Magic in the Moonlight


Magic in the Moonlight

Critics Consensus

While far from a failure, Magic in the Moonlight is too slight to stand with Woody Allen's finest work.



Total Count: 183


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,386
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Movie Info

Chinese conjuror Wei Ling Soo is the most celebrated magician of his age, but few know that he is the stage persona of Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth), a grouchy and arrogant Englishman with a sky-high opinion of himself and an aversion to phony spiritualists' claims. Persuaded by his friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), Stanley goes on a mission to the Côte d'Azur mansion of the Catledge family: mother Grace (Jacki Weaver), son Brice (Hamish Linklater), and daughter Caroline (Erica Leerhsen). He presents himself as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger in order to debunk the alluring young clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) who is staying there with her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). Sophie arrived at the Catledge villa at the invitation of Grace, who is convinced that Sophie can help her contact her late husband, and once there, attracted the attention of Brice, who has fallen for her head over heels. What follows is a series of events that are magical in every sense of the word and send the characters reeling. In the end, the biggest trick MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT plays is the one that fools us all. (C) Sony Pictures Classics

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Critic Reviews for Magic in the Moonlight

All Critics (183) | Top Critics (48)

  • No kind of chemistry between the two ever arises, making their eventual romance, arrived at through pages of halting dialogue, feel particularly awkward.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • A rather lovely cast, including Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is wasted on a story so old-fashioned and repetitive that it feels like Oscar Wilde with a wit lobotomy.

    Sep 23, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's an accomplished, stately movie -- unimpassioned but pleasing.

    Sep 22, 2014 | Full Review…

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • From the outset, Magic in the Moonlight is painfully artificial.

    Sep 19, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Firth's character is just so boorish and monotonous, charmless and unrelaxed. He's presumably supposed to be as airy and debonair as Cary Grant. Instead, he glowers like Gordon Brown.

    Sep 18, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie's opening hour has a fascinating balance of nonsense and depth... If only Allen could keep that introspection and frippery going.

    Aug 21, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Magic in the Moonlight

  • Aug 28, 2017
    From Woody Allen comes the lighthearted romantic comedy Magic in the Moonlight. The film follows renowned magician and skeptic Stanley Crawford who's put to the test when he's asked to debunk an American psychic named Sophie Baker whose tricks have thus far eluded a friend of his. Both Colin Firth and Emma Stone give good performances and have a bit of chemistry; thought the romance does come off as a little forced. And the story too seems a bit rushed and contrived at times. Yet it explores some interesting themes about the need for magic in our lives (whether real or fabricated). While Magic in the Moonlight is clearly one of Allen's weaker efforts, it's still a rather entertaining and charming film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2016
    A miss for Woody. Beautiful looking film with Colin Firth fine in the lead but the usually charming Emma Stone is completely wrong as the supposedly mystical woman in question. Suggesting not an ounce of gossamer glow nor in any way a woman of the 1920's when the film is set she seems nothing but a miscast actress at sea. It doesn't help that she and Firth share zero chemistry on screen.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2015
    not the greatest woody allen film but firth is well cast. I don't normall dislike woody films so I'm always bias because he can literally polish a turd with performanes and scripted dialogue.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2015
    While most of this film will just go over your head as far as caring about the deep voabulary used to explain characters, "Magic in the Moonlight" is also an endearing film (albeit slow) about how love can change ones perspective on everything. Sure, there is much more under the surface of that notion, but we are talking about a Woody Allen picture here after all. Surprisingly, I bought the chemistry between Emma Stone and Colin Firth, because just after the first act I really felt as though it would have been forced. Is this one of Woddy Allen's most profound works of art? No, but for someone who has had a long string of average movies lately, this one stood out to me. The natural conversations about the world and what it truly is, really got to me. Not everything is all sunshine and rainbows, but the film chooses to stay mostly in the sunshine (figuratively), which I thought was very intriguing. "Magic in the Moonlight" is a very well-made picture with witty performances and a good enough story to warrant the dialogue that I enjoyed. Is this a film I will be remembering for a long time? No, but for the meantime, it was a very pleasant watch.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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