• Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 15, 2008
Season #: 1, 2

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 15
  2. Negative: 7 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Misha Davenport
    Some may take issue with the cynical tone of both series [Saving grace and The Cleaner] or the fact that there is very little divine intervention in either.
  2. 50
    The show is an extremely mixed bag, but he's an extremely likable extreme interventionist.
  3. It's not a bad show, but the mechanics of how they're going to abduct their latest target are far less engaging than how the team interacts with each other and how each member fights his or her compulsions.
  4. The Cleaner is the latest in a string of unremarkable basic cable dramas with a brand-name star playing the tough but damaged lead.
  5. It's solid for what it is, despite the worrisome gimmick and sometimes obvious story.
  6. 50
    This brings up the writing, which is strictly discount--and so are the plots, which don't tell us enough in the victims he saves.
  7. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    The thing looks stylish, has a nice cast, is well written, and Bratt--scruffy, unkempt, a little more than off-center here--has the requisite intensity for the role. But it also is jarringly slick and borderline seamy; maybe that's just part of the fast world Banks and his cohorts find themselves in, but the tone ultimately robs the show--or at least the pilot--of heart and passion.
  8. You see Mr. Bratt with his goatee and expressions of martyrdom, but you hear the voice of Nancy Reagan.
  9. 37
    It's all meant to be exciting, but like everything else about The Cleaner, it comes across as almost profoundly silly.
  10. I'd describe it as ludicrous, but that might give the impression that it's remotely entertaining.
  11. Without more skillful dialogue and lively stories, this won't help A&E kick the reality habit.
  12. 30
    If these dorky team-on-the-move scenes look like something out of "Charlie's Angels," the shiftless-druggie scenes in the show's premiere look like they were pulled straight from an "Afterschool Special" about the dangers of snorting heroin.
  13. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    A&E bet heavily on "The Sopranos" reruns to brand the channel, but its grit and blue language notwithstanding, The Cleaner doesn't represent the kind of hour destined to build on that foundation.
  14. 30
    Despite a fine cast and a harrowing topic, The Cleaner rarely gets beyond the surfaces.
  15. 30
    It's the end of the hour, and we're still waiting for the real show to begin, too.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 7 out of 17
  1. AndrewV.
    Jun 30, 2009
    Ambitious concept, unique idea, terrible writing and dialogue. This could be a good show, but the writers need to be fired. A procedural Ambitious concept, unique idea, terrible writing and dialogue. This could be a good show, but the writers need to be fired. A procedural drama about drug addiction is intensely stupid, and borderline offensive. Full Review »
  2. BrianK.
    Dec 9, 2008
    This seriously has to be one the most convoluted things to come to television......at least among the shows I've watched.
  3. DaveW
    Aug 10, 2008
    Veers between stupid sentimentality and grotesque heroic posturing. Waste of time.