Death Defying Acts Reviews

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May 14, 2018
Every line spoken is so austere that the characters seem like they're acting in straitjackets. But it's the audience that will be most desperate to escape.
August 8, 2008
Any magic is instantly dispelled by the dead hand of a tirelessly pouting Zeta-Jones, whose slap boasts more layers than her talent.
August 8, 2008
It's all a touch undercooked and dull.
August 8, 2008
It's a movie that seems to have been lavished with care and performed with gusto, yet its tale of fakery sounds its own knell: there's not a believable moment in it.
August 8, 2008
It's pretty but dull, with Pearce and Zeta-Jones never convincing as supposedly hot-for-each other rivals.
August 8, 2008
It all looks pretty enough - but well before the end you'll be plotting your escape.
August 8, 2008
This is better than the dull Edward Norton vehicle The Illusionist, all involved should have conjured up a companion piece to Christopher Nolan's The Prestige.
August 8, 2008
The movie is over-schematic, slow-moving and over-furnished. It never seems to come alive with any believable interplay of characters; the movie locks itself into a watertight tank of a premise, and the handcuffs won't come off.
August 8, 2008
Houdini's mission to debunk fake spiritualists is hijacked by this wholly fraudulent love story. There's not a moment in the film that feels honest and uncontrived.
August 8, 2008
All in all, it's a bit of a snore that falls back on romance when all else fails.
July 30, 2008
excepting experimental films, plot is a key reason we watch movies. Without an interesting one, an hour and a half of competent filmmaking becomes about an hour and 25 minutes of boredom.
July 18, 2008
...a decidedly minor addition to the rsum of Australian director Gillian Armstrong...The film moves quickly enough, and it's a passably glossy entertainment, but, as Houdini, Pearce is too young...
July 18, 2008
Director Gilliam Anderson doesn't distinguish this generic romance from a thousand other costumed bodice rippers -- is a kinky handcuff scene too much to ask?
July 16, 2008
Pearce's boys-adventure take on the vaudeville legend is a hoot, though not nearly as laughable as the dialogue or Zeta-Jones's pitiful attempts at basic emoting.
July 11, 2008
Director Gillian Armstrong is more attentive to decor than the story, which never seems in a hurry to get anyplace in particular and concludes with a thud.
July 11, 2008
Zeta-Jones and Pearce don't have much chemistry, the script lacks any significant depth and the direction feels oddly uninspired.
July 11, 2008
Guy Pierce's performance is perhaps the worst researched role of the year, and Catherine Zeta-Jones never connects to her character's lower class milieu.
Top Critic
July 11, 2008
Death Defying Acts, a fictionalized love story involving Harry Houdini, could be a sweet little discovery if only the relationship at the core of it were more convincing.
July 5, 2008
More fiction that fact, this supernatural romance is intermittently engaging, but there's no chemistry between Guy Pearce and Zeta-Jones, and the film will also suffer in comparison to recent yarns about magicians such as The Illusionist and The Prestige
July 3, 2008
A cheap inventory of old-hat period romping that downplays Houdini's contempt for psychics while saddling him with corny mommy issues.
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