My Scientology Movie Screen 79 of 6 reviews

My Scientology Movie

2015

My Scientology Movie Poster
  • A movie like this is a reminder of just how far we have come... Even having enemies, threatening law suits and constant criticism can be twisted into evidence that they are doing things right, that the world is evil and they alone provide light. But one thing that cults cannot abide, cannot incorporate, cannot allow, is humor. "My Scientology Movie," which is very, very funny, could not have been made 10 years ago. And in that respect, for Scientology, the jig is up.

  • Theroux’s hour-long television documentaries generally take eight weeks to cut, and for this film he and director John Dower had around eight months. The extra time is evident in the deft way Dower and his editor Paul Carlin handle the film’s dense blend of reconstruction, archive and Theroux’s ongoing investigation as it begins to attract the heavy-handed and obstructive attention of the Church’s representatives. This is a complex film, but told in an inviting, deceptively breezy style.

  • While "My Scientology Movie" provides a very entertaining tour of some of the questions that swirl around Scientology, viewers who’ve followed the story through the years will find little that’s new or unexpected. A number of interesting issues are touched on not at all or only tangentially.

  • Absent the heft and thoroughness of Alex Gibney’s “Going Clear,” the hilarious precision of “South Park” or the deep-dive empathy of Leah Remini’s current television exposé, “My Scientology Movie” relies on a shaggy, meandering charm. At times it plays like an extended skit on “The Daily Show”; yet its disorder also makes its insights — like how strongly the church’s training sessions resemble acting classes — feel refreshingly organic.

  • [Theroux] and director John Dower’s approach may be a lot daffier than Gibney’s, complete with casting sessions for a fake Tom Cruise and an uninvited cameo from a bikini-clad starlet, but this riotously funny doc yields its own penetrating insights into the fiercely guarded administration of the church that Ron built.

  • The film pads out its running time by circumnavigating the expected refusal of Scientology's two most famous members, leader David Miscavige and actor Tom Cruise, to be interviewed by holding reenactments of their most notorious public speeches... The only element that significantly differentiates this documentary from its peers is Theroux himself, and the film regains lost ground when it lets him indulge his usual sense of good-natured cheekiness.