Circus of Books - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Circus of Books Reviews

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April 21, 2020
Rachel Mason performs a nice bit of misdirection with the film, starting with humorous juxtapositions of this nice, elderly Jewish couple running a gay porn shop and then moving toward a poignant story of acceptance.
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
April 21, 2020
The ending is upbeat and, whatever your views on porn, will make you want to give Karen a really big hug.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 18, 2020
We get an insider's look at a rich source of LGBT history.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 17, 2020
There is enormous humour and tenderness here.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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 15, 2020
It's all good clean - OK, not so clean - fun
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 14, 2020
Throughout the movie, Karen chides her daughter over the purpose of it. She doesn't understand what makes the store or their story special. What she doesn't realize is that it's her own journey that is the most interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
April 7, 2020
Mason lovingly pays tribute to her parents' business while giving her audience plenty of reasons to care about this piece of gay history.
November 30, 2019
The place pornography and erotica play in our lives is actually a very important one in understanding contemporary culture, especially gay culture, and Mason's film takes to it with a delicate hand...
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 23, 2019
Crucially, Circus of Books remains honest to the intentions of the Mason family.
October 15, 2019
It's a complete and utterly compelling history told succinctly in one brilliant, and at times, hilarious, film.
July 24, 2019
"Circus of Books" is an affectionate look at one of the most unusual mom and pop businesses in America, directed by the person who knew Mom and Pop best.
May 5, 2019
For those wishing to understand a slice of LGBTQ culture and history, Mason's poignant film is a high-priority watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
May 2, 2019
It sends a strong message that we should never be ashamed of who or what we are and that the freedoms we enjoy were fought and won in the most unusual of places.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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 29, 2019
[A] very funny, very moving documentary.
April 30, 2020
To the Masons, it seemed more like a millstone. Too bad the director treads so lightly on such heavy material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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