Reviews - The Prestige (2006)
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The Prestige (2006)

Country: USA, UK

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Taglines: A Friendship That Became a Rivalry.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, Christopher Priest

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, ...

In the end of the Nineteenth Century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.

100 | Lawrence Toppman

To talk more about the movie's layers is to risk giving away too much. I'll say only that this film confirms Nolan's status as the director whose work I look forward to more than any other.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

88 | Claudia Puig

A visually stunning, startlingly clever sleight of hand that will have audiences pondering well after the lights go up.
Read More: USA Today

88 | Maitland McDonagh

The film's prestige is a doozy, both dazzling and preposterous, but if you're watching closely -- as Cutter advises in the film's first few minutes -- it's flawlessly set up.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

88 | Peter Travers

Nolan directs the film exactly like a great trick, so you want to see it again the second it's over. I'd call that wicked clever.
Read More: Rolling Stone

83 | Owen Gleiberman

The Prestige isn't art, but it reaps a lot of fun out of the question, How did they do that?
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

80 | A.O. Scott

Stuffed with hard-working actors, sleek effects and stagy period details, The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan from a script he wrote with his brother Jonathan, is an intricate and elaborate machine designed for the simple purpose of diversion.
Read More: The New York Times

80 | Kenneth Turan

The Prestige does more than focus on magicians. It is so in love with the romance, wonder and ability to fool of stage illusion that it becomes something of a magic trick in and of itself
Read More: Los Angeles Times

80 | Ann Hornaday

Bale and Jackman inject their reliable charisma into two otherwise very cold fish. Okay, I'll say it: If you see only one magic-at-the-turn-of-the-century movie this year, make it this one.
Read More: Washington Post

80 | Dana Stevens

The Prestige is utterly without pretense. It doesn't want to explore epistemological questions about the nature of perception and memory; it just wants to mess with our heads. And as a wily, slightly sadistic chess game of a movie, it succeeds quite nicely.
Read More: Slate

80 | David Ansen

Take the movie's first words to heart: watch closely. You'll be well rewarded.
Read More: Newsweek

80 | Richard Schickel

For all the film's murky misdirections, it is very enjoyable. That's because Nolan's recreation of the illusionists' backstage world is so marvelously detailed, including as it does revelations of how some of their best tricks are accomplished.
Read More: Time

80 | Dan Jolin

The Prestige traces the course of their bitter feud, as their respective acts of sabotage become ever more deadly.
Read More: Empire

75 | Peter Rainer

Has its moments.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

75 | Chris Kaltenbach

In the end, there's enough movie magic in The Prestige to keep you guessing, even after the film's over.
Read More: Baltimore Sun

75 | Ty Burr

It's like "The Illusionist" crossed with a really hard Sudoku.
Read More: Boston Globe

75 | Rene Rodriguez

Nolan, who has become an assured, stylish filmmaker in the span of only a few films, keeps the complicated plot spinning.
Read More: Miami Herald

75 | M. E. Russell

It's a gorgeous, strange little piece -- but I did find myself wishing it poked fewer aces out its sleeve after urging us to pay such close attention.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

75 | Rick Groen

[Nolan is] back in the fine engineering business, crafting a story as intricately designed as a magician's lock, tightly packed with tumblers of deception and issuing a fun challenge to any volunteers in the audience: Just try to pick it.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

75 | Roger Ebert

Christopher Nolan's The Prestige has just about everything I require in a movie about magicians, except ... the Prestige.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

70 | Scott Foundas

The result is a lopsided yet absorbing movie in which the director is less drawn to his main characters than to those on the periphery.
Read More: Village Voice

67 | Scott Tobias

For all its surface dazzle, The Prestige shares with this year's earlier "The Illusionist" a certain core hollowness. Maybe that's a natural consequence of even the best magic shows: You can't help but feel duped.
Read More: The A.V. Club

63 | Michael Phillips

Many, I suspect, will fall for The Prestige and its blend of one-upsmanship and science fiction. I prefer "The Illusionist," the movie that got here first.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

63 | Ethan Alter

If The Prestige is something of a let down as a magic trick, it's more successful as a tale of obsession. The rivalry between the magicians is brutal and bloody and Bale and Jackman do their best work when they're plotting each other's downfall.
Read More: Premiere

63 | Jack Mathews

By describing the structure of a great trick in a movie about a great trick, The Prestige makes a promise it can't keep. Its third act is about as convincing as a photo of a cow jumping over the moon.
Read More: New York Daily News

63 | Kyle Smith

On the M. Night Shyamalan scale of stupid endings, The Prestige isn't as bad as "The Village" but it's comparable to "Unbreakable."
Read More: New York Post

63 | James Berardinelli

There's plenty going on but never any real magic.
Read More: ReelViews

58 | Paula Nechak

If you can forgive some woeful casting and a plot that is as creakingly thin as an old staircase, you can enjoy director Christopher Nolan's The Prestige.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

50 | Kirk Honeycutt

Audiences might enjoy this cinematic sleight of hand, but the key characters are such single-minded, calculating individuals that the real magic would be to find any heart in this tale.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

50 | J.R. Jones

"The Illusionist" also centers on a 19th-century magician, and the elegant contours of its story are even more impressive compared with Nolan's clutter of double and triple crosses.
Read More: Chicago Reader

50 | Mark Bell

When all is said and done and you get the full explanation of what meant what and who did what to whom, it's not fulfilling at all. It's a magic trick that's all showmanship and craft, but lacking true whimsy, ultimately failing the audience.
Read More: Film Threat

50 | Steven Rea

Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's adaptation of this novel by Christopher Priest offers three acts of exasperating muddle.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

50 | Stephanie Zacharek

The Prestige is a trick box with too many false bottoms. Ultimately, the last one simply gives way -- leaving us with a hole, and a little residual darkness, but not much else.
Read More: Salon.com

50 | David Edelstein

The tit-for-tat scenario ought to be wildly entertaining, but the magic is crude, the characters flyweight, and the story protracted and unpleasant.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

50 | Marc Savlov

Truth itself is little more than a word in The Prestige, a film that both celebrates the wonder of being fooled and the foolishness of wanting just that.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

40 | Dennis Harvey

Clearly, director Nolan is aiming for something else. But the delight in sheer gamesmanship that marked his breakout "Memento" doesn't survive this project's gimmickry and aspirations toward "Les Miserables"-style epic passion.
Read More: Variety

25 | Mick LaSalle

Thus, we find ourselves watching an ice-cold movie about competition that contains not a shred of rooting interest.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle