Circus movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant circus movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out weird, serious, stylized, cult film, humorous and visually appealing films and TV shows about / with circus, suspense, chase, friendship, escapades, runaway, elephant, murder, clown and brutality plots mostly in Adventure, Fantasy and Comedy genres shot in USA, UK, France and other countries.
circus movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as circus: Water for Elephants (2011), The Greatest Showman (2017), Big Top Pee-wee (1988), The First of May (1999), Carnivàle (2003), Santa Sangre (1989), Octopussy (1983), A Bug's Life (1998), Parade (1974), Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (2012).

List of circus movies

Water for Elephants (2011)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 120 min.
Story: In this captivating Depression-era melodrama, impetuous veterinary student Jacob Jankowski joins a celebrated circus as an animal caretaker but faces a wrenching dilemma when he's transfixed by angelic married performer Marlena.
Style: emotional, romantic, sexy, touching, stylized ...
Audience: chick flick, girls' night, date night, teens
Plot: circus, forbidden love, love and romance, older woman younger man relationship, lovers, performer's life, love story, fall in love, couples, couple relations, artists and showbiz, love affair ...
Time: 19th century, 50s, 20th century, 1920s, year 1931 ...
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
Country: USA
Duration: 105 min.
Story: The story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Style: inspirational, uplifting, captivating, suspenseful, sincere ...
Audience: family outing, teens, kids, chick flick, date night
Plot: circus, social outcast, dancing, children, success, giant, father daughter relationship, love, outcast, romantic relationship, friendship, infidelity ...
Time: 19th century, victorian era, 2010s
Place: new york
Is relevant ?
Big Top Pee-wee (1988)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 86 min.
Story: Paul Reubens stars as Pee-wee Herman in his second full-length film about a farmer who joins the circus after a storm drops a big tent in his front yard. Pee-wee, along with an outlandish cast of animals and circus performers, puts on the best show ...
Style: humorous, light, feel good, surreal, sexy ...
Audience: family outing, kids, pre-teens
Plot: circus, small town, farm, misfit, workplace, pig, fall in love, mentor, first contact, fantasy world, life philosophy, runaway ...
Place: california
Is relevant ?
The First of May (1999)
Genre: Drama, Family, Sport
Country: USA
Duration: 111 min.
Story: Cory (Dan Byrd) is a foster child nobody wants. Carlotta (Academy Award-nominee Julie Harris) is an elderly woman the world has forgotten. Together, they find friendship and family when they join a traveling circus. Also features Mickey Rooney and ...
Style: semi serious, realistic, humorous, offbeat
Audience: preschoolers, pre-teens, family outing, kids
Plot: circus, youth, baseball, retirement home, adoption, foster parent, mysterious character, hopes, young heroes, orphan, chase, starting over ...
Time: 90s
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 109 min.
Story: Darren Shan is a regular teenage kid. He and his friend Steve find out about a Freak Show coming to town and work hard at trying to find tickets. They do, and together they go to "Cirque du Freak" where they see many strange acts including ...
Style: stylized, scary, sexy, semi serious, dark fantasy ...
Audience: teens, family outing
Plot: vampire, circus, uninhibited rivalry, youth, supernatural ability, chosen one, supernatural, young heroes, destiny, friends, teenage life, immortality ...
Time: 21st century
Is relevant ?
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Country: USA
Duration: 93 min.
Story: Animal pals Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria are still trying to make it back to New York's Central Park Zoo. They are forced to take a detour to Europe to find the penguins and chimps who broke the bank at a Monte Carlo casino. When French ...
Style: humorous, sweet, funny, entertaining, witty ...
Audience: kids, preschoolers, teens, family outing
Plot: circus, talking animals, penguins, zebra, getting home, friendship, animals, lion, villain, buddies, unlikely friendships, giraffe ...
Time: 21st century
Place: madagascar, new york, london, africa, europe ...
Is relevant ?
Carnivàle (2003)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 55 min.
