'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' Critic Reviews
This is London
A triumph. That Dr Parnassus was finished at all following the death mid-shoot of its star Heath Ledger is impressive. That it hangs together as a striking work of fantasy is truly remarkable.
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.
Uncut Magazine [UK]
A cheerily irreverent memorial to Ledger. Ledger, meanwhile, immerses himself enthusiastically into the low-budget spirit of Gilliam's film.
This surreal universe is the highlight of Terry Gilliam's film, showing that the former Monty Python has not lost his ability to astound audiences with visual wit.
A film that's laugh-out-loud funny, occasionally touching and often borders on coherent -- a rarity for Gilliam, even when he's on top form...
IGN Movies AU
Doctor Parnassus parallels Terry Gilliam and his most recent work: many complex ideas, grand intentions and miserable luck leading him down a path to nowhere, forcing him to start over with nothing one more time.
If you've seen how imaginative Terry Gilliam can be with "practical" effects, then you'll probably be dazzled by Imaginarium's finest moments.
Every favorite Gilliam device and trope is employed here to breathtaking effect.
Despite the heroic efforts to save the troubled production due to Heath Ledger's death, it's a disappointing film, one that displays Gilliam's favorite themes but suffers from problems plaguing most of his work.
It's a hyper-active, endlessly mutating cavalcade of colour, noise and surrealistic eccentricity.
There's no doubt that the imaginary world [Gilliam has] created is awe-inspiring, but it's ultimately designed for an art house audience.
Ledger's performance provides an adequate swansong for loyal fans on pilgrimages to the multiplexes this autumn. But many will exit scratching their heads.
To anyone not sympathetic to Gilliam's flights of fantasy, Parnassus will reek of rambling self-indulgence but fans will welcome it as a return to what he does best.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a film with a huge heart and a dazzling eye, but it does little for the very thing it is trying to celebrate: the imagination.
IGN Movies UK
With clumsy dialogue, poor plotting and some downright terrible performances, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a huge disappointment for any fan of Terry Gilliam's work.
For the most part Gilliam has toned down the aggressive darkness of his last film, Tideland, pitching at the broader audience he reached for with Baron Munchausen and Brothers Grimm.