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The Invisible Circus (2001)



Average Rating: 4.1/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 48

Despite Jordana Brewster's strong performance, The Invisible Circus lacks the necessary dramatic tension to be interesting. Also, the cultural and political contexts of the period are barely explored.


Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 18

Despite Jordana Brewster's strong performance, The Invisible Circus lacks the necessary dramatic tension to be interesting. Also, the cultural and political contexts of the period are barely explored.



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 3,666

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Movie Info

A young woman trying to better understand the fate of her sister finds herself following in her footsteps in this emotional drama. 18-year-old Phoebe (Jordanna Brewster) has been haunted by the memory of her sister Faith (Cameron Diaz), who died under mysterious circumstances while travelling through Europe several years earlier. Looking for closure, Phoebe decides to retrace her sister's journey in hopes of finding out what happened to her. In the course of her travels through France, Portugal,


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Adam Brooks

Dec 10, 2002

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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (48) | DVD (8)

Picturesque European locations, a mystery whose successive folds will be uncovered by Faith's ex-boyfriend (Christopher Eccleston, in a ratty wig he will have to live down for years), and some heavily psychological sermonizing.

December 9, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Strangely dispassionate and uncommitted for a movie about passionate commitment.

February 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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A movie for people who are so sensitive they barely notice the feelings of others or what's going on in the world.

February 12, 2001 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is overnarrated and in spots overwritten, but Brooks ... does well with actors, and he has coaxed an extraordinary performance out of the young Jordana Brewster.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Slate
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Part beautifully shot European travelogue and part moving exploration of the darker side of the hippie era's rabid idealism.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A woefully tame and pallid affair.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Okay for older teens, but nothing special.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Adam Brooks' film is a total miss, both as a potentially intriguing look into the tumultuous politics of the 1960s and 1970s and as a coming of age of a girl obsessed with her sister's mysterious death

December 18, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Whenever Brooks hits a stride, the mystery element takes over, and that crudely formed aspect of the film overwhelms what is fully functional.

January 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Cameron Diaz and Christopher Eccleston? Good. Jordana Brewster? Actorly indication, stilted line readings and nostril-flaring petulance. The result? A bad day at the Circus.

April 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

By the time the uninspiring finale occurs the audience is completely lost in boredom and longing for the credits.

December 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It's one big cliché of sentimental drivel.

April 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Brooks tries to cram too much into his scenes, combining both the film's external world and characters' inner thoughts in a way that is cluttered and lacking in imagination.

September 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

It is both admirable in its convictions yet unaware of its limitations; it strives for beauty and meaning, but ends up looking silly.

April 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Movieline

A credible portrait of an era, and draws in its tensions and conflicts with quite some power.

April 16, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC

A soul-satisfying film about one young woman's rite of initiation into adulthood.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Though the script is remarkably faithful to Jennifer Egan's novel, it relies too heavily on voice-over to move the plot along, preferring to baldly inform the audience of developments than letting us figure them out for ourselves.

February 26, 2001 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

The Invisible Circus feels less like a drug trip and more like the annoying side effects on the morning after.

February 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

It's mostly dreary, plodding stuff that works as psychology 101.

February 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Although well cast and acted, the movie doesn't amount to much. Still, it is an enjoyable enough diversion.

February 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The slow pace, lack of tension ... and increasingly preposterous developments will have many viewers seeing through this film long before it draws to a slow and laborious close.

February 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Comes off as oddly uninvolving, if not entirely irrelevant.

February 8, 2001
San Francisco Examiner

Not a trip worth taking.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Invisible Circus

I don't know who keeps giving hippies money to make movies, but I wish they'd stop.
May 22, 2013

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