Circus of Books - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Circus of Books Reviews

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April 23, 2020
Circus of Books is funny and full of heart, and an absolute gem.
September 23, 2020
A successful ode to its owners and the impact they crafted.
April 24, 2020
You come to see through [director Rachel Mason] telling the story how she came to see her parents as people.
April 30, 2020
Although it doesn't always hit the mark, and there are certain aspects you wish Mason had delved further into, ultimately Circus of Books packs so much heart and warmth that only the coldest of souls would fail to be moved by it come the end credits.
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.
May 15, 2020
Circus of Books is a whirlwind of a story, and an absolute triumph of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 2, 2019
Circus of Books is chock full of entertaining characters, but Karen ultimately emerges as the film's complicated and fascinating heroine.
Full Review | Original Score: A
April 16, 2020
Circus of Books brilliantly recounts how a nice, straight Jewish couple erected a mecca of gay porn.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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 29, 2020
A riotous and surprisingly emotional documentary.
April 29, 2020
A worthy homage to the Los Angeles-area landmark of LGBTQ+ culture.
May 8, 2020
The director narrates with notable care the implications derived from being parents of some pornographers. [Full Review in Spanish]
April 24, 2020
Karen and Barry are so lovable they feel like a work of fiction, with Barry's perpetual grin and Karen's playful awkwardness at her daughter documenting her everyday routines.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 22, 2020
If you're thirsting for something saucy, funny, and heart-warming, you'll love Circus of Books.
May 4, 2019
Circus of Books is a complicated family portrait, illuminating its subjects with love and understanding but also with the mixed emotions to be expected from any family.
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 30, 2020
There is a non-glossy quality to the whole documentary that adds to the feeling of its authenticity and mirrors Masons' unfussy approach toward life and work.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
April 28, 2020
A fascinating look at an important slice of L.A.'s queer history.
May 4, 2020
The scrappy style of the film, like the store, is engaging. By the time "Circus of Books" ends, viewers who had been to the hallowed ground should have good memories, while those who never visited, will wish they had been able to visit.
April 21, 2020
Unabashed in its idiosyncrasies and indulgences, which lend it character and charm, the film perhaps lacks the artistry of something similarly personal like Stories We Tell, but Rachel does a fine job of contextualising her parents' work.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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