The Illusionist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Illusionist Reviews

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Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
January 16, 2013
Dark, dazzling turns by Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel makes it achingly romantic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit
May 15, 2011
A fond animated farewell to Jacques Tati
Joshua Starnes
March 27, 2011
If nothing else, The Illusionist is worth watching solely for Giamatti's Oscar-caliber performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
July 24, 2010
A wonderful period film first and secondarily an interesting mystery-romance that keeps you guessing about the big questions until late in the narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Brett Michel
Boston Phoenix
July 7, 2010
Norton and Paul Giamatti perform wonders, but writer/director Neil Burger ruins the magic, exposing all of his story's tricks by the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Gary Dowell
Baltimore City Paper
January 22, 2010
Unabashedly old-fashioned and fantastically pulpy.
Fernando F. Croce
August 30, 2009
Straddles fascination and irritation
Steve Biodrowski
June 17, 2009
Director Neil Burger effectively evokes a sense of mystery and magic, but the plot grinds too methodically to match the dazzle of the title character's on-stage illusions.
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
An immaculate and utterly gorgeous murder mystery with the trifecta of wonderful direction, great acting, and a plot that twists and turns at every such occasion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bob Mondello
October 18, 2008
The line between truth and illusion is blurred so persuasively that for a moment or two, you may even believe that a romantic costume drama could stand up to all those special-effects blockbusters in the dog days of summer.
April 22, 2008
Never quite the sum of its parts, this would-be intelligent thriller coasts by on strong supporting performances from Giamatti, Sewell and Biel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Stuart McGurk
March 30, 2007
Just as two Truman Capote biopics came in subsequent Oscar seasons, so two period films about stage magicians appear with only winter to separate them. And, frankly, The Illusionist has missed a trick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 24, 2007
Despite its two strong lead performances and terrific visual verve, The Illusionist ends up as a great example of an overly ambitious movie that's not quite sure what it wants to be.
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
March 15, 2007
An early flashback scene indicates how The Illusionist might have played like The Princess Bride for the tea and scone set. Instead it's just a nobly acted stage mystery.
Full Review
James Christopher
Times [UK]
March 13, 2007
Norton looks tortured and old before his time as the humourless Eisenheim.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
March 10, 2007
The acts are beautifully mounted, the four central performances are excellent, and the exquisite photography is by Dick Pope, Mike Leigh's regular cameraman.
Matthew Turner
March 6, 2007
Norton is superb as Eisenheim although his clipped Viennese accent grates occasionally and makes him sound like John Malkovich on a bad day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Bradshaw
March 3, 2007
In its unassuming way, the film shows that reality is more mystifying than illusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
It's the terrific cast and nicely paced, weird tale that make this one worth the detour.
Top Critic
Nick Funnell
Time Out
February 28, 2007
With exquisite performances (Giamatti's, in particular), it leaves you thrillingly hovering, happily uncommitted to any one interpretation.
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