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Circus (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller, Drama  |  5 May 2000 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,916 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 27 critic

Bruno, a sadistic criminal, wants clever con man Leo out of the way. Leo and his equally clever wife, Lily, are up to something. So too is Julius: he hires Leo to kill Gloria, Julius's wife... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Conley ...
Moose (as Tiny Lister)
Michael Attwell ...
Christopher Biggins ...
Louise Rolfe ...


Bruno, a sadistic criminal, wants clever con man Leo out of the way. Leo and his equally clever wife, Lily, are up to something. So too is Julius: he hires Leo to kill Gloria, Julius's wife. Leo does it, but then Julius shows up with the murder on tape, saying Gloria isn't his wife - it's blackmail. Leo's bookie, Troy, is also closing in, wanting to be paid. Bruno and Lily as well as Bruno and Julius have their own scams running, and Leo is their target. Maybe Leo can get Troy off his back, avoid Moose (Bruno's huge enforcer), send Gloria's corpse out of England, turn the tables on Bruno's murderous brother Caspar, and outfox Lily. Or is Lily his fox? It's a three-ring circus. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't trust any of these clowns


Crime | Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

5 May 2000 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Circul  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£164,067 (UK) (5 May 2000)


$8,406 (USA) (15 September 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fred Ward replaced Frederic Forrest at very short notice See more »


Leo: Troy!
Troy: Leo... I am gonna HAVE to cut your dick off. Okay?
See more »


References Play School (1964) See more »


Another One Bites The Dust
Written by John Deacon
See more »

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User Reviews

Ladies and gentlemen... we present in the centre ring... a mess.
11 October 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Circus" was barely released in cinemas even in Britain and, from what I understand, skipped US cinemas despite its Columbia backing. It's an okay watch for cable at 3 a.m. (which, interestingly enough, is when I watched it), but that's about it.

The movie's scuppered by the ludicrous casting of comedian Brian Conley as a gangster who we see taking a bite of a man's ear in the beginning; he comes off as too playground-villainous to take seriously, and the rest of the movie is just as plausible (tip: do not go and attack and/or threaten people when there are witnesses around, a piece of advice ignored TWICE in the course of the movie). David Logan's script needed some stronger direction and a bit of restraint, instead of piling double-cross upon double-cross until it's soon hard to tell just what the hell's going on, culminating in an "Oh-for-God's-sake!" ending.

"Circus" is diverting enough, but a waste of John Hannah, a bigger waste of Fred Ward, something of a waste of Amanda Donohoe, and an absolutely criminal waste of Famke Janssen (who is not only super-fit but, unlike Conley, actually CAN be convincingly tough - it's impossible to believe she appeared in both this and "X-Men" in 2000 ... then again, she did do "House on Haunted Hill"). What she was doing in this movie we can only speculate; did she fancy a trip to Brighton? Or is she a secret fan of "Rebus"? Or "The Brian Conley Show"?

And one more piece of advice - don't go mentioning "The Sweet Smell Of Success" in your movie, unless you really want to draw unfair comparisons. Mind you, it's preferable to actually going to a circus; I never liked the things.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The most underrated film ever! Smorchid
explanation of the ending, please jhailey
what is up with the earbiting!!!! playgroundbully
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