Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles Reviews

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April 5, 2019
The material is simply recycled. Yet Welles himself lights up the documentary. He was born to be interviewed, and it is a pleasure to watch him at different ages.
May 3, 2018
Solid, straightforward but immaculately researched, Chuck Workmans documentary is a fitting tribute to the maverick Welles. If he were alive today, hed surely raise a glass.
August 24, 2017
Magician is a good primer for those who are unfamiliar with Welles, while functioning as a greatest-hits reel for students of the man.
June 3, 2016
Magician certainly makes you want to watch all of Welles's films again, including the ones that we can't, which means it probably accomplishes its goals.
May 23, 2016
I'm sad to report that at a mere 1 hour and 34 minutes Magician is rushed and sometimes choppy, leaping through Welles's bountiful life.
December 21, 2015
What Workman has assembled is the kind of film Welles would have been happy to part of. It's a unique, warm and fair portrait of a man who was both genius and joke and well aware of it.
December 18, 2015
I'm a pretty big Welles geek, so I enjoyed the experience anyway... but I can't imagine this will enlighten anyone who just wanders in off the street.
August 14, 2015
As a primer for newcomers to the Orson Welles universe, the superficial Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles does its job well.
August 4, 2015
As fascinated as it is by Welles' ascent, his unfair decline and lifelong battles to have his visions realized, it never really offers any insight on his actual work.
July 11, 2015
Despite the firm timeline, it has a scrappy feel, as though Workman was uncertain how to corral all the information and he underplays the most crucial aspect that sets a filmed documentary above a written one - emotion.
July 6, 2015
An entertaining, but hardly radical, primer on Hollywood's first real auteur ...
July 5, 2015
Excerpts from unfinished films offer glimpses of what might have been, while Welles in discussion remains an unsurpassed raconteur.
July 2, 2015
Stuffed with fascinating details about the stage, radio and screen achievements of the wunderkind who never quite fulfilled his potential.
July 2, 2015
[Magician] has an inelegant, cobbled-together feel that doesn't do justice to its subject.
July 2, 2015
This film makes a valuable and stimulating case for brilliant Welles movies such as Chimes at Midnight and The Trial.
July 2, 2015
A passible Welles hagiography which offers very little that you couldn't easily find in an Encyclopedia.
June 30, 2015
If you're a budding film student or a newly-minted cineaste looking for a quick and easy brush-up on the all-time great American director, Magician will serve perfectly well.
June 29, 2015
If director Chuck Workman maps a familiar rise and fall of rule-breaking brilliance it is vindicated by the great raconteur and in-depth praise from an impressive roster.
June 29, 2015
Magician, like Welles' least loved works, ends up as a great bunch of moments with no clear through-line.
June 18, 2015
It's an adequate introduction to the man, although the Looney Tunes score sometimes rankles. But it never really breaks any new ground in the Welles myth.
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