Top 5000
Down 106 this week

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery  |  8 January 2010 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 120,319 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 206 user | 288 critic | 30 from

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 12 Dec 2011
a list of 31 titles
created 11 Apr 2012
a list of 34 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 14 Feb 2014
a list of 41 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Bellucci
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Tideland (2005)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Because of the actions of her irresponsible parents, a young girl is left alone on a decrepit country estate and survives inside her fantastic imagination.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly, Jodelle Ferland
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley
Corpse Bride (2005)
Animation | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.

Directors: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson
Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is ... See full summary »

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Mélanie Thierry
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Dark Shadows (2012)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green
The Rum Diary (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.

Director: Bruce Robinson
Stars: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart
Brazil (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro
Drama | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, AKA Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
Secret Window (2004)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A writer is accused for plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro


Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Riddell ...
Martin's Girlfriend
Lorraine Cheshire ...
Lewis Gott ...
Sian Scott ...
Simon Day ...
Uncle Bob (as Simon Daye)
Moya Brady ...


In London, the sideshow troupe of Doctor Parnassus promises the audience a journey to the "Imaginarium", an imaginary world commanded by the mind of Doctor Parnassus, where dreams come true. In the stories that Doctor Parnassus tells to his daughter Valentina, the midget Percy, and his assistant Anton, he claims to have lived for more than one thousand years; However, when he fell in love with a mortal woman, he made a deal with the devil (Mr. Nick), trading his immortality for youth. As part of the bargain, he promised his son or daughter to Mr. Nick on their sixteenth birthday. Valentina is now almost to the doomed age and Doctor Parnassus makes a new bet with Mr. Nick, whoever seduces five souls in the Imaginarium will have Valentina as a prize. Meanwhile the troupe rescues Tony, a young man that was hanged on a bridge by the Russians. Tony was chased until he finds and joins the group. Tony and Valentina fall in love with each other and the jealous Anton discovers that his ... Written by RubyRed, Seattle, Washington USA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent images, some sensuality, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


| |

Release Date:

8 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El imaginario mundo del Doctor Parnassus  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£905,786 (UK) (16 October 2009)


$7,689,458 (USA) (21 May 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Heath Ledger's last movie project. It is dedicated to him along with William Vince. See more »


When Dr. Parnassus is following Valentina through the concourse two young school girls in uniform pass him. Moments later when he's outside looking in the window, the same two girls can be seen entering the library. See more »


Dr. Parnassus: [Has just seen the Devil] He's come to collect.
[after a pause]
Dr. Parnassus: He's early.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, Tony's mobile ring tone can clearly be heard See more »


Referenced in In Confidence: Terry Gilliam (2013) See more »


Say It With Music
Performed by Chris Garrick, Martin Robertson, Phil Todd, Jamie Talbot,
Derek Watkins, John Barclay, Neil Sidwell, Owen Slade,
, Dave Hartley, John Parricelli, Ian Thomas
Written by Irving Berlin
Licensed courtesy of: Irving Berlin Music Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
10 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

The main talking point surrounding The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is the fact that it is the last appearance of the late Heath Ledger, however, there is a lot more to talk about with this film. Ledger's performance is good, as one would expect, but he has done better and more iconic roles. The problem faced by his death occurring before filming completed is overcome easily and one would not necessarily know that Ledger had died just from the evidence of the film. There is a fitting tribute to him in the film, as Johnny Depp's version of Heath Ledger's character comments on how celebrities who died young will live on forever.

However, this film deserves to be discussed as a piece of work on its own. Like many of Terry Gilliam's films it is both complex and imaginative. The titular Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) operates a mostly unsuccessful travelling show where he hopes to send members of the public through a magic mirror into the Imaginarium where they will ultimately face a choice between giving their soul to Parnassus or the Devil (Tom Waits). Those two are having a contest for the soul of Valentina (Lily Cole), the Doctor's daughter. Helping the Doctor's show are the lovelorn Anton, the dwarf Percy and Tony a mysterious stranger who can draw punters.

Initially all these plot points work well. Doctor Parnassus is a desperate man who has almost given up hope, whilst the Devil is entertaining to watch, yet evidently devious. The heart of the film lies with Valentina who wants a normal life but is it unaware that it is far more complicated than just the raising of money. Unfortunately, the film runs into difficulty in the last third as the plot lines all come together and even more are added, creating a overly complex ending where nothing gets resolved properly.

The acting is good, with Lily Cole surprisingly impressive and old hands Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits leading by example. Terry Gilliam direction combines the fantastical and the ordinary in a way that only he can. It is the first time he has participated in the writing process for two decades and this film has an autobiographical feel as Doctor Parnassus tries to entice with stories and the imagination only to be met by cynical crowds. This effort to wow the public may not move them away from CGI and is short of his best, but it is still entertaining and favourable over films which lack charm, imagination and storytelling.

58 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone know any films as imaginative or even more imaginative? danielphillips97-251-836566
Ethan Hawke bignig_jamerian
Anybody else hear the joker in Ledger's voice? DiseasedOmelette
My thoughts, for others who found the film intriguing tph890
Why did he age? stonerosedesign
The best acting in the entire film is from Colin Farrell. Picnic10

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: