User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 186

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 16, 2010
    5
    The effects and the idea are brilliant but the plot is a bit of a borefest and the movie drags on and on and on. This is not a great ending to Heath Ledgers acting career but lets hope The Dark Knight is the one he is really remembered for. In a nutshell, dissapointing.
  2. jeffs
    Jan 6, 2010
    5
    It would be interesting to hear the director of this movie - Terry Gilliam - explain why he signed a petition "demanding" the release of convicted child rapist, bail jumper and fugitive Roman Polanski.
  3. Nov 19, 2011
    4
    This movie lacks focus and development, and all the characters in this film were all clueless of what was going on, and they couldn't think rationally most of the time. Watching this movie was like staring at a wall for 123 minutes, completely pointless and a total waste of time, nothing but a meaningless daydream that good old Terry Gilliam had.
  4. Jan 12, 2014
    4
    Quite stupid and boring, not fun at all. Idea probably is nice, but realisation ... Alien-looking girl was not impressive too. Last thing to say - RIP Heath Ledger ...
  5. susannahm
    Jan 10, 2010
    4
    The effects were definitely cool, but I wouldn't recommend seeing this movie. It was rather disappointing. The story just didn't hold together. The relationships weren't clear or interesting between the characters. It seemed as if the entire back story was just left out. Visually appealing, but the effects didn't serve to further the plot, which always frustrates me. The effects were definitely cool, but I wouldn't recommend seeing this movie. It was rather disappointing. The story just didn't hold together. The relationships weren't clear or interesting between the characters. It seemed as if the entire back story was just left out. Visually appealing, but the effects didn't serve to further the plot, which always frustrates me. And the overall message, while hinting at the occult, was downright depressing. Collapse
  6. zekeb
    Jan 3, 2010
    5
    Starts well, but by the end has managed to under-utilize the Devil & over-utilize the Russian mob. As visually compelling as the last Willy Wonka, but way less emotionally affecting than the average Doctor Who. As for Heath, etc? A goatee is not acting; not that any of this is the actor's fault. There just isnt a script, and there are no consistent rules in the world of the Starts well, but by the end has managed to under-utilize the Devil & over-utilize the Russian mob. As visually compelling as the last Willy Wonka, but way less emotionally affecting than the average Doctor Who. As for Heath, etc? A goatee is not acting; not that any of this is the actor's fault. There just isnt a script, and there are no consistent rules in the world of the Imaginarium. Too bad; the Brothers Grimm, while much hackier, was better. Expand
  7. HyperS
    Jan 13, 2010
    6
    Strange, but often more in a w.t.f. way rather than a mesmerizing way. Even the climax of five souls felt rushed, overly simplistic, and ultimately unsatisfying. Perhaps if I saw it again I'd find a treasure trove of clever societal based metaphors, but honestly... the movie isn't that entertaining to warrant it.
  8. WilliamC
    Jan 17, 2010
    6
    Terry Gilliam, The mind behind the erratic and genius Fear and Loathing Las Vegas and Brazil, had his creative work cut out for him, when one of his stars and backbones passes away suddenly and quietly right in the middle of shooting of his latest film, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Though with the passing of Heath Ledger, it gave Gilliam a chance to explore a different approach to Terry Gilliam, The mind behind the erratic and genius Fear and Loathing Las Vegas and Brazil, had his creative work cut out for him, when one of his stars and backbones passes away suddenly and quietly right in the middle of shooting of his latest film, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Though with the passing of Heath Ledger, it gave Gilliam a chance to explore a different approach to explain the fanciful story that he had created, built entirely around a man and a bet. Like most of Gilliam Expand
  9. Aug 13, 2010
    5
    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will always be remember for being Heath Ledger's last film, because of his timely death three different actor finish it for him and you can tell in the film the craft and dedication to finish it. Even only it had a better understanding of the plot. The movie begins of an old man named Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Lee) who has a daughter and a midget as aThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus will always be remember for being Heath Ledger's last film, because of his timely death three different actor finish it for him and you can tell in the film the craft and dedication to finish it. Even only it had a better understanding of the plot. The movie begins of an old man named Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Lee) who has a daughter and a midget as a best friend and a street performer. They have an act where they go in the streets and make people pay to go through a mirror where it shows their true self's. We quickly learn through Parnassus that he made a deal with the devil to gain immortality but any first born child to turn 16 was to be offered to him. The girl, Valentina is about to be 16 in a couple of days. Parnassus is trying his best to see if he can stop the devil played by Tom Waits. One day while driving they find a man trying to hang him self which is played by Heath Ledger. They rescue him and he happens to lose his memory. Parnassus thinks it's a trick from the Devil, maybe to do another deal to save his daughter. They use him as a performer in their act. If I keep going with the plot, this review will last forever. The plot is so damn unfocused that I wanted to scream out loud. The movie has so many ideas packed into one. There's a love story involved with Valentina and one of the street performers named Anton. Then there's Heath Ledger's character that has his own back story and when that comes into the light it's even more confusion. The narrative left me frustrated and confuse, I couldn't get into it. The movie is very well acted and I have no complaints about that. Every single actor is being true to their character and they do it very well. I liked how Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp were there to fill in the shoes of Ledger. The special effects were very good and convincing but like I said before if only the narrative was more properly structured. The movie is worth to watch because of Ledger he was captivating. Expand
  10. Sep 28, 2010
    6
    Following the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger, the gifted actor gained prominent recognition as he received an Academy Award for his performance in The Dark Knight. Although Ledger acquired much-deserved fame, it astonishes me that his final movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus gained little attention derived from North American audiences. With its lack of consideration, theFollowing the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger, the gifted actor gained prominent recognition as he received an Academy Award for his performance in The Dark Knight. Although Ledger acquired much-deserved fame, it astonishes me that his final movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus gained little attention derived from North American audiences. With its lack of consideration, the American audiences missed out on a film that adequately gives Ledger a final farewell.

    Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is fantasy film about a traveling theater troupe's attempt to win a bet wagered against the Devil. To do so, they must acquire its audience members to enter a mirror where they will decide between the pleasures of the world or the marvels of their imagination. To set it straight, Terry Gilliam's crafted premise is simply imaginative. The idea of exploring an individual's imagination is well-detailed and has the potential to make Charles Kaufman and Tim Burton go back to the drawing boards. To craft this world, the film employs CGI; While the CGI is at times hackneyed, it was sufficient enough to complement the premise. The design and idea of the film as a whole is inventively original, and is the film's strongest point.

    While the film may seem fascinating, the main appeal it possesses is its title of being Heath Ledger's last performance. Fans of the actor will be satisfied with this performance as he portrays his character cunningly and with realism. Although it may not be on par with his performance as the Joker, he does display the talent of a matured actor. Due to his death before the film was completed, cameo performances by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrell are employed within the film. Gilliam does a sufficient job in justifying the alteration in the character as fans of any of the actors will be pleasantly surprised.

    Although Parnassus succeeds with its splendor and acting, it is not without its flaws. There are some minor problems present within the plot that can be overlooked. The film's introduction of the trope is a tad extensive, as the main character is not presented until half an hour into the film. Additionally, as stated above, the CGI is not top-notch but is sufficient enough to capture thought. Lastly, the major flaw that I found was many of the parts of the film felt empty. The best characteristic of the film is its magic, but sadly it is only really prominent in the final hour of the film, when entering the mirror was a common instance. The first hour dwelt on plot development between the Devil and Parnassus; It is an important part of the film, but it did not have the necessity of an extended focus. The first half of the film is above average and is where I felt the most bareness. Even with this fact, it is not enough to bring down the film as a whole.

    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is an imaginative film that should be highly considered for a rental. The audience will find itself in a plethora of interest, as the the world crafted by Gilliam is highly appealing. Although it has some flaws, it is a honorable goodbye to a highly underrated actor.
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  11. Dec 2, 2010
    6
    Though this is Heath Ledger's last movie officially, It was confusing to the point of wondering if i should watch it again for it to make more sense. The movie was hard to keep up with but I do not know if thats what the point was or not. It makes you think when you look at it and thats good for a movie to do.
  12. Jan 16, 2011
    6
    Wow!... I had to watch it three times to got the idea from thiz movie (substantively, It is very very rare there was movie that I could not understand straightaway). If you have not seen it and would like to watch it, my suggestion is you better read the synopsis first. Thiz is ultimate Gilliam movie! Terry Gilliam, we knew him as a visionary and also peculiar Director at the same time.Wow!... I had to watch it three times to got the idea from thiz movie (substantively, It is very very rare there was movie that I could not understand straightaway). If you have not seen it and would like to watch it, my suggestion is you better read the synopsis first. Thiz is ultimate Gilliam movie! Terry Gilliam, we knew him as a visionary and also peculiar Director at the same time. His previous movies including the sensational TWELVE MONKEYS (1995) and FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998). Even on thiz time, Gilliam arranged all scenes on awkward perspectives. He did not seem to care if the audience will understood or not, he just kept put all his scenes and told it boldly without proper explanations, moreover some of the dialogues were extremely poetic. A long time ago, Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) who was the man behind the travelling show, bargained with Mr. Nick (Tom Waits) for his immortality with youth to married the girl he liked. On the exchange, he must giveaway his daughter, Valentina (Lily Cole) on the age of sixteen. Now the time is near, how he saves back her soul from the devil. Lily Cole performance was surprisingly adorable and represented all the emotions very well. The most interesting part was thiz movie starred by the late Heath Ledger. By the time of his tragic death, thiz movie was not finished yet. So Gilliam creatively replaced Ledger character with three other actors all at once (Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrel). In the end actually, I like thiz movie, bcoz Gilliam is brave enough to keep his unique characteristic and makes all directions are unpredictable. But I also had a doubt about his survival on the coming years. How talented Director like him did not break the box office yet? Or maybe he is not interested to do it so. Like Ledger character said, The Imaginarium does not cost a thing, weare not here for the money?!

