Code Name: The Cleaner Movie Poster Image

Code Name: The Cleaner



Amnesia action-comedy might hurt your brain, too.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Terrible behavior all around: lying, cheating, killing, and lots of lust. Women are largely objectified, and stereotypes are constantly played for humor.

Positive role models

Nothing here that you'd want your child emulating.


Jake first appears in a bed with a corpse (blood on pillow and body, blood on Jake's head); repeated "flashbacks" to action scenes show Jake in special forces unit (they carry and shoot guns, break windows, explode grenades, and engage in martial arts combat); Jake falls out a window onto a car; Gina frenzy-slaps Jake several times (treated as comedy); men shoot through the roof of Gina's car and she shoots back (both men presumably left dead); martial arts fights (kicks, hits, loud sound effects).


Sexual/comedy situations push edge of the PG-13 rating: Jake fondles the body in bed with him as he wakes, not seeing at first that it's a dead man; Jake's action-scene fantasy includes him slapping an old woman's butt by accident (she smiles and adjusts her skirt afterward); sexual dance by Diane in skimpy pink underwear (Jake refers to "little Jake" and calls Diane a "freak"); Jake is mistaken for online sexual partner by creepy guy (who notes the online user names "hotbuns69" and "sweaty and ready"); hiding in the car, Jake puts his face in Gina's lap and suggests he feels "someplace familiar" janitor raps about using a "plunger" creepy joke about Jake being "good at" sex; outtakes accompanying closing credits include more sex jokes, both verbal ("How long I been hittin' it?", "You making willy chilly") and visual (an especially egregious gag involves a man bending over and asking that a man with a gun "Put in my ass!").


Frequent uses (over 10 each) of "damn," "s--t" (some accompanied by "bull"), and "hell,"(repeatedly, "Hell, no!"); also "dumbass," "bitch," "shut up, you idiot," and references to "Dutch chocolate" and "Mandingo" (referring to Jake).


Repeated images of Lacoste shirt, Jaguar and Saab cars, Skittles, Jet magazine, Sweet 'n' Low, Best Buy; verbal references to Tater Tots, Spider-man, Lionel Richie, Ricola, Papa John's, Quiznos, Crazy Chicken.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Use of "truth-telling" injection makes Jake look drunk and prompts a joke about the drug causing cardiac arrest ("his heart will explode"); hateful joke about an Asian hotel attendant's pronunciation ("refill the minibar" becomes "reefer in the minibar"); reference to mai tais.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dreadful spy comedy pushes the PG-13 edge with regard to sexual imagery and humor. Main character Jake makes lots of crude jokes about his "prowess," and women constantly appear in various states of undress and/or otherwise show off their assets (Nicollette Sheridan essentially reprises her vavoomy Desperate Housewives role, but it's not funny here). The movie's action-comedy-style violence is broad and brutal (though mostly bloodless), including shooting, car crashes, grenades exploding, and martial arts fighting. Language is obnoxious, with slang and obscenities used througout, including repeated uses of "s--t," "damn," and "hell."

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In CODE NAME: THE CLEANER, Jake (Cedric the Entertainer) finds himself in a hotel room bed with a bloody corpse -- but with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Running from the room with a briefcase full of cash, Jake begins to piece together his past when he meets sultry Diane (Nicollette Sheridan), who claims to be his wife. When at last Jake overhears her plot to shoot him full of drugs, he takes off with the briefcase again. A meeting with a second woman suggests a second possible past. Sexy, feisty diner waitress Gina (Lucy Liu) reports that Jake is janitor. But thanks to some apparent flashbacks that place him in an elite military unit, shooting up "bad guys" and blowing up buildings, Jake ultimately believes a third option.

Is it any good?


Crude and mostly pathetic, Code Name: The Cleaner rips off almost every other action-comedy film of the past decade, especially those starring Martin Lawrence and Jackie Chan. From its weak premise to its boring action to its unpleasant jokes, director Les Mayfield's movie fulfills the worst expectations of January releases: It's awful.

The plot involves a super-important computer chip, video games, FBI agents, and a Dutch clogging demonstration, as well as an ambitious janitor (DeRay Davis) who raps about plungers and mops and a fierce CEO who also happens to be a lethal martial arts expert (Mark Decascos). No, these various elements don't ever come together to make sense. And yes, Jake does remember who he is. Not that you'd care.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's use of class and race stereotypes -- particularly the way it contrasts Jake's working-class background with the rich  characters' stuffiness.

  • Does embracing stereotypes for comic effect make them easier to swallow?

  • Why are jokes based on stereotypes more or less funny depending on who delivers them?

  • Families can also discuss the film's treatment of its female characters. How do the two main women embody the opposite versions of Jake's fantasy self?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 4, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:April 24, 2007
Cast:Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu, Nicollette Sheridan
Director:Les Mayfield
Studio:New Line
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content, crude humor and some violence.

This review of Code Name: The Cleaner was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

this is a good moive

that movie was the best movie out of all the movie i seen but there was toooooooooo much sex!!! kides whach that movie too
Teen, 14 years old Written bydirecterdude123 April 9, 2008

Way funnyer than it looks!

When I got this movie it looked TERRIBLE! But I am really glad I watched it! There is quite a lot adult material tord the start of the movie but after that its ok. This movie will be fine for 12+


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?