User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 569 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 569

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  1. Jan 12, 2011
    10
    what a movie! omg! no doubt, Chris Nolan is one of the best in the game! the cast, the plot, the twists..wonderful! genius..i'm speechless right now,i..i..i was blown away...vuf..100 out of 10! 100!!!!!
  2. Jan 2, 2011
    10
    Easily one of the best movies of this (last) decade. The actors were wonderful (Bale never disappoints, and Hugh has a natural charm that can't be beaten), the story was fantastic, the length was just perfect, and everything else was flat out amazing.

    I recommend this movie to anyone with a love for great film.
  3. Jan 21, 2011
    9
    Great acting by Bale, Jackman, and Johansson even though it lacked the support from the other actors to give it a good acting grade. However, Nolan decides to put yet another new idea on the board just to simply add to his already prestigious resume.
  4. Sep 4, 2012
    10
    This is Christopher Nolan at his best. The ending provides a bigger twist than even Momento, and it is an enjoyable watch the entire time. The perspective is interesting because it is either in a variety of intricate ways. Great story, great acting, and great directing; all around an amazing film.
  5. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    "The audience loves to be fooled". The first time I watched the Prestige I indeed was fooled, but if you take the time to watch it again and really follow closely then you will be greatly rewarded, as I believe this is one of the most intelligent films ever created.
  6. Dec 25, 2013
    9
    This movie is awesome. It has a great cast, set with a great plot in one of the best time periods for magicians. The whole time you're wondering things like "how does he do it". He doesn't tell you until the end. The ending can be a bit confusing at first, but it does go back a bit so you can understand it. It's more complicated than some of the stuff in Inception, but the film is still good nevertheless. Expand
  7. Dec 12, 2013
    9
    The Prestige is a complex maze filled with countless twists and turns. Fortunately, the entire crew masterfully guides us away from all its dead ends through its great storyline, deep characters and immersive acting to get into its satisfying conclusion.
  8. Jan 15, 2014
    9
    Good and exciting, original and dark. Loved every moment. Amazingly satisfying ending. The complaints of it being too complicated are unjust, if u can't keep up with the plot i think it's mostly your fault and not the movie's because all the large plot twists had many clues that foreshadowed them throughout the movie.
  9. Aug 23, 2010
    10
    It took two viewings for me to fully appreciate The Prestige. I loved it the first time, but mostly because of the questions it left me with. The second time it just clicked and stirred up so many ideas and thoughts, I felt like I actually had witnessed something magical. There is so much going on in this movie, at times you lose yourself. The beauty of the film is in the intricacies of the plot. When asked at the start of the film, "Are you watching closely?" I only thought I was.

    There are three parts to a magic trick. It begins with The Pledge. This establishes the illusion to be performed. Next comes the Turn. The Turn is the heart of any magic trick and initiates the perversion of reality. But actually doing the trick only prefaces undoing it. This part is called The Prestige. The title of the film is The Prestige for three reasons. The first involves rival magicians deadly pursuit of each other's Prestige. The second deals with the significance of consequence. Algiers and Borden never seem to learn they are responsible for their actions. Finally, The Prestige is aptly titled because it's about the pay off and quite literally the "undoing" of certain elements that made up the majority of the film. It is about refuting the false notions and suppositions audiences might cling to when watching.

    Dueling magicians provide an intriguing stage to explore the competitive nature of man. On the surface, Algiers(Jackman) and Borden(Bale) seem well intentioned. Each wants a family, home and success as a magician. However, the basest characteristics of any type of performer are suspect in this film. Truth seems an empty word to all who speak it. Not one character in the film can be trusted. It sets up an interesting predicament as a viewer used to bonding with a usual protagonist. These characters endure countless pains and just when you start to care, they get back up and cause even more pain. The beautiful, horrible cycle within The Prestige reminds me of Nolan's Memento. Vengeance can be seductive; so much so, that the things each character thought they wanted become irrelevant.

