Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 11, 2011
    75
    A charming documentary about the finalists in the Teenage Magician Contest at the annual World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    May 28, 2011
    70
    The various sleights of hand are impressive even if we're afforded little insight into their actual execution. Still, it's fun stuff.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 27, 2011
    70
    These talented, dedicated kids aren't making believe about anything - they're making art out of shimmering illusion, intricate manipulation and blithe misdirection. (In magic, as distinct from filmmaking, misdirection is a good thing.)
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    May 14, 2011
    70
    A charming, affectionate and often elegantly executed study of teenage magicians, their craft and the social shadows they step out of when they do their stuff.
  5. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    May 12, 2011
    70
    The buildup to the actual competition is perfectly paced, with the film never tipping its hand as to the winner. And the championship has all the drama of a high-stakes sporting event: failure under pressure, unexpected triumph, gracious losers and winners both.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Keizer
    May 17, 2011
    60
    Watching even the most tossed-off gag is worth whatever shortcomings Make Believe has, including its lack of real drama.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 21, 2011
    50
    Structurally, this becomes a little monotonous because there's just no denying that some kids are more interesting than others.
  8. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    May 12, 2011
    50
    The movie owes more to reality TV than feature filmmaking, subordinating the various story lines to the simple question of who'll win the contest.
  9. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    May 10, 2011
    50
    The drama is merely serviceable until the last moment, when the winner makes the competition disappear.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    May 10, 2011
    40
    First-time director J. Clay Tweel oversells the importance of both the Vegas event and of magic in general-you'd think he were filming a spiritual movement rather than hidden-ball tricks. His wide-eyed subjects do make magic happen-but that has less to do with illusion than innocence.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 2, 2011
    9
    I love magic and this documentary is about six teenage magicians that have been selected to participate in 2009 World Magic Seminar (TeenI love magic and this documentary is about six teenage magicians that have been selected to participate in 2009 World Magic Seminar (Teen Stage Competition) in Las Vegas. Lest you think that we are dealing with â Full Review »