TV show
Story: Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching story depicts the battle between good and evil and the struggle ...
Style: atmospheric, captivating, serious, surreal, erotic ...
Plot: prophecy, healing power, god or devil, circus, surrealism, evil, supernatural, clergy, self discovery, supernatural ability, good versus evil, psychic ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, year 1934, year 1935
Place: california, usa
Is relevant ?
Santa Sangre (1989)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Country: Mexico, Italy
Duration: 123 min.
Story: A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the arms of his mother, a religious fanatic and leader of the ...
Style: surreal, disturbing, psychedelic, atmospheric, psychological ...
Plot: surrealism, circus, serial killer, revenge, cult, psychology, art, magic realism, insanity, macabre, funeral, clown ...
Time: 80s
Place: mexico city, latin america
Is relevant ?
Octopussy (1983)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Country: UK
Duration: 131 min.
Story: James Bond is sent to investigate after a fellow “00” agent is found dead with a priceless Fabergé egg. James Bond follows the mystery and uncovers a smuggling scandal and a Russian General who wants to provoke a new World War.
Style: exciting, tense, suspenseful, stylized, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: james bond, cold war, espionage, circus, terrorism, race against time, spy, secret agents, agent, british secret service, kgb, train ...
Time: 80s, 20th century
Place: india, east germany, east berlin, russia, asia ...
Is relevant ?
A Bug's Life (1998)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Country: USA
Duration: 95 min.
Story: On behalf of "oppressed bugs everywhere," an inventive ant named Flik hires a troupe of warrior bugs to defend his bustling colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers led by the evil-minded Hopper.
Style: feel good, humorous, touching, witty, entertaining ...
Audience: kids, family outing, preschoolers, girls' night, pre-teens
Plot: circus, ant, villain, talking animals, disney, friendship, good versus evil, childhood, teamwork, animals, fight, deception ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: texas
Is relevant ?
Parade (1974)
Genre: Comedy, Family
Country: France, Sweden
Duration: 90 min.
Story: Two children go behind the scenes of a small circus.
Style: touching, humorous, feel good, semi serious
Audience: family outing
Plot: circus, art, little boy, musician, little girl, magician, children, juggling, juggler, showbiz, goofy hero, nothing goes right ...
Place: stockholm sweden
Is relevant ?
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (2012)
Genre: Fantasy
Country: USA
Duration: 91 min.
Story: An original story featuring performances by Cirque du Soleil. A young woman is entranced by an Aerialist. When they fall into the dreamlike world of Cirque du Soleil and are separated, they travel through the different tent worlds trying to find ...
Style: serious, exciting, surreal, stylized, weird
Audience: kids
Plot: circus, disorder, dancer, performance, young lovers, fall in love, artists and showbiz, fish out of water, dancing, cirque du soleil, art, synchronized swimming ...
Time: 21st century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
dwarf movies
elephant movies
carnival movies
midget movies
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 95 min.
Story: In a small American town, a diabolical circus arrives, granting wishes for the townsfolk, but twisted as only the esteemed Mr. Dark can make them. Can two young boys overcome the worst the devil himself can deal out?
Style: gothic, scary, atmospheric, suspenseful, dark ...
Audience: kids, teens, family outing, horror for children
Plot: witch, good versus evil, circus, boy, small town, supernatural, youth, carnival, coming of age, greed, friendship, temptation ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, 80s
Place: illinois, usa
Is relevant ?
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery
Country: UK, France, Canada
Duration: 123 min.
Story: A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.
Style: surreal, dark fantasy, stylized, absurd, enigmatic ...
Audience: teens, kids
Plot: imaginary kingdom, deal with the devil, surrealism, mysterious character, magic, imagination, transformation, destiny, steampunk, insanity, immortality, eccentricity ...
Place: london
Is relevant ?
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Country: USA
Duration: 130 min.
Story: Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus illusionist and con-artist, is whisked from Kansas to the Land of Oz where the inhabitants assume he's the great wizard of prophecy, there to save Oz from the clutches of evil.
