The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2009 PG-13 2h 2m Blu-ray / DVD

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2009 PG-13 2h 2m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
When a deal with the devil comes due, the immortal Doctor Parnassus must renegotiate the pact to save his daughter. Now, with the help of his mystical theater troupe and a mysterious stranger, Parnassus attempts to right the wrongs of his past.
Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield, Tom Waits, Verne Troyer, Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Richard Riddell
Terry Gilliam
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Portuguese, Spanish (Neutral), English SDH, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian
English: DTS 5.1 HD, Portuguese: DTS 5.1 HD, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers. PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that although The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantasy movie with elements that might look family friendly, it dives into some fairly mature and dark waters -- very much like the often brutal and terrifying Grimm fairy tales that inspire director Terry Gilliam. The imagery, while dazzling, is also frightening and even nightmarish at times (and the first 40 minutes of the movie are very disjointed, which may turn off some viewers), so it's not an age-appropriate pick for younger kids. Plus, the devil is one of the movie's major characters, and the "heroes" aren't exactly shining role models, either -- many of them keep secrets and deceive people, often for selfish reasons. And the 16-year-old heroine has sex and is seen smoking a cigarette the next morning (presumably after the act itself). Many viewers will be curious to see Heath Ledger's final performance and how Gilliam finished the film around his absence, but Ledger is ultimately just one member of an ensemble cast and not really the film's "star."

Sexual Content

Tony caresses Valetina's face and moves in for a kiss but is interrupted. Later, one of the "mirror Tonys" has sex with Valentina (who's 16) in a boat. They kiss, and the scene then cuts to Tony buttoning his shirt and Valentina lying back with only her bra and underwear on (so sex is clearly implied). Valentina also appears nude in one scene, but her long hair covers all her private parts. Valentina wears a series of low-cut dresses and clothing. In another scene, a woman approaches a sleazy hotel with one of the "mirror Tonys," and she clearly has one thing in mind.


Characters engage in frequent arguing and infrequent fistfights, with the occasional bloody nose. That said, the movie also has plenty of frightening, nightmarish imagery, such as characters whose mouths shrivel up and disappear and a building that crumbles into a dark abyss.


"S--t" is used more than once; also "ass," "tits," "son of a bitch," "friggin' hell," "hell," "goddamn it," and "Christ's sakes."

Social Behavior

Although the characters aren't exactly virtuous, Doctor Parnassus does (mostly) learn from his mistakes. His bets with the devil are all done with the aim of saving his daughter, and when he finally lets her go to live her own life, he has -- in a sense -- freed himself. And in the end, he has continued to be a storyteller (a most important job, according to the movie).


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Doctor Parnassus frequently drinks and gets drunk, and viewers see him carrying a bottle. He passes out on stage once. On one occasion, Anton drinks from a bottle and gets drunk. Other, minor characters emerge drunk from pubs; some carry bottles and pints. Others smoke cigarettes, but infrequently.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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