The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness andThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. As unusual and idiosyncratic as its one-of-a-kind title. You'd expect no less from Terry Gilliam, and admirers of this singular filmmaker will be pleased to know that "Imaginarium" is one of his most original and accessible works.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    With Ledger onscreen more than might have been expected, the film possesses strong curiosity value bolstered by generally lively action and excellent visual effects.
  3. 75
    Despite a shaky framework, the magic works. It's a chance to see Ledger one last time in the act of doing what he loved. Take it.
  4. 70
    This is potentially wonderful, if not exactly new stuff, but Gilliam and McKeown's willful refusal of coherent narrative and determination to pack every idea about art they ever had into one scenario, make this fiendishly gorgeous movie more exhausting than exhilarating to watch.
  5. Christopher Plummer is delightful as this movie’s master magician and impresario of the rickety Imaginarium.
  6. 63
    It’s filmic fool’s gold, as every scene that doesn’t sparkle is just dirt -- dank, gritty visuals, murky plotting and very bad line-readings from Troyer (Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies).
  7. The film ends up landing in a confused middle category. It's neither a coherent, discrete work nor a zany tribute to the late actor.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 5 out of 36
  1. Aug 3, 2012
    10
    This is one of my all time favorite movies because of it´s atmosphere that´s seems to be borrowed from a different universe. TheThis 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. Mar 14, 2012
    10
    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 beWhat 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
  3. BillyS.
    Jan 27, 2010
    9
    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 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
  4. 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 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
  5. 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 notWow!... 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. 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 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. Expand
  7. CarolineC
    Dec 30, 2009
    0
    This was an appalling film and felt much more like Gilliam's constipated sparkly turd. An awful mess. I understand that Gilliam and his 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

See all 36 User Reviews

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