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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

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United Kingdom, Canada, France · 2009
Rated PG-13 · 2h 3m
Director Terry Gilliam
Starring Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

Doctor Parnassus, the star of a traveling show, possesses the power to guide the audience’s imagination, but he is also cursed with a dark secret—thousands of years ago, he made a deal with the devil in which he won immortality. This delightful and poignant romp includes an all-star cast including Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, and Johnny Depp.

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Village Voice by

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.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

The real drama in Parnassus comes from the troupe of sideshow performers, led by a terrifically morbid Christopher Plummer.


New York Post by Lou Lumenick

The Depp sequence is especially poignant, apparently rewritten with references to other celebrities who died before their time -- Rudolph Valentino, James Dean and Princess Di -- and who will remain "forever young" in our imaginations.


Empire by Olly Richards

There are thrilling flashes of Gilliam getting back to top form here. A scrappy movie with more ideas than it can control, but one born out of a passion and determination that are wholly infectious.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

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.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

With Ledger onscreen more than might have been expected, the film possesses strong curiosity value bolstered by generally lively action and excellent visual effects.

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