The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Reviews

  • As is so often the case since his Monty Python days, Gilliam is best at visual games and weakest at storytelling.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Terry Gilliam's latest is a full three-ring affair, complete with puffs of smoke, glitter and grunge, some hocus-pocus, mumbo jumbo and even a dwarf.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • There is a fundamental lack of dramatic traction here and the surrealism creates an inert flabbiness in its already chaotic story.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • Though rambling and at times self-indulgent, its wit and pageantry, boosted by Heath Ledger's final performance, render it irresistible.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Shot through with a bold, extravagant generosity of spirit, this journey behind the literal and figurative looking glass marks a gratifying return to form for Gilliam, whose recent films haven't quite lived up to his capacities.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • Your mileage may vary, especially if you feel that the gifted celebrity dead should be mourned with taste and decorum. In which case, why are you even at a Terry Gilliam movie?

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • 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.

    Ella Taylor — Village Voice

  • When it's all done we're left with another recent Gilliam trademark: the highly imaginative mess.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • It teases with magnificently tantalizing moments that don't quite add up to one grand insight. Which, come to think of it, is an epiphany of its own peculiar sort.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • [Gilliam] can follow any train of thought, so he does, and it's no surprise when the trains run out of steam.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • I attended the Cannes screening of Doctor Parnassus to be baffled, which I was, and then the Chicago press screening, where I had an idea what was coming and tried to reopen my mind.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • The behind-the-scenes tragedy gives Gilliam an easy excuse for the dull chaos that engulfs the story, but he might have generated it all on his own.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is vintage Terry Gilliam, a pour not to all tastes but one certain to please lovers of Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • I'd love to report that The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a work of renegade genius. Alas, it's a minor film, memorable largely as the farewell of Heath Ledger, who died when his scenes were only half completed.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Parnassus is fun to watch a good deal of the time, and Gilliam is almost always visually surprising, but Ledger could have used a more momentous send-off.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • If you're game, Parnassus is a richly rewarding experience. If not, it comes off like pretentious nonsense.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus movie review at Variety)

    Ronnie Scheib — Variety

  • The helmer has made a pretty good thing out of a very bad situation in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".

    Todd McCarthy — Variety

  • Not up to the very best work of either Gilliam or Ledger, but it's a surprisingly satisfying coda to the latter's all-too-brief career.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • The cinema's greatest fantasist serves up towering cliffs and blinding blizzards, Satan conjuring up clouds he can walk on, a road of rose petals winding into a desert -- an imagination that has no peer.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

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