Style: fairy tale, light, colourful, entertaining, visually appealing ...
Audience: family outing, kids, date night, teens, chick flick ...
Plot: magic, witch, imaginary kingdom, wizards, magic trick, good versus evil, disney, wizards and magicians, prophecy, betrayal, transformation, fantasy world ...
Time: 20th century
Place: kansas
Is relevant ?
The Clown (2011)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: Brazil
Duration: 88 min.
Story: The life of the owners of Circus Esperança, Puro Sangue e Pangaré, father and son, who plays two clowns. At a certain point, Pangaré starts showing tiredness and sadness for being an unhappy clown.
Style: touching, humorous, semi serious, realistic, offbeat
Plot: circus, introspection, self discovery, follow your dream, identity crisis, parents and children, escapades, family relations, on the road, countryside, hopes, unfulfillment ...
Time: 21st century
Place: brazil, latin america
Is relevant ?
Clownhouse (1989)
Genre: Horror
Country: USA
Duration: 81 min.
Story: Just before Halloween, three young brothers alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities.
Style: slasher, suspenseful, scary, controversial, psychological ...
Plot: clown, murder, child in peril, escaped mental patient, brother brother relationship, circus, home invasion, chase, evil clown, halloween, serial killer, insanity ...
Time: 80s
Is relevant ?
Freakshow (2007)
Genre: Horror
Country: USA
Duration: 85 min.
Story: In a modern retelling of Tod Browning's "Freaks" (1932), "Freakshow" tells the story of a group of criminals who chose to hide out by working security at a traveling circus. At first, they plot with an insider to steal the ...
Style: suspenseful, tense, captivating, psychological, disturbing ...
Plot: revenge, circus, suspense, mutilation, cons and scams, dishonesty, rivalry, murder, freakshow, amusement park, killer clown, escapades ...
Time: 1930s, 21st century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Open Season 3 (2010)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Country: USA
Duration: 75 min.
Story: Boog, Elliot, and their forest friends return with an all-new adventure, this time in a Big Top Circus! The comedy begins when Boog's pals choose their family obligations over the annual guy's trip, and a disappointed Boog decides to take ...
Style: not serious, humorous, feel good, funny, 3d animation
Audience: kids, family outing, preschoolers, pre-teens
Plot: circus, friendship, animal life, switching roles, bear, dog, buddies, nothing goes right, goofy hero, rescue, escapades, friends ...
Time: 21st century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 134 min.
Story: Gellert Grindelwald has escaped imprisonment and has begun gathering followers to his cause—elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one capable of putting a stop to him is the wizard he once called his closest friend, Albus ...
Style: mysterious, dark fantasy, breathtaking, atmospheric, exciting ...
Audience: teens, kids, chick flick, family outing
Plot: wizards, wizards and magicians, magical, fantasy world, witch, magic, curse, magical creature, teacher, circus, harry potter, giant animal ...
Time: 1920s
Place: paris france, france, london, austria, england ...
Is relevant ?
Big Top Scooby-Doo! (2012)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 80 min.
Story: When Scooby and the gang hear of a werewolf plaguing a traveling circus, they go undercover as circus performers to get to the bottom.
Style: entertaining, captivating, humorous
Audience: kids, family outing, teens, horror for children
Plot: scooby doo, circus, investigation, cartoon dog, gang, friendship, talking dog, ghost, teenager, great dane, dog, werewolf
Time: 2010s
Is relevant ?
Dumbo (2019)
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Country: UK, Canada, Australia, USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: Circus owner Max Medici enlists former star Holt Farrier and his children Milly and Joe to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the ...
Style: fairy tale, touching, emotional, sweet, sincere ...
Audience: kids, family outing
Plot: elephant, circus, disney, flying, train, boy, children, performance, family relations, animals, child, vegan ...
Time: 1910s, 20th century, year 1919
Place: florida, missouri, coney island brooklyn new york city
Is relevant ?
