The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Critics Consensus

Terry Gilliam remains as indulgent as ever, but The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus represents a return to the intoxicatingly imaginative, darkly beautiful power of his earlier work, with fine performances to match all the visual spectacle.



Total Count: 195


Audience Score

User Ratings: 295,718
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Movie Info

"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his 'Imaginarium', a traveling show where members of the audience get opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick, in which he won immortality. Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick.


Christopher Plummer
as Doctor Parnassus
Johnny Depp
as Imaginarium Tony #1
Jude Law
as Imaginarium Tony #2
Colin Farrell
as Imaginarium Tony #3
Tom Waits
as Mr. Nick
Lily Cole
as Valentina
Katie Lyons
as Martin's Girlfriend
Richard Shanks
as Friend of Martin
Bruce Crawford
as Face-Changed Martin
Johnny Harris
as Policeman
Simon Day
as Uncle Bob
Moya Brady
as Aunty Flo
Charles McKeown
as Fairgrounds Inspector
Mackenzie Gray
as First Monk
Yurij Kis
as Second Monk
Ian Wallace
as Third Monk
Joann Condon
as Shopper
Montserrat Lombard
as Sally's Friend
Craig Fraser
as Debonair Gent
Amy Marston
as Classy Shopper #1
Gwendoline Christie
as Classy Shopper #2
Lucy Russell
as Classy Shopper #3
Maggie Steed
as LV Woman
Ben Cartwright
as Policeman #1
Gavin Rolph
as Policeman #2
Bobbi Bysouth
as LV Woman's reflection
Ray Cooper
as Vladimir
Dean Moen
as Smiling Policeman
Fraser Aitcheson
as Dancing Policeman
Michael Bean
as Dancing Policeman
Jase-Anthony Griffith
as Dancing Policeman
Scott A. McGillivray
as Dancing Policeman
Scott McGillivray
as Dancing Policeman
John Stewart
as Dancing Policeman
Chris Cochrane
as Dancing Policeman
Pearce Visser
as Dancing Policeman
Patrick Bahrich
as Dancing Policeman
Carrie Genzel
as Female Journalist
Mark Oliver
as Male Journalist
Peter Stormare
as The President
Donna Lysell
as President's wife
Michael Eklund
as Tony's Assistant
Rahul Singh
as Security Guard
Ryan Grantham
as Little Anton
D. Harlan Cutshall
as Charity Guest 1
Deni Delory
as Charity Guest 2
Lisa Bunting
as Charity Guest 3
Peter New
as Paramedic 1
Michael Jonsson
as Paramedic 2
Emma Karwandy
as Valentina's Daughter
Quinn Lord
as Young Boy
Erika Conway
as Young Boy's Mother
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News & Interviews for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Critic Reviews for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (125) | Rotten (70)

  • The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is one of those movies that, despite spectacular elements, doesn't add up to a spectacular film.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Terry Gilliam, the veteran film director who cut his teeth as the animation wizard of television's legendary Monty Python's Flying Circus, has flirted with genius throughout his career, and bedded her from time to time. In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnas

    Jan 15, 2010 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • When it's all done we're left with another recent Gilliam trademark: the highly imaginative mess.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 3/5
  • 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.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

  • Oct 24, 2017
    Terry Gilliam returns to the world building he has been relishing in since the 80s, you could feel a sense of genuine love from the filmmaker. My central issue is the story is a little messy and it undoes the conclusion of the film, a little more explanation couldn't have hurt the film. I have a feeling the film had to sustain a huge overhaul that was due to the death of Heath Ledger, it would have been nice to experience the true film and also another visit to the joker role. The film has a true visionary at the helm and I think further viewings will increase my opinion, like most of his films. I like true original stories and having this unique little film in the world isn't the worst thing. 23-10-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2016
    Weird, but nevertheless imaginative and fascinating
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2014
    evocative of baron munchausen. all good if you like that sort of thing.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2013
    It took me time to watch this movie, for the first two times I almost found it boring already after 30 minutes, but it was worth to give a try for the 3rd time. Great Perfomance by Heath Ledger.
    NaWie M Super Reviewer

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