Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief


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.



Total Count: 92


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,913
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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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Critic Reviews for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (5)

  • It's not a sense of outrage that viewers are left with. It's sadness.

    Sep 4, 2015 | Full Review…
  • In which the world's most dauntless documentary-maker takes on the world's most litigious religion (we'd call it a cult but we don't want to get sued).

    Jun 26, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Confirms all negative inklings you may have about this purportedly shady organisation.

    Jun 26, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Alas, Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is merely a competent and informative documentary, a snappy collation of everything you've already heard and read about L Ron Hubbard's dubious money-spinning, ahem, "religion".

    Jun 25, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Even if half of Gibney's film was to be considered tainted, the work of people who have scores to settle, it would be hard to dismiss. They can't all be liars.

    Jun 18, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Gibney ... has a gift for showing the workings of complex social systems, and he lays things out clearly and in a well-aced fashion ...

    May 8, 2015 | 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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