Berserk (1967)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK
Duration: 96 min.
Story: Monica Rivers, is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus and who'll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her performers die gruesomely, her profits soar. She hires ...
Style: psychotronic, slasher, campy, realistic, serious ...
Plot: circus, hagsploitation, murder, mysticism, macabre, amusement park, suspense, age-gap relationship, serial killer, investigation, graphic violence, unstoppable ...
Time: 60s
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Freaks Out (2021)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, War
Country: Italy, Belgium
Duration: 141 min.
Story: Four circus freaks with superpowers find themselves trapped in Nazi-occupied Rome after their owner and father figure goes missing in the aftermath of the 1943 surrender of Italy to the Allies.
Plot: world war two, circus, superhero, hunting, nazism, partisan, electricity, piano, nazi occultism, nazi occupation, female nudity, brother brother relationship ...
Time: 1940s, year 1943
Place: rome italy, italy
Is relevant ?
Psycho-Circus (1966)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, West Germany
Duration: 91 min.
Story: A circus becomes the location for stolen loot and murder.
Style: slasher, realistic, serious, scary, mind bending ...
Plot: circus, serial killer, murder, manhunt, killer clown, suspense, amusement park, macabre, psychopath, police detective, dishonesty, rivalry ...
Time: 60s, 20th century
Place: london, england
Is relevant ?
Batman Returns (1992)
Genre: Action, Crime, Fantasy
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 126 min.
Story: Having defeated the Joker, Batman now faces the Penguin - a warped and deformed individual who is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Schreck is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt ...
Style: gothic, stylized, dark, disturbing, intense ...
Audience: kids, teens, date night, family outing, boys' night
Plot: villain, superhero, revenge, batman, double life, corruption, femme fatale, circus, cat, dark hero, heroes, transformation ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
The One and Only Ivan (2020)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Country: USA
Duration: 95 min.
Story: Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals. He has few memories of the jungle where he was captured, but when a baby elephant ...
Style: visually appealing, sincere, touching, sweet, light ...
Audience: kids, family outing
Plot: animals, circus, gorilla, human animal relationship, friendship, animal rights, talent, affection, animal that acts human, animal life, unlikely friendships, getting home ...
Is relevant ?
Free Jimmy (2006)
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Country: Norway, UK, Denmark
Duration: 86 min.
Story: Four stoners, five vegans, three mobsters, four hunters and a million reasons to free one junkie elephant.
Style: cynical, realistic, humorous, adult animation, adult cartoon ...
Audience: boys' night, kids
Plot: circus, stoners, dark humor, vulgarity, chase, elephant, heroin, addiction, gang, sex, animal rights, society ...
Time: 21st century
Place: europe, norway
Is relevant ?
Vampire Circus (1972)
Genre: Horror
Country: UK
Duration: 87 min.
Story: After a spate of murders, the villagers of Schtettel kill the depraved perpetrator, Count Mitterhouse. Fifteen years later the Circus of Nights appeared in the plague-ridden village and its performers include Mitterhouse's mistress, children ...
Style: suspenseful, scary, gothic horror, enigmatic, psychotronic ...
Plot: vampire, supernatural, forest, circus, female vampire, curse, mysterious character, criminal's revenge, good versus evil, deadly creature, heroic mission, curses spells and rituals ...
Time: 19th century
Place: bosnia
Is relevant ?
The Last Circus (2010)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Country: Spain, France
Duration: 107 min.
Story: The journey of Javier, the obese Sad Clown, starts during his childhood in the midst of the Spanish civil war in 1937. His father, one of Spain’s most prominent jesters, is detained and tortured by the fascist regime.
Style: disturbing, bleak, rough, psychological, surreal ...
Plot: clown, dark humor, circus, rivalry, graphic violence, uninhibited rivalry, performer's life, life is a bitch, evil clown, sadism, killer clown, revenge motive ...
Time: 70s, 20th century, year 1937, 1930s, year 1973
Place: europe, spain, madrid
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists