The Magician - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magician Reviews

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February 12, 2013
The film's gritty, bare bones look and feel, creates a believable stereotype of a Hitman in Melbourne's underworld. Thoroughly enjoyed, 3 thumbs up!! :)
July 7, 2012
A well-acted, somewhat clever, and sometimes funny found-footage look at the life of a hitman, this Australian film ultimately felt a bit lacking to me. I understand that it focuses upon the stories of its characters instead of the violence, but I still felt that it just dragged from beginning to end. I just was never interested enough in the characters or found it funny enough to really like it. Perhaps I was just expecting something else...
May 24, 2012
Terrific independent film.
½ January 12, 2011
I'm not going to cut this flick any slack just because i know roughly how it came to be, helped along by the producers of Chopper.

In general good performances, especially by the lead, let down a little only by the restrictive production values (which I have a deep understanding of why it is like it is). the dirt on the lens really really really bugged me. other than that some great moments, and fairly unpredictable.
September 6, 2010
At times very funny and at others unbearable tense "the magician" uses dead time dialogue to give us an insight into the lead character in a similar way to Tarantino films but doesn't overpower us with constant dialogue, the pacing is perfect to help us love a character we should loathe by showing us his lighter side whilst not being afraid to give us a preview of his brutal side. The acting by Ryan is exceptional, perfecting the comedic and aggressive side of Ray. Overall it is a rare film of originality and finness which is nothing short of magical
May 8, 2010
classic mocumentaryabout a hitman ,great dark humour and the dialogue in it cracked me up ??So, Ray, how much would it take for you to eat a bowl of shit??? and stopping the car to ask the hostage in the boot to clear up a debate weather clint eastwood was in the sirty dozen,classic low budget stuff
½ January 16, 2010
I turned it off after 10 minutes. I wasn't in the mood to sit patently and interestedly until something happened, something was explained, or something made sense.
½ March 13, 2009
Decent indie film. Very low budget, funny at times, Scott Ryan is very good.
½ March 6, 2009
Low budget Aussie mockumentary. Dialogue is a bit stilted, I'm guessing a lot of it was ad-libbed. Just about worth a watch.
January 14, 2009
An Aussie mockumentary of a down to earth hitman/enforcer going about his business. Much of it doesn't work but it's a strangely compelling watch and Scott Ryan as the lead (and he also directs) is excellent.
November 18, 2008
To paraphrase David Stratton when he reviewed this, "Not everyone is going to like the idea of spending an evening at the cinema with Ray". Ray being of course being the lead man, the hitman, that grinning guy on the posters and basically the guy we are locked shoulder to shoulder with through cameraman Max's lense almost the entire 80 odd minutes of The Magician.

To count disliking Ray to the point of not being able to enjoy or even watch the film is not wrong, but rather missing out on what an achievement this film is for it's young writer/director/star and his hopeful friends involved with the production. Fresh out of film school (indeed, most of his "crew" were classmates repaying the favour) and made for three thousand dollars of his own money (!), Scott Ryan's Magician is an ode to what can be achieved when you have passion and ability.

I don't really want to comment on the script specifically as most of it appears improvised anyway, but still, this rivals any Tarantino glossed pop culture Oscar winner in many ways. Whether it is discussing Clint Eastwood's appearance (or not) in The Dirty Dozen, sleeping next to another bloke with no pants on or the moral dilemma of Wayne Carey banging his best mate's missus, Ray is philosophical, funny as hell and never short for words. It took me a while to get into the flow, but once I did, I couldn't stop watching the conversations and wonder what was to become of Ray's in-toe victim, Ben.

With well over 80 minutes shot, the editing (done by three separate contributors all up) deserves a lot of credit especially for making the last half of the film so interesting. Seeing how we're looking through Max's camera the whole time, I have my reservations in saying this was well directed. It's basically all handheld and what appears to be loosely structured, but at the same time, I guess that couldn't be further from the truth as it all seems so convincing and thought. Possibly a deliberate approach to make it seem shot by an amateur more than it actually is. Like him or not, it's a must see for Ryan's performance as Ray and what can be achieved withOUT any funding. Sure a few decent producers got their hands on it after it was done and did an ace job of getting it out there, but if it wasn't worth watching in the first place, what would be the point? Fortunately it is.
October 1, 2008
The comedy in this is down to a tee. It's one of those little gems that gets overlooked but, in my opinion, will go down as an underground classic. Scott Ryan is great as the hitman Ray and each of the characters bounces off eachother so well; great choice in going with the mocumentary style. Nothing bad to say as an Australian, but it would be interesting to see how the humour translates to an international audience
July 31, 2008
Amazing how a fillm of such dark subject matter can be so hilarious. I can'trecommend this film enough.
½ June 23, 2008
A magic Aussie indy film. Scott Ryan's blend of menace and humour is perfect and the camerwork's spot on.

Interesting to watch post-Underbelly. Ray is almost the prototype for Benji Veniamin's character.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2008
Entertaining, low-budget, Aussie drama - great performance non-Hollywood actors and clever use of limited funds.

An inspirational independent movie, which is pretty funny, dramatic, scary and very well written.

PS: It may get boring for the majority of the people out there.
April 27, 2008
Even though it's operating in the post-Tarantino climate of criminals riffing on pop culture, not to mention its plot ripps off the mockumentary, Man Bites Dog (I still haven't seen it), The Magician is one of those zero-budget triumphs that stands as an inspiration to any wannabe filmmaker. The laconic humour and characterisation is tight and infectious, particularly the underlying relationship between Ray, the hitman star of this 'documentary,' and his cinematographer, neighbour Max. Scott Ryan's greatest asset in the film is himself in the lead performance, which is assured, imposing and wickedly funny.
February 21, 2008
The "The Magician" I listed as one of my favorites is the one by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max Von Sydow.. Great film.
February 18, 2008
was a long wierd movie but it somehow kept me watchin till the end but i enjoyed it in the end but a bit low budget in places but hey aint all aussie films lol
January 9, 2008
great mock u mentry the producers of chopper and nash edgerton really came through well
½ January 7, 2008
bonza stuff. super low budget but you couldnt tell, well you can but not as much as you'd think. just watch it. pound for pound was def the best aussie film i saw that year. shame the g'ment of the time pretty much ddint give a crap about supporting low budget film and new talent. sorry to get political but it shows how good this movie is given the climate in which it was made.
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