    Director, Christopher Nolan, dissects the boundaries man claims to put on himself. How far are we willing to go for success? Are we willing to get our hands dirty? What are we willing to sacrifice? The answers to these questions for Borden and Algiers are played out during the film, but they resonate past the narrative. Morality can't be part of a magician's repertoire because risk and death are essential to winning an audience. Nolan re-imagines death in this film. It is likened to the limits of human will. The "undoing" of death, or Prestige, comes at a high price. Our capacity to harm or love ourselves and others is unrestrained. Life is The Pledge, death is The Turn and then comes The Prestige.
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  10. Sep 6, 2010
    9
    This movie had me interested at the start. Watching them perform these magic tricks were astounding. The story about the bitter rivalry doesn't get points for originality, but it gets points because Jackman's and Bale's characters bring it to lengths that make you interested. it has quite a bit of funny moments, dramatic moments, suspenseful moments, and any other kind of moments. I kept my eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. It says on the cover: "You want to see it again the second it's over" and that is true. Expand
  11. Dec 29, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved the twist in this movie, it's one where you are stunned and unsure what to think. I loved the actors and the magic tricks. It had a great plot, and my family loves it. Although I was rather disappointed the brother had to die. Expand
  12. Jul 31, 2011
    10
    what a movie! omg! no doubt, Chris Nolan is one of the best in the game! the cast, the plot, the twists..wonderful! genius..i'm speechless right now,i..i..i was blown away...vuf..100 out of 10! 100!!!!!
  13. Jan 31, 2011
    9
    This movie packs a surprising punch at the end! You don't wanna miss out on any opportunity to watch this movie, pay close attention if you even want to seem semi smart to your friends! I assure you it will confuse, and baffle you with powerful plot twists and turns! The last twist... you will never see coming! First time watchers prepare to be confused! Multiple watchers have a step up in knowing what is going on in this wonderful thriller THE PRESTIGE Expand
  14. Feb 21, 2011
    10
    I know some won't agree with me here, but, easily one of Christopher Nolan's best films. The script is impeccable, the editing is damn near perfect, and the cinematography is just what we come to expect from Wally Pfister, the best. A terrific film and a great bridge between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan hones his craft with every film he makes.
  15. Mar 4, 2011
    9
    "Are you watching closely?"

    Set In the 19th century, this film tells the tale of three friends. Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), his wife Julia and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are assistants to a magician. When a water tank trick goes horribly wrong, Robert and Alfred become bitter rivals in the magic industry, trying anything to ruin each others illusions.

