians on the road.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
March 4, 2005
Dramatically pallid and unconvincing.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 4, 2005
What Clean needed was a little more dirt, or at least some of the grit that the addict fears will never entirely wash off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 4, 2005
It's not so much a movie in three acts as three movies stuffed into a single casing, and often showing the strain.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4