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  13. Aug 30, 2012
    6
    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a visually stunning film even by Terry Gilliam's incredibly high standards, and is packed full of oddball energy and interesting ideas about dreams, imagination and reality. Christopher Plummer and Lily Cole impress, as does Tom Waits' mischievous villain, but Heath Ledger under-performs in his final screen appearance, and his "apples and pears"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a visually stunning film even by Terry Gilliam's incredibly high standards, and is packed full of oddball energy and interesting ideas about dreams, imagination and reality. Christopher Plummer and Lily Cole impress, as does Tom Waits' mischievous villain, but Heath Ledger under-performs in his final screen appearance, and his "apples and pears" accent is nearly as bad as Dick Van Dyke's in Mary Poppins (though not quite as awful as Don Cheadle's in the Ocean's films). The film hinges on a number of fantastical trips into the titular imaginarium, and these largely work, with Ledger's character Tony played by a different actor for each sequence (a clever last-minute story change to accommodate Ledger's tragic and untimely death). The best imaginarium sequence is the one with Jude Law as Tony because of its sheer surrealism and Law's utterly batty performance. The film never even comes close to coming together as a whole however, and occasionally the convoluted plot becomes incomprehensible. Somehow Gilliam's zaniness keeps the film watchable throughout, and while you may not always know what exactly is going on, you'll feel like you've been on the ride of your life. Parnassus will certainly bemuse some viewers, frustrate others and amaze yet more (divisiveness is what Gilliam does best), and I'm really not sure which of those camps I belong in, as I feel confused, annoyed and mesmerised at various points, often changing my opinion of the film from scene to scene. It's more an oddity, a strangely captivating collage of elements rather than a complete package, but The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is an undeniably unique and memorable viewing experience. Expand
  14. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    First thing I noticed about this movie was the wonderful cast: Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law... it didn't really matter what the movie itself was about, but the idea seemed interesting as well.

    I didn't dare hope too much of the movie itself, and that was why I was positively surprised. While the plot was very mysterious and strange in many ways, it had plenty of
    First thing I noticed about this movie was the wonderful cast: Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law... it didn't really matter what the movie itself was about, but the idea seemed interesting as well.

    I didn't dare hope too much of the movie itself, and that was why I was positively surprised. While the plot was very mysterious and strange in many ways, it had plenty of good qualities in it.

    Tom Waits was brilliant as Devil; clever and devious, smoking and dressed up... I don't have words to describe him properly. Just pure brilliance. He was the only character who really made complete sense to me.

    I don't think it was fully explained what the Imaginarium was all about, but I think it qualified as both heaven and hell, depending on one's decisions. It was a bizarre world of insane possibilities, but following some sort of guideline every time.

    Tony, who was played by Heath Ledger, but who never wore his own face while in the Imaginarium, was a bit of a shady character. Depp, Law and Farrell brought him to life inside the Imaginarium, each with a new side to show.

    The end of the movie was a bit too bizarre for me. I didn't get it. Maybe I will, eventually, because it was all about a gamble, losing and winning, trying to win back what you lost, facing your past and trying to decide what kind of future you would have... And then, it didn't make much sense in a way.

    But nonetheless, this movie was full of intrigue, and I think I'll be watching it again one day, because there were many good moments in between the strangeness.
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  15. Dec 6, 2012
    5
    This is a movie for people initiated into mystery schools like the Freemasons, it's the story of the history of the Freemasons and the struggle between God and Satan for people's souls. It is centered around the occult meaning of the "Hanging Man" tarot card, one of the most least understood cards in the Tarot Deck. The scene with all of the pictures of all of the famous people who haveThis is a movie for people initiated into mystery schools like the Freemasons, it's the story of the history of the Freemasons and the struggle between God and Satan for people's souls. It is centered around the occult meaning of the "Hanging Man" tarot card, one of the most least understood cards in the Tarot Deck. The scene with all of the pictures of all of the famous people who have died on the boats floating down the river tell you about all the famous people the Illuminati/Freemasons have killed. That's about all I could figure out, I'm not a Freemason or initiate into a mystery school so it's mostly over my head too. See it if you want but find it for free. Don't give these elitist jerks that make movies like this to pay homage to the Illuminati your money.

    If you want a more in-depth analysis of the occult symbols in this movie Google "vigilantcitizen.com imaginarium of doctor parnassus"
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  16. Jul 5, 2015
    6
    Absurd plot threads, beautiful costumes, crazy sets, and janky special effects - for better or worse, "The imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus" is a Terry Gilliam movie, through and through.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    80
    There are thrilling flashes of Gilliam getting back to top form here. A scrappy movie with more ideas than it can control, but one born out of a passion and determination that are wholly infectious.
  2. The film is neither intelligent enough nor silly or grotesque enough to become a lasting favorite.
  3. 50
    He can follow any train of thought, so he does, and it’s no surprise when the trains run out of steam.