The Prestige Reviews

Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
The film is never less than engaging, though considering that the title The Prestige refers to the moment in a magic act that gives it its "wow" factor, it's kind of a shame that the ultimate "reveal" in the movie is a little too tricky for its own good.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 7, 2007
It's quite a movie -- atmospheric, obsessive, almost satanic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
The who's-bilking-whom mind games make for compelling fun, but once the presto moment of The Prestige is revealed, you're left with nothing but shattered illusions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
November 9, 2006
Not only does it tell you how it's all done, it takes so long about it that you've got time to look up its sleeves and work it out for yourself.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 25, 2006
Jackman and Bale give standout performances as rivals whose mutual obsession destroys all sense of perspective and ruins lives.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 25, 2006
The film is lavishly mounted, set-wise, costume-wise, makeup-wise and special-effects-wise. But the magicians themselves are cold and devious, and the chill permeates the whole film.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
October 23, 2006
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.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 21, 2006
Watching The Prestige is like observing a magic act where the magician's sleight-of-hand isn't deft enough. The trick almost works, but not quite.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 21, 2006
The Prestige is a trick box with too many false bottoms.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 20, 2006
The Prestige's chief pleasure lies in [Jackman and Bale's] increasingly ornate games of deception, which Nolan orchestrates with a showman's aplomb.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 20, 2006
The Prestige is wonderfully engrossing, darkly mysterious and entertaining from start to finish.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 20, 2006
A pleasing puzzle of feuding conjurers played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
October 20, 2006
For all the film's murky misdirections, it is very enjoyable.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 20, 2006
An assured bonbon of a film that's thoroughly and deliciously entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 20, 2006
Director Nolan's fascination with magic and with tricks in general comes through without question, but he approaches the subject with a seriousness that soon turns grim.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 20, 2006
There are nifty tricks galore up the sumptuous sleeve of this offbeat and wildly entertaining thriller.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 20, 2006
Siblings Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's adaptation of the novel by Christopher Priest offers three acts of exasperating muddle.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 20, 2006
A terrific cast, a gloomy tone and a few well-placed little bits of magic and real history bring a long-ago time and place to life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 20, 2006
Unfortunately the script is too smart for its own good.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 20, 2006
The film's title is defined as the big finish to a magic trick, but the prestige of The Prestige just lies there like an abracadaver.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 20, 2006
The tit-for-tat scenario ought to be wildly entertaining, but the magic is crude, the characters flyweight, and the story protracted and unpleasant.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 20, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 20, 2006
Befitting a story about magicians, The Prestige is certainly tricky and deceitful. But it's also too elegant and classy to resort to cheap third-act revelations as a way of juicing its story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 20, 2006
Passionate, atmospheric entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
October 20, 2006
It's more confusing than absorbing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 20, 2006
A great contraption of a film, The Prestige is a classy little maze of distractions, obsessions and showmanship, a magic trick of a movie that keeps the viewer mesmerized and then ends with a flourish.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 20, 2006
The Prestige is as entertaining as it is intricate and as enticingly mysterious as its title, which comes from the professional magician's lexicon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 20, 2006
Nolan delivers a movie in which the complexity of plot sometimes exceeds the complexity of the ideas. Still, he manages to create some captivating cinematic magic along the way.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
October 20, 2006
Christopher Nolan's directing skills are in evidence with The Prestige, which follows the long feud of Victorian-era illusionists.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 20, 2006
The elegant contours of The Illusionist are even more impressive compared with Christopher Nolan's clutter of double and triple crosses in The Prestige.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 20, 2006
This is grand, half-crazy fun, and Jackman and Bale are committed to their parts: Genuine madness glints in their eyes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
October 19, 2006
Take the movie's first words to heart: watch closely. You'll be well rewarded.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 19, 2006
Entertaining, spirited and shamelessly gimmicky, Christopher Nolan's film tells the intricate tale of two rival magicians practicing their art in late-Victorian London.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 19, 2006
A twisty, tense chiller.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 19, 2006
Parts of the film really stand out, but taken as a whole, it's a labyrinth of conflicting ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 19, 2006
The Prestige is plot-heavy, but it has its moments.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 19, 2006
Okay, I'll say it: If you see only one magic-at-the-turn-of-the-century movie this year, make it this one.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
October 19, 2006
Expect to leave exhilarated and more than a bit disturbed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
October 19, 2006
An oddly lopsided yet compulsively absorbing movie.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 19, 2006
The Prestige gets to be a bit of a grind after a while, despite all the finery and the elegantly detailed atmosphere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 19, 2006
The movie is a mind-tickler that makes the viewer actively engage with the story and try to penetrate its elegant sleight-of-hand.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 18, 2006
The Prestige isn't art, but it reaps a lot of fun out of the question, How did they do that?
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 18, 2006
The movie is more infuriating and contrived than suspenseful and clever.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
October 16, 2006
By film's end, the notion of a rational and satisfying climax has hopelessly disappeared in a silly spiral of one-upmanship and a barrage of half-baked revelations that won't make you marvel so much as shrug and forget about them.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 13, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Dennis Harvey
Variety
October 13, 2006
Pic insists on a depth of human emotion that isn't developed -- protags emerge as one-dimensional, despite the efforts of two of our best leading actors -- amid increasingly elaborate, uninvolving plot mechanizations.