Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 28, 2011
    67
    Enhanced by stunning cinematography by the film's director Aaron Schock and a soundtrack by indie rockers Calexico, Circo does more than provide an exotic peek at a vanishing way of life.
  2. Reviewed by: Loren King
    Apr 21, 2011
    75
    Circo offers a fascinating mix of backstage drama and family dynamics.
  3. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Apr 3, 2011
    50
    The film engages sporadically but mostly fails to take advantage of its under-documented milieu.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 7, 2011
    90
    A marvel of a documentary, a clear-eyed and affectionate film that tells a remarkable story with both visual and personal sensitivity. More impressive still, it's largely the work of one man.
  5. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Apr 1, 2011
    75
    Circo is more like "The Smallest Show on Earth" than "The Greatest Show on Earth," the 1952 Oscar winner, but it does provide a look at a unique family and a disappearing way of life.
  6. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Apr 14, 2011
    75
    The most amazing act in the Gran Circo Mexico doesn't take place in the ring - it's the grind between performances.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 3, 2011
    88
    An artfully observant and unexpectedly moving documentary.
  8. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 31, 2011
    83
    Though Circo is pretty bleak, Schock doesn't skimp on the exotic wonder of a life on the road, surrounded by color and danger.
  9. 75
    Ever so subtly, Schock gradually transports us beyond the exotic and into gripping universal storytelling, aided all the way by the evocative music of Tucson songsmiths Calexico.
  10. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 28, 2011
    80
    A well-told tale, and though its compact running time makes it a fine TV fit, its visual poetry is worth a big-screen look.
  11. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Mar 31, 2011
    90
    Circo offers a touching chronicle of a dying culture harnessed to ambitions that remain very much alive.
  12. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Mar 29, 2011
    60
    Circo zeroes in on the interpersonal strife within this collapsing clan - an angle that only occasionally lifts the film above confessional exotica.
  13. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Mar 29, 2011
    80
    Circo is filled with beautiful images and haunting moments, especially in the third act, when the family unravels as the film culminates in a final triumphant, haunting image.

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