Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles Reviews

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.
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 2, 2015
[Magician] has an inelegant, cobbled-together feel that doesn't do justice to its subject.
July 2, 2015
A passible Welles hagiography which offers very little that you couldn't easily find in an Encyclopedia.
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.
December 19, 2014
For all of its, um, workmanlike assembly, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is textbook. And given its charismatic subject, that's a real shame.
December 12, 2014
Anyone expecting a bracing vision about Orson Welles' life's work or a critique of that output will be disappointed.
December 11, 2014
A completely straightforward, wholly cookie cutter primer on an iconoclast who forged new forms of art. Does that make it unnecessary? Not at all.
December 10, 2014
Lush-looking film clips energize this biographical profile of cinema's great enfant terrible, even if fresh insights remain elusive.
December 10, 2014
Workman's movie is low on new or lasting insight. It even pads with moments from more recent biopics ("RKO 281," "Me and Orson Welles"), and often leaves interview excerpts - from the living and the long-deceased - feeling too abbreviated.
December 9, 2014
Like one of those machines that can inhale a car and spit out a tidy cube of squashed components, "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles" is a near-indigestible lump of clips and quips and snipped opinions.
December 6, 2014
Director Chuck Workman's simply compiles Welles's greatest moments, offering little in the way of an authorial point of view.