Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: December 25, 2009
7.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 196 Ratings
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Positive:
125
Mixed:
55
Negative:
16
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10
Isaac_adhdAug 3, 2012
This is one of my all time favorite movies because of it´s atmosphere that´s seems to be borrowed from a different universe. The film is so absurd, hilarious, astonishing, disgusting and all over chaotic it´s just BESTThis is one of my all time favorite movies because of it´s atmosphere that´s seems to be borrowed from a different universe. The film is so absurd, hilarious, astonishing, disgusting and all over chaotic it´s just BEST FANTASY MOVIE OF ALL TIME Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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3
smijatovAug 28, 2010
I had high expectations of this film, but I ultimately ended up disappointed. Why? Well, the film is definitely attention-grabbing and the entire length of the film you feel captivated and mesmerised, which is the only positive thing in theI had high expectations of this film, but I ultimately ended up disappointed. Why? Well, the film is definitely attention-grabbing and the entire length of the film you feel captivated and mesmerised, which is the only positive thing in the film. The story is completely confusing and has really no point to it. After watching the film you feel as if you've wasted 2 hours of your life on something that had no point to it. Therefore, it's just a film that had no reason to be made in the first place, which is sad. Visual effects were atrociously bad, which I do understand is intentional, but it's still fugly.

The acting was pretty decent, but it still cannot make up for the lack of 'personality' of the film. Basically, you will not miss out on anything if you don't watch the film, but if you do you will just be annoyed that it's the way it is. Could have been much much better - especially if it would have had a point to it. Oh well, one can only wish and hope...
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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5
PaxsterOct 16, 2010
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.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. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
zombiehampsterNov 5, 2010
If there is something to be said about Terry Gilliam, it's that he doesn't give a damn about trying to please his audience, and I love that about him. Depending on who you speak with, a director can be someone who must make a film thatIf there is something to be said about Terry Gilliam, it's that he doesn't give a damn about trying to please his audience, and I love that about him. Depending on who you speak with, a director can be someone who must make a film that people would want to see or tell a story that they want to make. The former seems to be the most commonly accepted way of film making as large sums of money are at stake and it would be very risky to do so. Terry Gilliam's approach is one that I love and feel is a breath of fresh air in that he tells some very interesting stories. He has a way of capturing that sense of discovery and wonder that you (hopefully) got when you were a kid discovering something new. This movie to me is one of his ultimate expressions of this. The movie, in a nutshell, is about the immortal Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and his duels of faith (not religious, but in the virtues of humanity) with the devil (played by an awesome Tom Waits). It involves many flashbacks from when Parnassus was young and details how he become who he is, all the while showing the daily trials and tribulations he and his traveling carnival face as they travel about London. The story is very complex and does require attention to be paid to what is being said, and their morality cannot be judged based on the characters actions as easily as some films. Things are pretty much not what they may seem at all times, and things twist and warp as the story develops further, leaving you sometimes confused. The writing is amazing, with many well written and delivered lines by the cast. They all deliver equally good performances and though I have a hard time finding a favorite, I would have to say Verne Troyer as Anton (who is someone to be watched in the future) and Tom Waits as the Devil where some of my favorites. Heath Ledger gives an excellent performance and as much as I liked him in the Dark Knight, I feel that his performance in Imaginarium is a bit more subtle, but still very interesting. That being said, The Imaginarium is definitely a favorite of mine, but I may be biased as I like Terry Gilliam's style as a director, as well as his choice of actors/actresses. He pours a lot of heart into his movies and as self indulgent as some people say his movies are, I would rather watch his movies more than any other director. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
jeffsJan 6, 2010
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
JudddyApr 22, 2011
It seems rediculously unfinished, with an outrageous plot and quirky visuals which do look appealing, but ultimately confuse you. This is one of Terry Gilliam's worst films, and even the usually terrific Heath Ledger (tragically in his lastIt seems rediculously unfinished, with an outrageous plot and quirky visuals which do look appealing, but ultimately confuse you. This is one of Terry Gilliam's worst films, and even the usually terrific Heath Ledger (tragically in his last performance) is a disappointment. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
SnafuFrankNov 19, 2011
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,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. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
ViolettJan 12, 2014
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 ...
