Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

2015

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Critics Consensus

Thoroughly disquieting but impossible to ignore, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a searing investigative work from a master documentarian.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 92

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,936

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Movie Info

Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, Going Clear profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology-whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities-shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, detailing their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. One of the most talked about films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary highlights the Church's origins, from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise in popularity in Hollywood and beyond. Going Clear is a provocative tale of ego, exploitation, and lust for power. (C) HBO

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News & Interviews for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Critic Reviews for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (5)

  • Going Clear offers gossipy elements... but its power is in the accumulated evidence of so many voices.

    April 5, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A compelling documentary which doesn't need to work too hard to out the sheer absurdity and 'Emperor's New Clothes' air that hangs over the whole Scientology movement.

    November 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The picture it manages to assemble packs such a punch that it gives new meaning to "going clear." Jaw-dropping, indeed.

    August 2, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Amongst a field of analysis which examines Scientology as a cabal of rich wackos gone wild on the taxpayer's dime, Going Clear thrives.

    March 27, 2017 | Rating: Recommended | Full Review…
  • It's a grand history lesson, and an impressively vigorous op-ed; but is it cinema? Reader, I do not wish to say that it is.

    July 10, 2016 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • Gibney boils it down with skill, his cutting, construction, graphics, and score smoothly and seductively encapsulating Scientology's appeal.

    May 30, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

  • Jan 10, 2016
    An appalling and terrifying documentary that exposes the horrific truth behind this abusive cult created by a ridiculously delusional man who discovered the most ingenious way to brainwash so many incredibly stupid people into becoming willing prisoners of his lucrative sham.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2015
    The definitive documentary on what is really going on within Scientology's closed doors. A fascinating eye opener.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2015
    If you thought scientology was creepy, just wait till you see this. I'm not ranking this higher because, despite being 2 hours long, there was potential to be even longer. There were plenty of other aspects of the church I'd like to know about, specifically the whole process of brainwashing. The documentary ended and I was still baffled at how many people go along with this shit. I couldn't believe it and needed to know more. By focusing a bit too much on the ex member, Going Clear suffers a bit by not going in depth on the research aspect of a documentary. Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from this crew and we might have something that complements it in the future. Thanks to a beautiful presentation, a great structure, relentless pacing and shocking revelations, Going Clear is essential viewing for us to learn how something so preposterous became so unbelievably powerful.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2015
    Scientology is a supposed religion, and a topic that is often mocked for its philosophy, demonized for its tactics, and written off for its immobility. What many people are unaware of is that this theoretical religion is actually much more powerful than you would be led to believe. Read more at http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/2015/4/8/going-clear
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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