‘Cleaner’ is a Crime, Thriller 2007 film about Tom Cutler, a former police officer who became part of a cover-up. Directed by Renny Harlin, the film follows a whodunnit narrative while questioning moral excess. As the story progresses, Tom runs ahead of time to find the real killer and save himself from being charged with a crime he did not commit.
However, while doing so, he finds that those close to him are in danger. Finally, Tom’s behavior is questioned as he has to make difficult decisions. Therefore, viewers should be curious to find out how Tom copes with this complex situation.
Cleaner Movie Synopsis
‘Cleaner’ opens with Tom Cutler, a former police officer, describing his job of cleaning up the crime scene. After retiring from the Trenton Police Department, he now runs his own crime-cleaning service while living as a single father and caring for his daughter, Rose. One day, you get a job cleaning a beautiful house. Upon arriving at the scene, Tom finds that the house is empty and the door is locked. The case file instructs Tom to enter the house with the help of a key left under the plant. Tom cleans the house and goes back, noticing that he has not returned the key.
The next day, Tom returns to the house to hand over the key and meets the owner, Ann Norcut (Eva Mendes). However, he does not know about Tom’s services. As a result, Tom blames the situation. After some investigation, Tom finds that the police did not give him a cleaning job. Therefore, it becomes clear to Tom that he is still involved in crime, and that his services are being used to clean up the murder. To her police companion, Eddie Lorenzo (Ed Harris), Tom finds out that Ann’s husband, John Norcut, is missing.
John is a key witness in a corruption case against former police commissioner Robert Vaughn. John disappeared the day before he was to appear before a high court judge, thus exposing his ill-gotten gains. Therefore, Tom is convinced that he was planning to be part of John’s assassination. In addition, Ann revealed to Tom that John was carrying a ledger with bad police badge numbers on his payroll. Surprisingly, Tom’s badge number is also in the manual.
After Tom reveals the situation to Eddie, he suggests that Tom burn a handwritten note as it indicates the motive for Tom’s killing John. At that moment, Ann identifies John’s remains in the morgue. So, Tom is left with nothing but the real killer before he is involved in John’s murder. However, Tom’s investigation led him to a more personal conspiracy than he had initially thought. How Tom uncovers the intricate web of crime and lost motives forms part of the plot.
Cleaner Movie Ending, Explained
As the story unfolds, viewers discover that Ann is having a miscarriage. However, in the cold, Tom finds out that John had an abortion many years before Ann’s pregnancy. Therefore, Tom concludes that the child would not belong to John and they suspect that Ann was dating.
While discussing the matter with Eddie, Tom realizes that Ann and Eddie are interacting with Eddie’s work and student outreach program. So Tom is convinced that Eddie is Ann’s boyfriend. Moreover, after examining the situation and all the clues, Tom concludes that Eddie killed John.
Tom works with Detective Vargas, who is investigating the murder of John, to arrest Eddie. However, Eddie seduces Tom into his home by threatening Tom’s daughter, Rose. The two have a heated argument as Eddie tries to negotiate with Tom. Eddie revealed that John forced Ann to have an abortion, and she did not have an abortion. Feeling deprived of the opportunity to start a family, Eddie killed John and then used Tom’s resources to cover up the crime.
Tom tries to convince Eddie to surrender, but Eddie grabs Tom and points a gun at him. Eddie pleads that anything is fine if one is trying to protect his family. He tries to use Tom’s past against him and forgives his actions. However, Tom stops until the police arrive. After realizing that he would be caught, Eddie decides to shoot Tom. However, before he could pull out the gun, Eddie was shot dead by Rose (with Tom’s gun). Eventually, Tom hands the letter to Vargas, who promises to burn it. Vargas allows Tom to move freely and close the crime.
Ultimately, the climax of a film is based on the behavior of the main characters as they struggle to distinguish between right and wrong. Eddie believes that John’s murder is justified. He compares his crime to Tom’s past when Tom did Vaughn’s dirty work. While Tom was on the wrong side of the law, he did so to protect his daughter. Eddie, on the other hand, murdered John, driven by remorse and revenge. Therefore, his actions are morally wrong, and he deserves to be punished.
Eventually, Rose’s timely intervention saves her father from death, and he kills Eddie. However, Tom changes his book and Rose’s, thus making another gray-headed act. The conclusion, therefore, serves as a reminder of the seriousness of the human conscience and leaves the audience in awe of Tom and Eddie despite their dubious actions.
At the beginning of the film, viewers read about a tragedy that changed the lives of Tom and his daughter. Tom’s wife has been found dead, but we do not read the details of her death until later. Tom chooses not to talk about his deceased wife, especially in front of Rose. Although Tom’s actions are understandable as he tries to save Rose from the traumatic emotions caused by her mother’s death, the real circumstances of the tragedy are deeply rooted in Rose.
During a conversation with Ann, Tom revealed that his wife and Rose were alone at home one night. A burglar entered their home and threatened Tom and Rose’s wife. Tom’s wife tried to refuse and was shot twice in the chest. Six-year-old Rose witnessed firsthand the death of her mother. For now, though, Rose has little memory of the incident.
So, obviously, Tom is not talking about his wife as it may bring back painful memories to Rose. The ending of the film serves as a turning point in the tragedy as Rose faces a similar situation. This time his father was shot. Still, Rose took courage and shot Eddie, avoiding the same fate as before.