Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles Reviews

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.
April 2, 2015
Workman clearly reveres Welles, but he's never reverent.
April 2, 2015
A dutiful but slightly dull celebration of the multitalented impresario ...
March 12, 2015
If you have more time and want to get into Welles on your own, an afternoon watching YouTube videos followed by a few evenings of watching his best movies might be even better.
December 31, 2014
It's a fine introduction, if a bit slight for fans craving new insights.
December 12, 2014
Whatever its shortcomings, "Magician" accomplishes quite a bit as a corrective, and it also gives one an hour and a half in the company of Orson Welles.
December 10, 2014
If one has a need for another documentary on Orson Welles - there are already several on DVDs of his films - montage master Chuck Workman's footage-filled movie will ably fit the bill.
December 10, 2014
If this documentary is swift and witty, that's in part because it relies heavily on clips of Orson Welles talking. And oh, how Welles could talk ...
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 10, 2014
Welles was many things and "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles" brings most of them together to form a many-faceted picture of a complicated man.
December 9, 2014
To a Welles aficionado the doc may seem like well-trod ground. But there's real power in the way Workman (also the sole credited editor) cuts all the material fleetly and acutely together.
December 9, 2014
While little here will be news to cineastes, the mix of interviews and archival footage... should engage fans while providing a fine introduction for those whose knowledge doesn't stretch beyond recognizing the words "Citizen Kane."
December 9, 2014
Magician adopts a lively, energetic approach in the worthy service of engaging the interest of viewers perhaps unfamiliar with Welles' life and work.
December 9, 2014
How could anybody with ears and a brain resist that buttery voice, spinning out clause-laden sentences that take more twists and turns than the streets of Venice but always end, somehow, in a place that's ravishingly articulate?
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.