The Circus
The Circus (1928)

Less maudlin than many of Chaplin's longer films, this one won him a special Academy Award for "versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing," due in part to the outlandish final scenes. In this silent… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: January 6, 1928
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2000
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Andrew O'Hehir

It's a brilliant combination of light and darkness, tenderness and violence and, yes, laughter and tears.

Adam Lippe

It is the political subtext and discussion of capitalism vs. communism that is the saving grace of The Circus, since the surface material, comprised of frantic slapstick mixed with maudlin and melodrama, is very standard for Chaplin.

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Mark Bourne

In some ways The Circus is Chaplin's Stardust Memories, his reflexive self-observation in which Woody Allen's line, 'We like your earlier, funny movies,' flashes subliminally among the frames.

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Keith Uhlich
Time Out

There's an edge to The Circus that suggests a man gazing deep into the void, laughing at the darkness and urging us to do the same.

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Chris Cabin

sort of B-grade alternative to City Lights

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Chaplin's slapstick comedy worked to great effect.

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Aaron Hillis
Village Voice

Innovative and timelessly hilarious.

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Christian Blauvelt
Slant Magazine

The Circus may be the film that most definitively silences critics who claim that Charlie Chaplin's movies aren't cinematic.

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Gabe Leibowitz

Chaplin's most underrated, consistently hysterical, and imaginative picture.

More reviews for The Circus

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A very amusing and delightful silent film that probably would have been better had it been made a bit shorter, since it begins extremely hilarious but after a… More
Stella Dallas
i love the circus! hilarious! it's between this and city lights for my fave chaplin so far. it's amazing how funny they still are after 80 years
Devon Bott
The Circus is quite a charming little film from the silent era, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. He of course plays the "little tramp"… More
Ken Stachnik
Probably the funniest of Chaplin's films (but not the best) I've seen
Aj V
This movie is really fun, cute, and humorous, I enjoyed it, and I recommend it.
Byron Brubaker
I watched this when Hulu offered a free weekend of Criterion Collection films. In the version I saw the opening credits are interspersed with some clips of… More