Parents' Guide to

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Imaginative Heath Ledger fantasy is too dark for young kids.

Movie PG-13 2009 122 minutes
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 14+

Imaginative aberrancy/lunacy tale could have been better

This very creative and original fantasy thriller could have been epic... if done by a director with more skills. The first half is great; it was really nice to see heath Ledger again. But, things start going south until the end, where you're probably groaning (no spoilers). If you have seen this film and like the ending, then i envy you, because now you own a great movie. For those who didn't like the movie's end scenes, like myself, perhaps we can look back and enjoy some of the better, earlier scenes. parents: There's quite a bit of disturbing violence, including hangings, sensuality, and language. Bottom Line: A great fantasy if you prepare yourself for anything, and I mean anything, that may upset you. Thanks for reading! - Movie Man

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 13+
My major concern for kids was that they showed people being hanged on several occasions.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (15):

Though it's a fantasy, Doctor Parnassus isn't really a family movie, and most of the elements here are probably much too dark for young kids. Ledger's untimely death partway through production -- and director Terry Gilliam's subsequent, clever method of filling in the resulting blanks by using other actors (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law) -- will no doubt encompass most of the discussion around THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS. But that aside, it really is an outstanding work of personal vision and dazzling imagery. It's a rare thing: a fantasy film filled with gorgeous computer effects that also has a dark, mature sensibility and doesn't rely completely on said effects.

Gilliam is incapable of telling a story casually, and his personal obsessions often come along as a bonus. The director's very specific way of looking at things -- i.e. his use of space, lighting and cutting -- will thrill more adventurous moviegoers, but may upset audiences looking for something a bit simpler and more streamlined.

Movie Details

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