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Cleanflix

  NR HD Closed Captioning

Andrew James & Joshua Ligairi

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Plot Summary

CLEANFLIX raises provocative questions about artistic vision, consumer rights, film ownership, and self-censorship as it follows the sanitized movie industry from inception to collapse—an industry born from the collision of Kate Winslet’s bare breasts in Titanic and the Mormon film goers who didn’t want to see them. Because Mormons are counseled by their religion’s leaders to avoid R-rated films, dozens of businesses in Utah were able to create a niche in the DVD market by stripping Hollywood films of sex, violence, and profanity and then selling and renting “clean” versions of these films at retail stores not only in Utah, but throughout North America. When news of film sanitizing reached the likes of Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Redford, and Martin Scorsese, they and other members of the Director’s Guild of America responded with outrage over what they saw as the desecration of their art and a violation of held copyright. In 2006, a US District Court judge ruled in accordance with the DGA’s arguments, ordering the retailers of cleaned-up films to close their doors. However, dozens of sanitized-movie retailers defied the judgment and remained open well into 2007 and beyond, supported by their largely Mormon customer base, who saw the Hollywood filmmakers behind the suit as self-important and morally bankrupt. During the time these stores were operating illegally, James and Ligairi had unprecedented access to dozens of renegade stores and their Mormon owners, including the infamous Daniel Thompson. CLEANFLIX follows this publicly open but privately conflicted man through the legal and moral battles he would face, while offering a revealing look behind the scenes of the sanitized movie industry and the Mormon culture that created it.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

67%
  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 4
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 6.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: 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. – Joe Leydon, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: 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. – AV Club, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Must see

I've been waiting to see this movie for years and it lived up to the hype, but it also totally subverted my expectations. Not at all what I thought it was going to be. So many twists and turns. Even better than I could have imagined given the subject matter. In my opinion, this is one of the best pop culture docs of the last decade, with a true crime twist.

Fascinating Topic!

Love the film! I love the concept of cleaning up movies too. This topic is fascinating and hilarious. Definitely worth watching. I've got to get my hands on the Cleanflix version of Reservoir Dogs!

Excellent!

Informative and compelling. Quite the journey.