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A woman throws herself into a last-ditch struggle to conquer her demons in this gritty drama from director Olivier Assayas. Lee Hauser (James Johnston) is a faded rock star who lives with his wife, Emily Wang (Maggie Cheung), the former host of a European music video show, in a small town in Western Canada. Both Lee and Emily have been battling drug addiction for years, and when Lee finally dies of an OD, Emily finds herself charged with possession of heroin and ends up spending six months in jail. Lee and Emily's son, Jay (James Dennis), has been living with his paternal grandparents,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A disappointment."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"There are so many quiet, understated miracles unfolding in Clean that all you can do is watch in awe and amazement."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"The one-two combination of Nolte's essential generosity and decency as an actor with Cheung's innate levelheadedness nicely gets around the customary trumped-up "conflict" movies over-rely on."
‑ Howard Hampton, Film Comment Magazine
"While this somber drug-abuse drama contains few surprises -- it's pretty much what we've come expect to expect from such material -- Cheung's convincing performance as a drug addict is what makes it watchable."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The rough, exposed emotional candor of Cheung's singing voice carries into her performance..."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Cheung makes her character work, despite a weak plot and script, both by director Assayas."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"It helps -- immensely -- that Cheung is pitch-perfect. Her performance is heartbreaking."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A tough tale that gives a fresh perspective and brittle honesty to the experiences of a recovering drug addict."
‑ Demetrios Matheou, Film4
"While it may sound like the premise for a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling, Clean pulls off the difficult task of telling a deeply emotional story without slipping into excessive sentimentality."
‑ Ethan Alter, Show Business Weekly
"The viewer comes to identify with Jay, feeling jerked around and not really wanting to get to know Emily, a lost soul who isn't worth two hours of audience investment to find."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Maggie Cheung gives an astonishingly complex performance as a junkie rock star trying to clean up her act."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek,
"It's a joy to watch the characters in this grown-up drama interact, their exchanges laced with anger and doubt, sadness and regret."
‑ Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune
"It's a movie about bad choices and suffering the consequences and unfortunately, a lot of the suffering is done on the audience's side of the movie screen."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone,
"Cheung reveals a wealth of intense emotions, never once going for a predictable emotional chord."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"One of the most emotionally honest movies about drug addiction ever made. Well, maybe not addiction per se, but rather the attempt to disgorge oneself from heroin's grip."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for Clean on Rotten Tomatoes