Terry Gilliam would have gotten along famously with the Grimms. Like the famed fairy-tale authors, the director of such 12-course visual feasts as Brazil and 12 Monkeys specializes in absurdist, fantastical landscapes, and he was an inspired choice to helm this engaging story about Will (Damon) and Jacob Grimm (Ledger), here not yet scribes but charlatan 19th-century ghostbusters who must do battle with real evil spirits.
Quick-thinking lothario Damon (gleefully letting his bushy hair down as he invites two comely lasses to play his favorite game, Who's the Fairest of Them All?) and the dry, bespectacled Ledger swap verbal jousts like real siblings, and viewers will delight in spotting the frequent allusions to Grimm stories (including Hansel and Gretel and Red Riding Hood). Gilliam has created yet another wondrous cinematic sandbox to play in, though his efforts are somewhat marred by jarring edits and a jumbled ending. The result isn't a suitable bedtime story for children (not with horses swallowing boys and kitties getting pureed) but an enchanting tale nonetheless. (PG-13)