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
susannahmJan 10, 2010
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
zekebJan 3, 2010
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DavidSJan 8, 2010
A wonderful film of poignant morality. A perfect send off for Heath Ledger.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
AnnieS.Feb 3, 2010
This movie is underrated by this site, as if Terry Gilliam's films normally make more sense. As if life normally makes more sense. Personally I prefer movies that are unique and flawed over perfect boring movies any day. Can't wait This movie is underrated by this site, as if Terry Gilliam's films normally make more sense. As if life normally makes more sense. Personally I prefer movies that are unique and flawed over perfect boring movies any day. Can't wait to see it again. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
SteveGJan 1, 2010
A thought provoking and interesting film. Its not Brazil or Time Bandits (Gilliam's best), it is not for kids, but it is a visually and conceptually fascinating film. The plot device introduced to allow for Ledger's character to be A thought provoking and interesting film. Its not Brazil or Time Bandits (Gilliam's best), it is not for kids, but it is a visually and conceptually fascinating film. The plot device introduced to allow for Ledger's character to be played by Depp et. al. is very clever and it works. I truly enjoyed the film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
NerijusDJan 14, 2010
Ugly and repulsive film.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BillyS.Jan 27, 2010
The fact that Terry Gilliam even finished this film merits a 10 alone. No Don Quiote this time. Gilliam instead melds Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell into the role Heath Ledger left unfinished perfectly, completing a totally The fact that Terry Gilliam even finished this film merits a 10 alone. No Don Quiote this time. Gilliam instead melds Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell into the role Heath Ledger left unfinished perfectly, completing a totally entertaining film filled with magical and fantastical images with a story as close to Monty Python as he's ever done. A beautiful film and worthy tribute to Heath Ledger. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ByronGJan 17, 2010
Very imaginative, creative, and fun! Good casting - Almost seamless substitution of Johnn Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law after Heath Ledger's death mid shooting.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
HyperSJan 13, 2010
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
WilliamCJan 17, 2010
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
CharlotteM.Jan 23, 2010
I was chagrined to find that through a mix-up in times, I arrived at the movie theater a half hour late. It took a a bit of time to sort out the characters and plot, but this was eventually accomplished. Still, as the movie continued to I was chagrined to find that through a mix-up in times, I arrived at the movie theater a half hour late. It took a a bit of time to sort out the characters and plot, but this was eventually accomplished. Still, as the movie continued to develop, I became increasingly grateful that I had arrived late. The premise was excellent, the execution was poor. The movie was was similar to having a bad dream - confusing, fragmented, incoherent and worst of all - boring. This is the only movie I've ever given a 0. Save your money and give it a miss. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BartJDec 25, 2009
Visually very appealing, a joy to watch with brilliant production design and cinematography. Wonderful to see the great Christopher Plummer back on the big screen, with a superb supporting cast. An excellant fantasy night at the cinema, I Visually very appealing, a joy to watch with brilliant production design and cinematography. Wonderful to see the great Christopher Plummer back on the big screen, with a superb supporting cast. An excellant fantasy night at the cinema, I found myself very drawn in. One forgets that the appearances by Depp, Farrel, and Law are because of the loss of Heath Ledger... it all seems to be a natural transition within the story. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JesseJDec 27, 2009
Great movie, not the best, sometimes you will feel a bit over whelmed by the fact that the movie can get over complicated, sometimes you will even find parts stupid because you don't understand a single thing. All around you will find a Great movie, not the best, sometimes you will feel a bit over whelmed by the fact that the movie can get over complicated, sometimes you will even find parts stupid because you don't understand a single thing. All around you will find a movie that can be funny here and there, has a great love story (but it is not the main part of the movie so it won't get in the way and people that love romance movies will love this as well, so its pretty much hitting 2 birds with 1 rock. I reccomend you watch this if you like movies that are more than just people killing each other. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
TimRDec 28, 2009
Worth a look, but not complete satisfying: the narrative doesn't feel complete, but some of the scenes are fantastical and interesting enough to stand in the own right. Gilliam's eye for visuals hasn't weakened.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
VanPDec 31, 2009
Good Movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
CarolineCDec 30, 2009
This was an appalling film and felt much more like Gilliam's constipated sparkly turd. An awful mess. I understand that Gilliam and his friends like to buck the trend in traditional movie making but this went nowhere fast. It felt like This was an appalling film and felt much more like Gilliam's constipated sparkly turd. An awful mess. I understand that Gilliam and his friends like to buck the trend in traditional movie making but this went nowhere fast. It felt like a drunken stupor with copious amounts of creative vomit -- just get it out there and maybe the audience won't notice it's my puke! Also, those who "don't get it or were bored (like myself) just don't understand Gilliam's genius." Bullshit! Gilliam can be genius but Parnassus was not. Watch his other films, you'll have a lot more enjoyable time with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
thelordoffilmAug 13, 2010
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 onlyThe 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
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10
s3ver14nFeb 27, 2012
Terry Gilliam always delivers the film that he wants to make rather than something that is instantly appealing or even commercially viable. For each Time Bandits or Brazil there is a Brothers Grimm, but even his least successful productionsTerry Gilliam always delivers the film that he wants to make rather than something that is instantly appealing or even commercially viable. For each Time Bandits or Brazil there is a Brothers Grimm, but even his least successful productions are superior to the continuous stream of turgid super hero tie-ins and remakes that have filled cinemas in recent years. Parnassus has an excellent cast who act their socks off. It's hard to single any one of them out, although it is a pleasure to see Christopher Plummer centre stage, and the combination of the "Tony" actors (Ledger, Depp, Farrell, and Law) shine through. The plot is arguably a little simple, but with the way it weaves between imaginary worlds and fascinating characters this is probably for the best. And what richly painted worlds and characters they are, with the irony that the most fascinating element is the Imaginarium itself - a Victorian era anachronism touring the back streets of modern London. The special effects are truly special due to the level of art that has gone into them rather than just the capabilities of a team of programmers. Modern SFX have become such a continuous drive of "bigger and better with more pixels" that many directors have lost sight of the fact that they are meant to be "special". Look, a bigger explosion, with more colours! Or a bigger robot, a bigger spaceship, a bigger, more impossible car chase.It has reached a point where SFX have reached saturation - completely ridiculous things are now mundane. Parnassus SFX focus on the detail, the minutiae, the art. And much of it is big, but that's not what makes it clever. What makes if clever is the fact that Gilliam decided that a "magic" mirror just needed a piece of plastic with a hole cut in it. Sometimes it's knowing when not to..... Expand
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6
RyanGeeSep 28, 2010
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 hisFollowing 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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6
Ruler101Dec 2, 2010
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. ItThough 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. Expand
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10
NickkkMar 14, 2012
What you expect from the trailer is exactly what you get: a visually appealing, old-fashioned and stylish film about a magic world that can be accessed through a mirror. While the first half of the film takes you through the discovering ofWhat you expect from the trailer is exactly what you get: a visually appealing, old-fashioned and stylish film about a magic world that can be accessed through a mirror. While the first half of the film takes you through the discovering of this world and the nature of the different characters, the second part is full of dark/epic elements. It's up to you to decide if the devil finally got to destroy Parnassus' life. Expand
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6
JonnyFendiJan 16, 2011
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 youWow!... 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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6
HalfwelshmanAug 30, 2012
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 LilyThe 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
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6
oxanaAug 24, 2014
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
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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6
SpangleSep 11, 2017
Calling a Terry Gilliam film weird and imaginative may be a bit obvious, but it is perhaps never been more true in recent years than in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Hearkening back to his 1980s science fiction adventure fantasy workCalling a Terry Gilliam film weird and imaginative may be a bit obvious, but it is perhaps never been more true in recent years than in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Hearkening back to his 1980s science fiction adventure fantasy work in Time Bandits, Brazil, or the Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus takes audiences on a magical adventure to a world never quite seen before. Guided by an old man, his daughter, little person assistant, and a young guy, this journey is one that has all the right moments of Gilliam's classics and touches on very similar themes to those films from his "Trilogy of Imagination", but never really comes together. The film lacks that "it" factor and a sense of cohesion to make it all come together as a strong work that brings Gilliam's career back to the quality of his peak and not just the same feeling of whimsy. In essence, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus looks, sounds, and acts like a Terry Gilliam film directed by somebody inspired by Gilliam, not the director himself.

