Clean and Sober (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Clean and Sober (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The directorial debut of Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the television series Moonlighting (1985-89), this intense, gritty drama was received as one of the best-ever cinematic treatments of substance abuse. Michael Keaton stars as Daryl Poynter, a hustling, successful Philadelphia real estate agent who has become addicted to cocaine. He's already got problems, including nearly a $100,000 embezzled from his employer and lost on the stock market, when he wakes up one morning with a young woman dead in his bed from a coke overdose. His company is asking questions about the missing funds, and the dead girl's father is plastering his neighborhood with posters accusing Daryl of being a murderer, so he decides to hide out in an anonymous drug treatment program. There, however, Daryl runs into tough-minded counselor and former addict Craig (Morgan Freeman), who has heard all of Daryl's lies and tricks before. Daryl also finds romance with an abused fellow addict, Charlie Standers (Kathy Baker), and understanding with his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor (M. Emmet Walsh).

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Michael Keaton
as Daryl Poynter
Kathy Baker
as Charlie
Tate Donovan
as Donald Towle
Ben Piazza
as Kramer
Terri Hanauer
as Admissons Counselor
Veronica Redd
as Head Nurse in Detox
Nick Savage
as Gary `Ike Turner'
Sandra Foster
as Xavier's Girlfriend
Anne Kerry Ford
as Debbie Laux
Michael Francis Clarke
as Board Executive
Doug MacHugh
as Board Executive
Claudia Robinson
as Cleaning Woman
Rachel Ryan
as Karen Peluso
Al Pugliese
as Detective
Harley Jane Kozak
as Ralston Receptionist
Stephanie Menuez
as Ticket Agent
Michael Leopard
as Steel-Mill Foreman
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Critic Reviews for Clean and Sober

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

One of the strengths Michael Keaton brings to Clean and Sober is his wild, tumultuous energy, which makes his character seem less like a victim than like an accident causing itself to happen.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Not the least extraordinary thing about Clean and Sober is that it stars popular frenetic comedian Michael Keaton, and it's not only by far the best performance of his career, but will surely be on voters' minds when Oscar time next rolls around.

January 4, 2018 | Full Review…

An intense drama about substance abuse that turns out all too predictable, but is nevertheless powerful.

April 17, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

The film journey into the heart of darkness is tourist class all the way.

August 27, 2004 | Rating: 1/5

It would take at least 6 stiff drinks to make this film entertaining.

November 13, 2002 | Rating: 1/5

Keaton's performance (just barely) lifts the movie from its formula stupor.

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Clean and Sober

At first I thought this movie was going to be another boring drama. I was wrong. This was a good movie. You can't say that Keaton doesn't have range after seeing it. He really has an interesting character here, and you get to know and like him. There are some funny bits, and some twists to the story too.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

I think i have mentioned this in another review at some point that I love when comedic actors change it up for a movie or two and show off their serious side and totally blow me away with their performances. this is one of those times with the very much under rated talent of Michael Keaton. Keaton this time playing a recovering Alcoholic and his fight against the disease. Worth a look!

Lee Kyle
Lee Kyle

Super Reviewer

Great acting couldn't make me enjoy any more than I did.

Joseph Eastmond
Joseph Eastmond

Super Reviewer

Clean and Sober Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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