Circus of Books Reviews

May 29, 2020
Circus of Books is a triumph of filmmaking in the way it covers such a range of topics so seamlessly: LGBTQ history, pornography, religion, obscenity law, media, AIDS, coming out, parenthood, and more.
April 29, 2020
Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.
April 24, 2020
This is a great little L.A. story. It's a great slice of life into a very specific community.
Top Critic
April 24, 2020
The sense of closure is satisfying, but it's missing a charge.
April 24, 2020
Both Circus of Books locations have since closed, but this documentary is a necessary, if incomplete, homage to their influence.
April 24, 2020
People can indeed live at war with themselves and not know it. Here's a case of great things happening once peace is declared.
April 23, 2020
These members of the community reflect on a bygone era with wit and warmth, and the film supports their memories with golden-lit archival footage of the neighborhood in the 1980s.
April 23, 2020
It's a truly fascinating film, a slice of history and deeply personal.
April 22, 2020
The film consistently subverts our expectations by revealing new layers about its subjects that deepen their humanity, causing us to challenge our own preconceptions.
April 22, 2020
Rachel Mason performs a nice bit of misdirection with the film, starting with humorous juxtapositions of this nice, elderly Jewish couple running a gay porn shop and then moving toward a poignant story of acceptance.
April 21, 2020
The ending is upbeat and, whatever your views on porn, will make you want to give Karen a really big hug.
April 17, 2020
There is enormous humour and tenderness here.
July 24, 2019
"Circus of Books" is an affectionate look at one of the most unusual mom and pop businesses in America, directed by the person who knew Mom and Pop best.
May 2, 2019
Circus of Books is chock full of entertaining characters, but Karen ultimately emerges as the film's complicated and fascinating heroine.
April 29, 2019
[A] very funny, very moving documentary.