In a similar fashion to Time Bandits, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is consistently focused upon the concept of good and evil. Depicting Satan via the three-piece suit wearing Mr. Nick (Tom Waits) and positioning Doctor Parnassus as a monk committed to saving people, the film shows the two competing for souls throughout the film that has led to many bets. One such bet resulted in Parnassus' daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) being given to Mr. Nick when she turns 16 and with her birthday a few days away, Doctor Parnassus is in his final hours of trying to save her. When a mysterious stranger, Tony (Heath Ledger), is found hanging on a bridge that Parnassus and his gang were passing over, the opportunity to win back Valentina arises. Given a final bet - first to five souls gets Valentina - and having to rely on Tony to help win over the five he needs, Doctor Parnassus must change his show to win over the five souls and rely upon Tony far more than he should to be able to do so.

Inside the Imaginarium, visitors and possible souls are given a choice between good and evil, essentially. Operating with similar themes to Gilliam's Trilogy of Imagination, these choices can often be represented via materialism, promiscuity, or any other temptations. For example, a group of women enter the Imaginarium and to be able to receive self-fulfillment - which is the good path offered by Parnassus - they must shed their wealthy jewelry and accessories. Yet, the path to self-fulfillment is a challenging one. Visualized by having participants climb an incredibly tall set of stone stairs, the option is not one for the weak hearted. Given the challenge, the possibility of "easy ignorance" and fleeting fulfillment offered by Mr. Nick - in one trip, it is visualized as a motel run by Mr. Nick called the "One Nite Stand Motel" - can become impeccably appealing to those unwilling to make the arduous journey to fulfillment. The path chooses ultimately decides who gets their soul for the rest of eternity and, as a result, is a vital decision one must make when they enter the Imaginarium.

With this temptation taking center stage in this battle for souls, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus shows the dangers of giving into temptation and earthly pleasures instead of seeking fulfillment through some benevolent being. Imaginative in this pursuit, Gilliam never really innovates on ideas he previously presented, but nonetheless, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a film so outside of the box in conception that it is hard to find fault. The film's commitment to showing the perils of choosing riches and spoils on Earth is one that even impacts its protagonist and is a strong message, no matter how prevalent of an idea it is in Gilliam's work. The different approach offered in this film and the film's refusal to let anybody off the hook or to avoid their true nature is admirable, demonstrating Gilliam's dedication to show how to find some measure of morality in an inherently immoral - demonstrated via the bars and seedy clubs the troupe operates in - world.

However, where the film slips up is in the creation of its world and its themes. It has the beats, the feeling, and imagination, of all of Gilliam's films, but lacks the soul and the heart. It feels too haphazardly slapped together and clearly bore the brunt of its production problems regarding Ledger's death. It never feels like a cohesive work, instead operating as a film that has a set idea on what it wants to be and how it wants to look, but never really figured out how to make either work or how to make it all come together as an enjoyable film. Rather, it often feels incessantly frantic. Rushing through everything and simultaneously dragging - a tough feeling to describe or really create as a filmmaker - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has all the bells and whistles, but never really clicks or has the whimsical soul
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5
NecromusDec 6, 2012
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 "HangingThis 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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10
lpsycoJul 10, 2013
this movie is amazing one of the best fantasy,etc,movies,i ever seen....
don-t feed the haters and trols...

this movie is amazing one of the best fantasy,etc,movies,i ever seen....
don-t feed the haters and trols...
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6
Compi24Jul 5, 2015
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.
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