Circus of Books - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Circus of Books Reviews

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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
September 1, 2021
Circus Of Books is a spellbinding portrait of two unlikely Queer allies, charting their personal journeys with a community that would become central to their lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 27, 2020
The documentary serves as a fittingly idiosyncratic memorial to the remarkable resource and vital meeting space that Circus of Books was ... a heartfelt message of love and gratitude to the owners and patrons that keep the spirit alive.
May 29, 2020
Circus of Books is a triumph of filmmaking in the way it covers such a range of topics so seamlessly: LGBTQ history, pornography, religion, obscenity law, media, AIDS, coming out, parenthood, and more.
July 6, 2021
Circus of Books cops a feel for the personal, the political, and the pornographic, all at once -- you'll need a cigarette after it's done with you.
July 11, 2020
The movie strikes the right balance between showing touches humor, but not at the expense of addressing serious topics.
October 23, 2019
Crucially, Circus of Books remains honest to the intentions of the Mason family.
April 24, 2020
Both Circus of Books locations have since closed, but this documentary is a necessary, if incomplete, homage to their influence.
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
May 15, 2020
If you hear "mom and pop gay porn store" and don't immediately send Jerry Falwell a check, watch Circus of Books. It's genuinely moving and impeccably made.
Full Review | Original Score: A
June 7, 2020
A seemingly mild mannered Jewish family runs a prolific erotic book store in Los Angeles.
December 31, 2020
Circus of Books entertains so much because of how unlikely the Masons' story first appears, but it's also fascinating to watch history unfold and see how they regularly found themselves part of larger cultural events.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
April 30, 2020
Stars of the genre, customers and former employees of the store shape a story that ends up taking a much more personal direction. [Full Review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
May 29, 2020
Circus of Books is essential viewing-a raw, often hilarious, moving story about a family working in the background of a marginalized culture.
May 10, 2020
An intimate and fascinating documentary that casts a light on the history and the struggles of the queer community in American society. [Full Review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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.
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
October 15, 2019
It's a complete and utterly compelling history told succinctly in one brilliant, and at times, hilarious, film.
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
April 22, 2020
Like a seasoned ringmaster, [director Mason] keeps this circus well in line.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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