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70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: 1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A "Happy" circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A "Happy" circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father's career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life - he's simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown. He finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, but as the Sad Clown he must take the abuse of the brutish Happy Clown Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat, and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio's jealousy. But Natalia is torn between her affection towards Javier and her lust for Sergio.With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this absurd, shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 18, 2011
    100
    Brilliant, bizarre, dazzling and utterly demented, The Last Circus views Franco-era Spain through the crazed eyes of two clowns doing battle for the love of one magnificent woman.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Aug 16, 2011
    90
    Baroquely sinister and grotesquely funny, the latest overstimulated bout of dark comic mayhem from writer-director Álex de la Iglesia (Common Wealth, The Day of the Beast) is a stunning funhouse-mirror allegory of Franco-era Spain that makes "Pan's Labyrinth" look like "Sesame Street."
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 18, 2011
    90
    It's also possible, I suppose, that a movie as deranged and grotesque and spectacular as Álex de la Iglesia's near-masterpiece The Last Circus, an overcooked allegory that's been dialed to 11 in all directions, simply doesn't appeal to you. But if you like your baroque sex and violence with a side dish of heavy-duty symbolism, and if the idea of an unholy collaboration between, say, Guillermo del Toro, Federico Fellini and William Castle appeals to you, then put The Last Circus on your must-see list right now.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 16, 2011
    60
    Inventive yet exhausting tale of two circus clowns.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 19, 2011
    60
    Before going off in conventional directions, "Circus" is terrifically weird, funny and garish. Bozo and Clarabelle it ain't.
  6. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 8, 2011
    58
    Begins with an eye on satire but dissolves quickly into grotesquerie -- and if the first tack was a bit narrow, the second is far too scattershot.
  7. Reviewed by: Una LaMarche
    Aug 24, 2011
    25
    By the time the end finally comes, there's no relief. You're left with the vague recollection of an interesting movie you were watching before you got kidnapped and subjected to over an hour of torture porn starring a fat, sadistic clown.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 27, 2014
    7
    Conocida como Balada triste de trompeta en España, esta es una de las películas mas extrañas y perturbadoras del gran Álex de la Iglésia. NoConocida como Balada triste de trompeta en España, esta es una de las películas mas extrañas y perturbadoras del gran Álex de la Iglésia. No es mi favorita de este director, pero mantiene un tono lúgubre genial durante todo el metraje y los actores están sobresalientes. Expand

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