    With one of the best cast line
    ups in recent years, thereâ Expand
  16. Apr 7, 2011
    10
    Christopher Nolan never seizes to impress me, the magicians have nothing on this mans mind! I thought that the film was very good, I am a big fan of christian bale anyway so the fact that he was in this film was a must watch for me.
    The narrative showed that bitterness and rivalry ultimately gets you nowhere in the end.throughout the film i felt that hugh jackmans character was the more
    charming and innocent out of the two of them however as the plot began to unravel at the end i did feel deep sympathy for christian bales character. that soon goes away though when the twist is revieled. which is a amazing twist non the less of all his other twists and turns in all his other films.
    I recommend this film 10/10
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  17. Sep 24, 2012
    9
    I think it's worth pointing out that this film is rather more intelligent than complicated. It showed this by hooking you in via the first few minutes with the scenario and then explaining in depth about it from different perspectives. That's one of the first films I've ever seen do that and it remained intriguing throughout - and the end! That was probably the best ending I've ever seen! There was no loose ends, but with what the film gave you, it left you awe-inspired and shocked - who was who and what really went on? I was fascinated by the psychological aspects - it helped unearth more of the more disturbing characteristics of humanity - obsession and revenge. When you look at it, the magician's theme reflected these secrecies and psychological tricks that were employed. The actors were amazing - I didn't think Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale would star in a film together, but who cares, they were a perfect pair! It's just like Batman versus Wolverine but with magic. Despite that, the science alongside magic was a bit interfering as I was still more interested in finding out the surprise over surprise that continued to entertain me. Try not to big it up too much, Mr Nolan, you're brilliant at directing, but just try not to make it appear too big before it becomes a confusing, bloated mess. Expand
  18. Jan 19, 2012
    10
    Easily one of the best movies i've ever watched. Very enrapturing and its got everything in it from drama, suspense, romance and outstanding performances. I've seen this movie numerous times and each time enjoy it! Definitely a must watch for movie lovers!
  19. Jan 28, 2013
    9
    The Prestige is a simple example of what Christopher Nolan is capable of outside of his Batman universe.
    It's brilliant, sometimes brutal, throughly thought-provoking but most of all, vastly entertaining.
    We see two egotistical and **** amateur magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) attempting to make their way in 19th Century London.
    Overseeing them
    is their mentor and stage engineer, John Cutter (Michael Caine), acting as a mentor and father to the aspiring masters.
    Much like Memento, The Prestige is told in a completely non-linear fashion, while off-putting to some, Nolan used this technique to create a wonderfully emotional yet tragic story as to how these magicians started as friends, but became mortal enemies.
    What is most intriguing about this story is one mans mission to outdo the other by any means necessary, and the others attempt at being too proud to reveal his desires or mistakes, some fatal.
    We see quite a timeframe in this film also, chronicling the lives of these two individuals, with a superb performances from both lead actors, and great performances from Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall.
    The two smaller roles in the film but well acted and significant are that of David Bowie and Andy Serkis.
    Bowie plays Nikolay Tesla, an inventor, he possesses a very vague but interesting persona that only Bowie could have portrayed. Serkis plays Tesla;s assistant, Mr Alley.
    The screen chemistry between Jackman and Bale is a privilege to watch, these to wonderful actors really engross themselves in their roles, we feel their pain, we laugh when they laugh, they fit together quite brilliantly through their excellent presence onscreen and through Nolan's sharp direction.
    With some truly remarkable set pieces, its hard not too love magicians. Something so simple as making a ball disappear seems legendary when Christian Bale does it, he conveys his emotion into every scene and deserves the recognition he deserves.
    With a wonderfully twisted and jaw-dropping final act, or 'prestige', this film cements itself not only as a film by Christopher Nolan, but a film bursting so much with charisma and gritty realism of the supernatural, its difficult to find faults with such a remarkable piece of cinema. One thing is for sure, you should be watching closely...
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  20. Jan 23, 2012
    9
    If you liked the Illusionist, you'll absolutely love this! Christopher Nolan is probably one of the greatest film writers of all time. He can make a simple story into a complete plot-twister of a film. I have loved all his movies and I'm not sure if he will make a bad one. They have gotten better every time.
  21. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    Brilliantly executed story and the acting is above superb. I had no doubt with the cast line up that the acting would be anything less than well, magical. This truly is the best film I've seen since Inception and I truly wonder why I have not heard more people going on about this film. Could it be too complicated for most audiences? I really hope that is not the case because the film is too extraordinarily awesome to go unseen. The only reason I didn't rate the film a 10 out of 10 is due to the complicated nature of the film. If it had been easier to understand, like Inception, which isn't all that easy, I would have given it that 10. At the same time, if the film was any simpler I don't know if it would be as mind blowing as it is. Thank you Mr. Nolan for another original and unusually fantastic ride! For my full review, visit http://visuallyimpairedreviews.blogspot.com/2012/03/prestige.html Expand
  22. Jul 1, 2012
    9
    The Prestige explores the drive behind obession, the allure of magic tricks, and much more. A film that is perfectly balanced and wonderfully executed. The dark theme of the movie only helps to deliver the message and convey every amazing little detail. This is why I love Christopher Nolan.
  23. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This one of my favorite movies. Of course the illusion gives the movie did very well. Every dialogue of the movie is fabulous and so real................................................. Expand
  24. Nov 4, 2012
    9
    A special movie. At first, the intricacies of the plot are hard to follow and the performances difficult to fully be appreciated. That being said, it gets better after every viewing. I honestly look forward to the next time I see it having just seen it for the third time.
  25. Aug 16, 2014
    10
    If you haven't, you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD watch the movie "the prestige" with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. I am absolutely in love with Christian Bale AND Christopher Nolan. Christopher Nolan, in my opinion, makes THE BEST movies EVER and Christian Bale is the greatest actor today. Yes, there are lots of great directors and actors, but they can't make EVERY SINGLE ONE of their movies SO GREAT. Except for Quentin Tarantino.... He and Nolan are the best. But if Quentin makes fun movies that are not always serious, then Nolan makes the best thrilers! I can't forget his The Dark Knight series, Memento, and now, The Prestige. You absolutely should watch The Prestige. Expand
  26. Jan 29, 2013
    10
    Interesting a memorable characters, perfectly cast, great art direction and costuming, this movie has everything to make it not only the closest I've ever seen to a film capturing the essence of a novel, but the closest I've seen to a perfectly layered and written film. Beautiful stuff.
  27. Feb 4, 2013
    10
    Amazing movie, mind blowing. Christopher Nolan, you have done it again! Nolan is best known for his twist endings, and the ending of this one was his best. Bonus points for using Scarlett Johansson.
  28. Jun 19, 2013
    9
    Easily one of the best movies about magic. Christopher Nolan shoots every piece of this movie perfectly and many of the twists you don't see coming at all.
  29. Jun 11, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite movie of all time, and probably always will be. For many years before I saw this movie, I was unsure of my "favorite" movie, there was always 5 in a mix of movies I would mention. I can't count how many times I've watched this movie, even knowing how it ends, it still tickles me just right. Nolan is a genious. Caine, Bale & Jackman are at their best here.
  30. Jun 10, 2013
    10
    Probably one of the best films ever made. I want to watch it again and again. Nolan's films are the best. This is a three time must-see. Don't understand the critics but the end and the whole film are extremely outstanding and marvellous. Bravo
  31. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    Brilliant. Breathtaking. Epic.
    Loved everything in the movie.. the plot, the characters and the cast, the direction, and the soundtrack !

