The Cleanse

Critics Consensus

The Cleanse uses its unconventional premise as the framework for a suitably eerie and solidly well-acted horror outing with some surprising emotional heft.



Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 500
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Movie Info

Johnny Galecki (TV's "Big Bang Theory) plays Paul Berger, an unemployed, down and out, heartbroken man searching for happiness. When Paul sees an ad for a spiritual retreat promising to restart your life, he immediately signs up, hoping to cleanse himself and fix his broken life. But after only a few days, he discovers the cleanse is releasing more than just everyday toxins... a lot more. Also starring Anna Friel, plus Oliver Platt and Academy Award (R) Winner Anjelica Huston (Best Supporting Actress, Prizzi's Honor, 1985) as the leaders of the retreat, THE CLEANSE is a darkly humorous, weird, and soulful fantasy that examines the inner demons in all of us.


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Critic Reviews for The Cleanse

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (4)

  • I was really impressed with this movie with the way that it navigates a bunch of different kinds of genres in a tricky way, 'cause it is a low-key comedy for a while, but then it becomes a sci-fi film and a legit horror film.

    Aug 15, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "The Cleanse" embarks on an allegorical journey with only the vaguest notion of a destination. As a result, the movie feels frustratingly repetitive - a single joke repeated ad nauseam.

    May 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Although it may evoke such films as "Gremlins" and "The Lobster," as well as David Cronenberg's earlier work, writer-director Bobby Miller's oozy, eerie, yet weirdly soulful yarn feels like an original.

    May 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A film with a remarkably clever and fun first act, but one that starts spinning its wheels around the halfway mark on its way to an unsatisfying ending.

    Jul 27, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Master Cleanse isn't the easiest film to open up to. But Miller knows exactly how the third act should play, and he manages (thanks in part to the increasingly intriguing creature work) to reach an emotionally satisfying conclusion.

    Mar 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Touches a chord of bittersweet feeling that a more genre-oriented thriller approach might not have managed.

    Mar 18, 2016 | Full Review…

    Justin Chang

    Top Critic

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