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Lost in La Mancha

Filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe chronicle the making of a movie that was never actually completed in this documentary about Terry Gilliam's repeated (and repeatedly failed) attempts to bring the story of Don Quixote to the big screen. In the end, it seems Gilliam's passionate project -- which starred Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis and Jean Rochefort -- metamorphosed into the impossible dream.
Netflix Rating: 3.3
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 94%
Critics' score: 94   Audience score: 72   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

[W]onderful look at how movies are made or how movies fall apart. full review

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

The filmmakers, Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton, get perilously close to the glitches and backbiting, the mad logistical frustrations that derailed Gilliam's Quixote. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Wondrous document of a film gone wrong and an artist who inspires fans, cast and crew, even as he terrifies financiers, insurers and anyone more firmly footed in filmmaking reality.

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

A fascinating study in the cinematic arts, as we watch a talented director and a committed crew and cast thwarted by nature, human failings and just plain bad luck.

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic

Gilliam himself is a joy to behold. His wit stays sharp even as his fortunes dull, and the conditions that conspire against him only prove the mettle in our man of La Mancha. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Should be required viewing for all film-school students, aspiring filmmakers and studio suits. full review

Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News

Bitterly funny and oddly poignant. full review

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One hopes that some day Gilliam gets to realize his dream, but in the meantime, in Lost In La Mancha, the shards of that dream offer tantalizing -- and tear-inducing -- glimpses of what might have been.

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

I'd like Lost in La Mancha more if it didn't take the easy but misleading route of dovetailing Gilliam's frustrations into Welles's, and then dovetailing both into Quixote's. full review

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

It's disconcerting to recommend this movie for its entertainment value, but highly watchable it is.

Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Does exactly what it sets out to do, describing the picture Gilliam was hoping to make and showing just how wrong it went. But it's also an elegy for every doomed picture that was never made. full review

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com

Entertaining documentary about how badly everything went. full review

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle

A fascinating glimpse at the fragile ecosystem of a movie shoot, but I'm bound to say that I don't share its view of Gilliam. full review

Plays like a doomed love story, a film about a love ultimately unfulfilled. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

Some films end with a whimper; this one banged into a stone wall. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

[Works best] as an entry in the genre of Hollywood schadenfreude pioneered by the 1991 Apocalypse Now documentary Hearts of Darkness. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

You can interpret Lost in La Mancha as a sort of triumph of the creative spirit. full review

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

A fascinating chronicle of bad luck, bad faith and bad weather all striking on the same day. full review

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
full review by Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
full review by Derek Elley, Variety
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