Cleanflix - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cleanflix Reviews

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August 7, 2016
A fascinating documentary on a subject that I'm quite passionate about. The lines between safe censorship and altering an artist's vision is a thin one, and Cleanflix was a company that floundered on the side of altering an artist's vision, especially when that vision incurs realities of the world we live in. I'm a nondenominational Christian, and we're told in the Bible to be in the world, yet not of the world. Part of being in the world is be able to confront the horrors, alongside the beauty.
July 2, 2016
If you want to see the legal nexus of Hollywood versus Mormon culture, watch "Cleanflix."
September 5, 2014
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
March 11, 2014
Interesting portrait of the rubes, sleazeballs, and dilettantes who believe that their own personal morality trumps all artistic expression, and therefore instead of simply avoiding films containing material that they find offensive, actually edit the films to be 'family friendly'. If you have any stake in this debate at all, and any sense of artistic integrity (not to mention freedom of expression), you'll either loathe or seriously question the putzes who founded the titular company, and the many imitators who cashed in on the whole mess. Things take an ugly turn in the final act, but it's none too surprising that a group of men (and they're ALL men who run these companies) so obsessed with removing sex from the public discourse should actually turn out to be frothing sexual obsessives.

In any event, a well-done film on a controversial subject. Also, I'll NEVER live in Utah!
February 24, 2014
I don't believe movies should be edited. I don't believe edited movies should be sold to families that want to show, say, The Matrix to their kids. There's a thing called the ratings system - it's in place in order for families to make better choices as to what movies they should watch. Yes, the 1985 ruling on R-rated films by the Latter-Day Saints does bring people at a standstill - they desperately want to watch some of the best films ever made, but they want to keep themselves pure because that's what they know - but that ruling should not have been there.

This movie makes the argument that simply cutting out sex will only worsen the deviancy and make it explode. Take the case study of Daniel Thompson, the so-called "face" of Clean Flicks, a humble Utah-based edited video store where families can go watch edited versions of films that shouldn't be edited in the first place (e.g. Back to the Future, the Goonies, Saving Private Ryan) or hear about how that Pretty Woman and Brokeback Mountain don't have redeeming qualities since they explore the idea of "what if the sinners actually are human instead of sick, twisted people?" You see, Daniel thrived off of the edited video business - a little too much to the point where he became a bit of a deviant - but he always saw it as himself vs. the studios. When the original Clean Flicks guys left the business as a means to obey the law, Daniel used every loophole to stay open just to "provide" families with butchered films that lose their entire meaning.

But the thing is that the film makes you feel both sides. There are couples that want to see these films, but don't feel it necessary to watch the unfiltered film because it's happier that way. However, there are directors who are peeved at the idea that families want to watch Goodfellas and Traffic. Families watching already mature films about why being a gangster is bad and why doing drugs is bad. You know, that's out of your target audience. If a film's R-rated for a reason, it's R-rated for a reason. It's like editing End of Evangelion or Guernica because "there's too much violence" or "the characters are too unlikeable." THAT'S THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE PIECES OF ART IN QUESTION.

I still see that the mindset of "exploring a killer's sick mind is horrible and should be discouraged" is still prevalent in America.
February 16, 2014
Sort of a bad reality-TV documentary.
½ January 26, 2014
it was very interesting to see how there's a "market" for this sort of crap,I mean,it's just ironic how in order to "sanitized" a movie these people,have to go through a lot of "dirty" stuff to accomplish it.very unethical,hypocritical and irresponsable,the "edited movies business" show us how there's still people with no brains that will try to make a "better world" for the benifit of their own religion views...the most offensive thing in it for me is: CHOPPING OFF GOODFELLAS?? ARE YOU KIDDING?? THAT WOULD BE LIKE PUTTING ED HARDY'S SHIRTS ON BOTTICELLI'S PAINTINGS....IDIOTIC.
½ January 7, 2014
4/5 on netflix streaming. I love when in documentaries the film makers gets a new branch of a story they did not plan on.
November 30, 2013
On the surface it may just look like a documentary about the company, but below it is a more in depth look at the impact of religion on a community.
November 30, 2013
Interesting story, somewhat poorly done
½ November 10, 2013
Interesting documentary with a lot of chewy scenes and an interesting twist towards the end.
The whole idea of editing restricted films is wrong and I'm totally against it, but it makes for a
pretty watchable story.
½ September 30, 2013
Cleanflix is an entertaining documentary about the history of the edited film industry throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century. It is not necessary balanced, per se - it at times almost seems to treat its subjects with a slight sense of derision - though it is entertaining to see how people justify their viewing (and editing) habits according to their particular morality. It is interesting to see how the cultures of Hollywood, America, and in this case, the Mormon church, intersect, and if nothing else, Cleanflix is an entertaining discussion starter about the nature of censorship, authority, artistry, and film in modern American culture. If you have nothing else to do for an hour and a half and you want to watch a random documentary on Netflix (which is exactly how I watched it), take a look at Cleanflix.
½ September 11, 2013
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.
September 9, 2013
Sometimes life is an irony and the story of cleanflix it looks like a bad joke.
½ September 6, 2013
This is absolutely crazy. Mormans breaking the laws of copyright to "do the right thing" which boggles the mind & has a wonderfully ironic twist you just couldn't make up. The truth really is stranger than fiction.
September 3, 2013
Funny story w/ a surprise ending! Not an amazing doc or anything, but entertaining still.
½ August 28, 2013
I'm a bit biased here, as I am genuinely fascinated by most things related to Mormon culture, but I really enjoyed this dive into a truly interesting business.
½ July 19, 2013
Interesting documentary on video businesses in Utah that specialize in "sanitizing" blockbuster movies. The film describes operations of the businesses, their relationships with Hollywood, and the personalities of the business owners.
½ May 20, 2013
At first I couldn't be more against the idea of the cleanflix business model. Film censorship set off a red flag in my mind not only as a film lover but a liberal since its whole purpose is to edit out scenes from movies deemed "inappropriate" for the religious right. To me, not being able to handle graphic language, sexuality or nudity is an indication of a lack of intellectual maturity (though violence I can understand since that's actually difficult to watch for some). Taking out those scenes from a movie is not only juvenile but a travesty for any type of art. That being said I can't deny the fact that movies have shaped my life and given me countless hours of joy, sorrow, fear and wonder. To deny that to a whole sect of people because of their particular taste or morality would be greedy on my part. So go ahead Mormons, enjoy your vanilla movies and keep up that illusion of what life is really like without all those pesky moments of true pain and pleasure. The more people who get to watch and enjoy the movie experience, the better.
March 5, 2013
The movie ended up being more about a particular distributor of CleanFlix films than about CleanFlix itself. The movie was okay until the very end when the maker of this low-budg movie dubs in his opinion of why it's wrong to edit movies. That really weakened the piece and earned itself this two star rating.
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