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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Excesses or not, I'm rabid to see this again. [10 Mar 1989, p.1D]

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    I felt much the same way as I sat goggle-eyed through this endless extravaganza of visual abracadabra. It seemed entirely possible that I might die of the fidgets or old age while waiting for Baron Munchausen to kill the Turks. And yet I found myself wanting to see the end of the movie before I expired. [9 Mar 1989, p.1]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I was confused sometimes during Baron Munchausen and bored sometimes, but this is a vast and commodious work, and even allowing for the unsuccessful passages there is a lot here to treasure.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Allison Benedikt

    Munchausen is indeed a beautiful, burgeoning, madly voluptuous movie from minute to minute and image to image; it's in the aggregate that the film fails to find the weight and the rhythm it needs to truly enthrall. [10 Mar 1989, p.A]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 11+

Visual treat is too bawdy for young fantasy fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie, based on an 18th-century book of tall tales and directed by Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam, should have been PG-13. Though it's steeped heavily in fantasy, there are still graphic scenes of battle with many explosions, sporadic beheadings and near executions, scenes of a harem with some shots of naked women, and a creepy Angel of Death.

  • Families can talk about the nature of war as it's depicted here. Vulcan treasures his nuclear weapon because it can cause destruction while he's comfortably far away; how has that attitude changed modern warfare? How powerful a weapon is fear, as you see Horatio Jackson warning his citizens not to open the town gates? In what other movies and books can you find the Angel of Death?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Epic efforts to reunite friends in order to defend a town under siege underpin the story, but just as much screen time given over to lust, selfishness, and avarice. The Turkish sultan and his army are depicted as cartoonishly evil.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many scenes of battle, lots of explosions, beheadings, and torture, though they are surreal and strangely bloodless. A creepy, skeleton-faced Angel of Death tries to take the Baron on numerous occasions.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Brief female nudity (a bare backside and hazy shots of breasts), scenes of a harem, kissing, and heavy sexual innuendo, including two jealous husbands and a character who sounds like she's about to have an orgasm (though her feet are getting tickled instead).

  • language false0

    Language: "Hell" and "damnit."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A character is nearly beheaded over a good bottle of wine.