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."
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."
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).
Drugs / Tobacco /
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.