Cleanflix (2009)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The true story of a handful of Mormon movie buffs and their efforts to clean up Hollywood hits (and make money doing it) are chronicled in this documentary from filmmakers Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi. In Utah, a state where a significant number of residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, a number of video store owners found it difficult to find popular films that their customers would find suitable for family viewing. One shop stepped forward with the notion … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
In Theaters:
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Critic Reviews for Cleanflix

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Even those who agree with its conclusions might wonder what's been edited out.

Full Review… | August 27, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

To some extent, the filmmakers fighting the clean-up business are contending that their work grapples with the ugly, messy, sexy world that some Mormons would rather not confront, and that the PG versions actually do their viewers a disservice.

Full Review… | January 6, 2010
AV Club
Top Critic

Pic is undeniably amusing when focused on extreme measures by self-appointed censors, but there's only a token effort made to seriously examine central questions.

Full Review… | September 29, 2009
Top Critic

Even as customers express their enthusiasm for sanitized movies, Cleanflix turns its attention to those making money off this "righteous" business.

Full Review… | May 12, 2010

A severe left turn into delicious irony derails the story, but doesn't dilute the fact that Cleanflix is a sharply produced, surprisingly even-handed story of editorial demand mutating into a Wild West mentality.

Full Review… | April 8, 2010

Raises more questions than it's prepared to answer, but still works as a spotlight shined on a weird part of the movie world.

Full Review… | October 7, 2009

Audience Reviews for Cleanflix

I knew nothing about this before watching this documentary. As an appreciator of cinema & a former Mormon this was incredibly entertaining to me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


This is a crazy story with a sad ending. It's the story of people who truly thought they were doing the right thing, and a legal thing, but who (ironically) were ultimately brought down at the hands of the film industry that was supplying their product.

Despite the title, most of the movie is not about the Cleanflix corporate entity, but about one man, Daniel Thompson, who was involved in the edited movies movement, both under the Cleanflix umbrella and out from under it, for a number of years. Daniel was a very vocal advocate for the movement, and he truly went down with the ship - I'll leave it to the viewer to watch the film and find out how.

Was what the movie editors doing legal? I'm not sure that was ever adequately determined, but as Daniel continues to press his luck in more and more creative ways through the course of the film, it stops being about what is legal and starts seeming to be more and more about what is morally right. The interesting dichotomy comes to the forefront in interviews with some of the edited movies customers. Why would a guy who says he is opposed to graphic violence even be interested in movies like "Goodfellas" and the Godfather series? And, if there is a moral problem with watching a movie made by a corrupt film industry which refuses to issue cleaned-up versions of its product, how is it okay to pay money for their product even if it has been sanitized after the fact? The edited movie industry always operated under the premise that one copy was purchased from Hollywood for every copy sold. Buying a cleanflix copy of a movie still (in theory) sent money to the film studio that put the sex, profanity, and violence in the movie in the first place.

I was aware of the edited movie phenomenon while it was going on; I never purchased an edited movie, but for a while I was a ClearPlay customer, and I did enjoy being able to watch certain movies with my kids present that I would not have watched otherwise. It was interesting to finally be able to get some of the back story of Cleanflix and their copycats and hangers-on, and see some of the connections I was not aware of, such as the genesis of the idea being based on teachings of the Mormon church. I wouldn't call this a spectacular film, and I came out of it wondering about certain elements of the chronology (how did Daniel's incident with the teenage girls occur inside his store after his store was already closed down permanently?), but it's certainly an interesting story. If you have any interest in the movement Cleanflix was part of, definitely take a look.

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