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The Prestige Reviews

Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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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.

Full Review Source: NPR.org

October 18, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It's quite a movie -- atmospheric, obsessive, almost satanic.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

September 7, 2007
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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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 Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

February 3, 2007
Ben Walters
Time Out
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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.

Full Review Source: Time Out

November 9, 2006
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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Jackman and Bale give standout performances as rivals whose mutual obsession destroys all sense of perspective and ruins lives.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

October 25, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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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.

October 25, 2006
Dana Stevens
Slate
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

October 23, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 21, 2006
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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The Prestige is a trick box with too many false bottoms.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

October 21, 2006
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

October 20, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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The Prestige is wonderfully engrossing, darkly mysterious and entertaining from start to finish.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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A pleasing puzzle of feuding conjurers played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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For all the film's murky misdirections, it is very enjoyable.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

October 20, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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An assured bonbon of a film that's thoroughly and deliciously entertaining.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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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 Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 1/4

October 20, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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There are nifty tricks galore up the sumptuous sleeve of this offbeat and wildly entertaining thriller.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Siblings Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's adaptation of the novel by Christopher Priest offers three acts of exasperating muddle.

| Original Score: 2/4

October 20, 2006
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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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 Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/5

October 20, 2006
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Unfortunately the script is too smart for its own good.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

October 20, 2006
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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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

October 20, 2006
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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The tit-for-tat scenario ought to be wildly entertaining, but the magic is crude, the characters flyweight, and the story protracted and unpleasant.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

October 20, 2006
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 20, 2006
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Passionate, atmospheric entertainment.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 20, 2006
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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It's more confusing than absorbing.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

October 20, 2006
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

October 20, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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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 Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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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

October 20, 2006
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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Christopher Nolan's directing skills are in evidence with The Prestige, which follows the long feud of Victorian-era illusionists.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2006
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The elegant contours of The Illusionist are even more impressive compared with Christopher Nolan's clutter of double and triple crosses in The Prestige.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 20, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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This is grand, half-crazy fun, and Jackman and Bale are committed to their parts: Genuine madness glints in their eyes.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

October 20, 2006
David Ansen
Newsweek
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Take the movie's first words to heart: watch closely. You'll be well rewarded.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

October 19, 2006
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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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

October 19, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A twisty, tense chiller.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

October 19, 2006
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Parts of the film really stand out, but taken as a whole, it's a labyrinth of conflicting ideas.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2.5/5

October 19, 2006
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The Prestige is plot-heavy, but it has its moments.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

October 19, 2006
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Okay, I'll say it: If you see only one magic-at-the-turn-of-the-century movie this year, make it this one.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

October 19, 2006
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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Expect to leave exhilarated and more than a bit disturbed.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 4/4

October 19, 2006
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
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An oddly lopsided yet compulsively absorbing movie.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 19, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The Prestige gets to be a bit of a grind after a while, despite all the finery and the elegantly detailed atmosphere.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 19, 2006
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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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 Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B+

October 19, 2006
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The Prestige isn't art, but it reaps a lot of fun out of the question, How did they do that?

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

October 18, 2006
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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The movie is more infuriating and contrived than suspenseful and clever.

October 18, 2006
David Germain
Associated Press
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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.

October 16, 2006
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

October 13, 2006
Dennis Harvey
Variety
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 13, 2006
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