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The Illusionist


Neil Burger

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Plot Summary

Unlock the mysteries of the year's most spellbinding film from the producers of Crash and Sideways! Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton lead an all-star cast in this "stunning" film (USA Today) that conjures an exhilarating blend of suspense, romance and mind-bending twists. The acclaimed illusionist Eisenheim (Norton) has not only captured the imaginations of all of Vienna, but also the interest of the ambitious Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). But when Leopold's new fiancée (Jessica Biel) rekindles a childhood fascination with Eisenheim, the Prince's interest evolves into obsession...and suddenly the city's chief inspector (Giamatti) finds himself investigating a shocking crime. But even as the inspector engages him in a dramatic challenge of wills, Eisenheim prepares for his most impressive illusion yet in this "mesmerizing" (Entertainment Weekly) and "beautifully acted" (Good Morning America) film that "teases you until the very end" (The New York Times)!

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 187
  • Fresh: 138
  • Rotten: 49
  • Average Rating: 6.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: What (director Neil) Burger and his colleagues have done is to entrance us with a richly acted, beautifully produced story. – Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Conjures up a world of mystery, romance and suspense. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The story may be less than credible, but the performances are mostly good, and Giamatti makes an especially strong showing. – Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: Never quite the sum of its parts, this would-be intelligent thriller coasts by on strong supporting performances from Giamatti, Sewell and Biel. – Jamie Russell, Film4, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

B e a u t i f u l . . .

A Breathtakingly lavish look at a world of magic and illusion. Magnificently woven around four people traped in a knot that will slowly be undone. I may have given this only three stars but it is certainly one of my favorite recent films, yours too if you love intrigue, mystery and a new take on a period romance.

Best movie ever

This Movie is so smart that when u see it the second time with ur whole family u just want to tell them the puchline but u cant cuz then they wont enjoy it as much. Instead i tell them that ull be blown away and leave them watch the movie cuz i dont want to spoil it. I saw it about 5-6 times before i bought it on my ipod. Its a must have classic. It has really good actors and really smart plot. Really good 19234858 thumbs up

Nice enough movie, but reviews look to be padded...

A nice and regular piece of Hollywood filmaking, but the reason the film isn't on everyone's lips is that it's just a nice piece of Hollywood work. I bought it based on the wild-rave reviews, but really would have rented it, had I read what I thought were square-up comments. I've got to wonder seriously to see it labelled the best film ever... it won how many Academy Awards and such? No wins, one nomination for best cinematography (a nomination it deserved!). Well-cast, well-made, a nice enough film -- and Jessica Biel brings her part off very nicely! But look out for the chance that some public relations pool maybe jumped in to hype up the reviews.

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