BBC journalist Louis Theroux joins forces with director John Dower to explore the elusive Church of Scientology. With the help of a former high-ranking Scientologist, Theroux sets out to understand the furtive goings-on of the Church, armed with his irreverent humor and biting irony.
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Not entirely sure I understand the purpose of some of the tactics used in this, but I do think this is Louis himself at his best and most courageous. As far as a being a informative documentary about Scientology, it fails, but as a documentary about the mental assault and brainwashing of a cult, it succeeds. If nothing else, this is a scary film about the consequences of making a documentary about Scientology.
While it was shocking and cringe inducing, I didn't learn anything new from this, and it seemed more of a mockery of the church than anything- which is fine by me of course. I just thought it was a bit of a pointless documentary. Louis is always so great though, love him.
Unlike Theroux's previous works, this documentary is a unfocused mess. Between awkward car rides with scientology detractors and purposeless reenactments of past events, we learn nothing new about this cult.
Theroux fails to say much new or interesting about the CoS due to a too narrow focus. The over-reliance on his few defector subjects and manufactured drama distracts from a larger picture that deserves more focus. Disappointing from one of our greatest documentary filmmakers.
Fun and diverting to a point, but completely unfocused. We don't really learn anything about the belief system of this cult as the film plays on the intimidation suffered by the members who have left, which I am sure Theroux has covered before....
I did not know anything about scientilogy so I found this documentary informative. I liked Louis Theroux's approach, always positive and nice but at the same time persistent and incisive. Not sure about the re-enactment of some past scientilogy events but now I know the stress test machines used by the scientologists are actually lie detectors.
Louis Theroux uses his own mental games here, and it ends up feeling like a very long, very lame Daily Show sketch. Devoid of direction, he goes from acting like Werner Herzog to acting like a skirmish rabbit at whim. Ultimately, all potential is wasted. 'Going Clear' looks like 'Citizen Kane' in comparison.