Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
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  1. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    Even at her most nihilistic, Cameron Diaz is about as menacing as a boozy college cheerleader.
  2. It's a shameless don't-hate-me-because-I'm-beautiful-and-impulsive performance (Diaz), and it throws the entire movie out of balance.
  3. 60
    The script hits rough patches, especially when Phoebe and Wolf get it on, but the sisters cut to the heart.
  4. This modest project is all about atmosphere and reflection, and, as such, it is successful.
  5. 59
    In its attempts to chart a young girl's journey from innocence to experience, The Invisible Circus ends up having all the heft of a Nancy Drew mystery decked out in a tie-dyed T-shirt and peasant skirt.
  6. Diaz is quite believable in the part, and gets solid support from Brewster, who is even more appealing as the adoring, wounded and somewhat vacuous younger sister.
  7. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The film is overnarrated and in spots overwritten, but Brooks, who's primarily a screenwriter, does well with actors, and he has coaxed an extraordinary performance out of the young Jordana Brewster.
  8. 50
    This joyless coming-of-age travelogue is such a downer that not even breathtaking locales can provide a lift.
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's a far more interesting film; unfortunately, it's locked inside a maudlin coming-of-age story that barely registers.
  10. Unfortunately, The Invisible Circus, which follows Phoebe as she retraces her dead sibling's steps from Paris to Berlin to the coast of Portugal, doesn't so much illuminate Phoebe's confusion as share it.
  11. 50
    Yet another murky film about the 1970s that's watchable mostly for its cast rather than the story.
  12. 40
    Something there is about the '60s that undoes the most intelligent of filmmakers.
  13. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    It's not bad; it's just completely inconsequential.
  14. The revelations of The Invisible Circus don't justify the quest.
  15. 40
    The Invisible Circus isn't junk. It's carefully, competently made, though with no particular feeling for technique or rhythm.
  16. 38
    When flashbacks tease us with bits of information, it has to be done well, or we feel toyed with. Here the mystery is solved by stomping in thick-soled narrative boots through the squishy marsh of contrivance.
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    A fatally insubstantial film.
  18. 38
    When a movie is structured around the unveiling of secrets, you ought to care what the answers are. But writer-director Adam Brooks (Almost You), never offers any compelling reason to do so.
  19. Director and screenwriter Adam Brooks, adapting Jennifer Egan's novel, doesn't seem to understand what makes a movie relevant.
  20. 30
    A more intuitive writer-director could have extracted a credible study of time-warped bereavement from Jennifer Egan's extensively praised novel, but Adam Brooks's turgid adaptation merely emphasizes the book's stiff contrivances and wobbly characterizations.
  21. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    There are any number of aspects to The Invisible Circus that simply don't ring true.
  22. 30
    In nearly every scene of her dangerously underwritten role, Diaz has a mouthful of cliches.

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