Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The Illusionist is a story about two paths that cross. An outdated, aging magician, forced to wander from country to country, city to city and station to station in search of a stage to perform his act meets a young girl at the start of her life‟s journey. Alice is a teenage girl with all her capacity for childish wonder still intact. She plays at being a woman without realizing the day to stop pretending is fast approaching. She doesn‟t know yet that she loves The Illusionist like she would a father; he already knows that he loves her as he would a daughter. Their destinies will collide, but nothing – not even magic or the power of illusion– can stop the voyage of discovery. (Sony Classic) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 21, 2010
    A breathtakingly beautiful achievement in every way.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jan 14, 2011
    This is a remarkable movie: lovely, slow-paced and almost silent, rich with pathos and deft comic gestures.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Feb 9, 2011
    The soundtrack is a small marvel of music hall tunes and dialogue that is mostly garbled, allowing expressions and body language to be interpreted.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 13, 2011
    Chomet himself has written the gentle waltz theme and other music. The piece glides by, effortlessly.
  5. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Dec 23, 2010
    For its 80 minutes, the movie creates the illusion that not just Tati but his form of cerebral slapstick lives.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Feb 9, 2011
    Like Tati himself, The Illusionist feels like a relic of a different time.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 25, 2010
    Since this low-grade comedy doesn't really even attempt to be funny, the purpose of the movie is to establish (or reinforce) a feeling of luxurious old-timey melancholy.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jan 14, 2012
    The Illusionist is one of the best animated movies of all times. Is unbelievable the levels of emotion that can reach this movie with little dialogue, sad colors and simple characters. The protagonist is a failed magician trying to survive in a Europe that has no time for that kind of entertainment and where is not possible to dream. But one day, he meets a girl who believes that his magic tricks are real. That girl represents our childhood, but everyone must grow up and be mature enough to accept the reality. On the other hand, the illusionist recreates the figure of Jacques Tati and represents a lost concept by cinematography, the dignity of the loser; if things dont work out, find another way of living or simply walk away.
    In this movie are noticeable the same ideas that treat Sylvain Chomet in The Triplets of Belleville: poor environments with no possibility of dreaming, failure of the show business and a life where is not escape from reality, no matter how cruel or dream destroyer could be.
    This film is beautiful, charming and it will touch you heart, because everyone like their childhood, but this movie is a slap on the face that brings you to the adults world.
  2. May 31, 2013
    It's an interesting film, very unique, and there aren't many like it. It has that Disney-esque type magic to it without being made by Disney or Pixar. Its a truly beautiful movie. It truly did deserve a nomination for best picture of 2010, it was amazing! I just cannot express how much I loved it. It had great emotional timing, it was extremely entertaining, its beautiful, charming, heartfelt, classic, stunning, touching, unique, interesting, and just amazing! I recommend it to all people, not just kids, but adults, you will like it too! Expand
  3. Feb 8, 2011
    Best animated of the year 2010. Beautiful film with classic animation, visually stunning. The story is emotional and touching. It compares old time culture with the new dull pop culture. Expand
  4. Nov 16, 2013
    The perception of ANIMATION has tainted most of the reviews. To tell a story is unique, and not limited to the perception of the viewer or the storyteller. To truley reach the audience one must simply present content, therin lies the connection we all comment on, negative or positive, we talk. Expand
  5. Jul 8, 2011
    This is a good film. It is about an illusionist and his travels from town to town looking for work. Along the way he meets a young girl who believes he is truely magical. The characters don't really speak, they kind of mumble and gesture, its more of a silent film in a way. It has a melancholy overtone in how it portrays its slice of life in the illusionist's world of the 1950's. The drawings are quite detailed and very beautiful, the film could be watched just for the illustrations. A well done film, somber overall, but I did enjoy the relationship between the illusionist and the girl; the script was written by a french mime who wrote it as a letter to his estranged eldest daughter. SS 8/10 Expand
  6. Sep 2, 2012
    Generally it is perceived that a film, much like it's lead character undergoes what's commonly known as the three arcs, the first of which shows the character lost, or without puropse, the second arc takes the character, gives him a dilemma (in this case the search for occupation) and makes him work to fix it, often leading to the third arc which leaves the character a better person, one who now has purpose. The Illusionist is excitedly refreshing with its characters, story and animation in a sense that this is now the case. In fact it could almost be the opposite, the character at the end of this film, or at least the main character has not changed one bit, in fact, it could be said that the lead at the beginning of the film was actually a better person when he adopts the young Gaelic girl into his care than at the end, crushing her illusion that magic is real and leaving her with little money as he departs on at train leaving her virtually penniless, if in the arms of a new found love. Yes, it could be said that the Illusionist is no Disney Pixar film (the company behind such classics would never threaten its unique situation as currently the most secure studio present) but in no sense does it mean that the Illisionist is anythign short of unique itself. The film has its flaws, dialogue (when rarely spoken) is often difficult to understand and the film finishes just as you start falling for the characters emotionally, but these are minor set backs in an affordable and enjoyable night in. Expand
  7. Jul 11, 2011
    It's an interesting film, very unique, and there aren't many like it. The visuals are stunning, and a treat to look at, and the characters are filled with life and a lot of heart.

    Being up against two huge contenders in the Animated Feature category (Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon) I thought that I would check out the cartoon that was up against two fantastic features.

    There is minimal to absolutely no dialogue (and what dialogue there is is in French) which I found very intriguing. Some may find this to be a turn-off. However, the story is told beautifully, and there is never any confusion as to what is going on.

    The first twenty minutes or so I was completely engrossed in the film. With the wonderful animation and charm that is possesses, it's hard not to be. I felt though as it went on that it grew a bit slow towards the middle of the story, and lost the grip that it had on me at the beginning.

    I would recommend this especially for any fan of animation. It's definitely a work of art. However, for casual film goers, I would stick to the Pixar masterpieces that we all know and love.


See all 8 User Reviews


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