The highly anticipated and critically acclaimed documentary GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF is a look inside the controversial religion from Academy Award®-winner Alex Gibney. The film profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, exploring the psychological impact of blind faith, how the church attracts new followers and keeps hold on its A-list celebrity devotees.
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
The highly anticipated and critically acclaimed documentary GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF is a look inside the controversial religion from Academy Award®-winner Alex Gibney. The film profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, exploring the psychological impact of blind faith, how the church attracts new followers and keeps hold on its A-list celebrity devotees. Following the 2013 Peabody Award-winning documentary ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’, his investigation into the Catholic Church, Gibney dives fully into one of the most controversial and secretive religions in the world in GOING CLEAR, exploring what members of Scientology are willing to do in the name of religion. The film touches on a wide range of aspects of the church from its origin, to an intimate portrait of the Church’s founder L. Ron Hubbard, to its recruiting practices, to present day practices by church officials.
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91 critic reviews
6,890 user reviews
Globe and Mail
9/4/2015 by John Doyle
It's not a sense of outrage that viewers are left with. It's sadness.
Globe and Mail
5/8/2015 by Liam Lacey
Gibney ... has a gift for showing the workings of complex social systems, and he lays things out clearly and in a well-aced fashion ...
5/7/2015 by Liz Braun
You couldn't call Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief entertaining, exactly, but it is absolutely riveting.
4/6/2015 by Christy Lemire
While he doesn't really uncover much that's new in "Going Clear," the way he's collected and assembled testimonials, documents and archival footage creates a cumulative effect that's chilling.
Wall Street Journal
4/3/2015 by Nancy DeWolf Smith
Whether you come away seeing Scientology as a cult that ensnares vulnerable people or as a faith of self-empowerment, the film leaves a terrible taste of too much information. This must be its point, but take heed just the same.
Los Angeles Times
4/2/2015 by Robert Lloyd
There is order and selection, of course - to say that this is storytelling is not to impugn its parts - but much of what he has to show you is remarkable in or out of this context.
San Francisco Chronicle
4/2/2015 by David Wiegand
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief... is at times jaw-dropping, scary, unnerving, even disturbingly funny.
3/30/2015 by Joanne Ostrow
There is little breaking news in Going Clear, but the film is eye-opening for those who haven't seen past reports.
3/30/2015 by Hank Stuever
Director Alex Gibney's hauntingly effective Going Clear... suggests only trouble ahead for the frequently criticized and always strange Church of Scientology.
3/30/2015 by Vicki Hyman
Even if you are familiar with the contours of the controversy over Scientology, Gibney's documentary... is worth watching, particularly for the personal stories of former members.
3/28/2015 by Verne Gay
Going Clear is a heat-seeking missile that doesn't take long to find the heat.
3/27/2015 by Sarah Rodman
By focusing on the powerful and damning stories of the church's most destructive practices, including the forced "disconnection" of members from family and friends, Gibney has made a forceful and memorable case.
3/17/2015 by Joshua Rothkopf
For a group with property assets in the billions, it's a major piece of the puzzle, revealing a critical failing: For a religion with so much to give, why do they do so little for so few?
3/13/2015 by Melissa Maerz
If Going Clear were a Hollywood thriller, I'd complain that it's too over-the-top. But this is real life, which is mind-blowing, and as a documentary, it's disturbingly good.
3/13/2015 by Brian Tallerico
Consider "Going Clear" an audit for the former leaders and most prominent members of the Church of Scientology, now willing to come forward and allege abuse, intimidation, and brainwashing.
New York Magazine/Vulture
3/13/2015 by Bilge Ebiri
The cult is right to be scared. Going Clear is spectacular stuff. Literally.
New York Daily News
3/12/2015 by Joe Neumaier
[A] searing, scalpel-sharp documentary ...
New York Times
3/12/2015 by Manohla Dargis
A lively and watchable documentary if not an especially enlightening one.
3/10/2015 by Alan Scherstuhl
A fleet and surefooted account of Scientology's origins, Hubbard's years at sea escaping U.S. taxes, and the misery and harassment faced by the church's apostates.
2/5/2015 by Leslie Felperin
This impeccably assembled and argued film represents a brave, timely intervention into debates around the organization that have been simmering for some time.
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