    One of my all-time top 10 movies
  32. Oct 18, 2013
    10
    Awesome movie i ever seen in life...chris nolan is the best and my fav director...
    i think this movie made, cause the director is chris nolan...
    the cast, the plot, the twists..wonderful! genius..i'm speechless right now...
  33. Mar 6, 2014
    9
    I love it this film. The film tells the rivalry between two wizards that they start being friends and the and as the rivalry between the two ends up destroying their lives. the film has an impressive and surprising end. See a film second time, we can appreciate more details.
  34. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    9
    The Prestige was quite interesting with all the magic tricks that are impossible to pull off contained in it, and the acting was magnificent as well as the story.
  35. May 22, 2014
    10
    Oh my god this film. I don't know how to describe it: if you have a working brain, watch it. That's amazing. Mr. Nolan confirms another time that sometimes you NEED something different from random exploding cars and bullets everywhere. The first time i saw it, at the last minutes, i wasreally confused and i thought "yes, that's a good movie, but it's too complicated. And obviously i'm going to see an ending like 'it was only a dream' or something like that". But the ending was one of the best moment of my life. In a second I understood everything and i felt a feeling like "oh my god i can't believe that just happened oh my god". Now stop reading reviews on metacritic, just see that film. Expand
  36. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    The Prestige is 200 percent entertainment. Jackman and Bale give brilliant performances and the plot
    is very intricate and suspenseful. The Prestige is one of the best movies about magic and magicians.
    The Prestige is another masterpiece from the incomparable Christopher Nolan, A+.
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Audiences might enjoy this cinematic sleight of hand, but the key characters are such single-minded, calculating individuals that the real magic would be to find any heart in this tale.
  2. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    40
    Clearly, director Nolan is aiming for something else. But the delight in sheer gamesmanship that marked his breakout "Memento" doesn't survive this project's gimmickry and aspirations toward "Les Miserables"-style epic passion.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    The result is a lopsided yet absorbing movie in which the director is less drawn to his main characters than to those on the periphery.