Yari Film Group Releasing | Release Date: August 18, 2006
8.7
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 539 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
480
Mixed:
44
Negative:
15
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5
CraigASOct 10, 2006
Looks great, but the pay-off at the end isn't big enough to justify the rest of the film. Leaves you with a "oh... and?" feeling.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
4
HalfwelshmanMar 31, 2012
The Illusionist is just like the worst kind of magic act. Far from being incompetent, it puts on quite a show, but never instills you with a sense of wonder, empty as it is below the surface. The cast, who look pretty good on paper, areThe Illusionist is just like the worst kind of magic act. Far from being incompetent, it puts on quite a show, but never instills you with a sense of wonder, empty as it is below the surface. The cast, who look pretty good on paper, are largely wasted, with Edward Norton being up-staged by his own beard playing Eisenheim the Illusionist, and Jessica Biel being bland and utterly forgettable as love interest Duchess Sophie von Teschen. Even the usually brilliant Eddie Marsan makes little impact, as his character, Eisenheim's manager is under-used and has very little to do. Thank goodness the film also stars Paul Giamatti, who imbues his character of Inspector Uhl with a pleasing sincerity and complex morality, and tries his very best to elevate the film's rather clunky script, and Rufus Sewell, who makes a very entertaining, menacing antagonist as the scheming Crown Prince Leopold. The film is very visually impressive, with striking cinematography and high-quality production design with some pleasing period details. Philip Glass's moody soundrack is also rather effective in maintaining a consistent tone throughout the film. Despite these positives, the Illusionist has a disappointing amount of negative counter-points. A film can be as pretty as atmospheric as you like, but when the story is dull (and by jingo, The Illusionist's is boring) and the characters unengaging, its impact, and ultimately its enjoyability is limited. I found myself comparing the film to other, better examples of its type. The Illusionist lacks the sheer beauty, playfulness and soul of Sylvain Chomet's animation of the same name, and the intricate plotting and pure entertainment value of The Prestige. It's just not particularly interesting or memorable, and is disappointingly unmagical. The Illusionist may look the part, and Giamatti and Sewell put on quite a show, but ultimately the sub-par script, underwhelming characterisation and uninvolving story threatens to ruin the film, and alarmingly often, it does. There's no fooling the audience here, the film just isn't magic. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
j30Dec 1, 2011
The Illusionist suffers from coming out around the same time as The Prestige (a far better movie in comparison) and a poor story line. Has anyone ever given you the "OMG" look because you haven't seen the Illusionist ?
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
RegOzApr 6, 2012
Honestly, Idon't know how to express the feeling I got after I saw it. I went to the movies to watch it, and it looked so interesting that I had expectations; yet, well...I didn't get the 'wow' feeling. I perhaps should watch itHonestly, Idon't know how to express the feeling I got after I saw it. I went to the movies to watch it, and it looked so interesting that I had expectations; yet, well...I didn't get the 'wow' feeling. I perhaps should watch it again...should I? don't even remember the ending. Does that say something about how interesting it was? I guess so. I will say a 6...? I may go and watch it again! I don't want to be unfair, and I am curious to see how I feel about it this time. So far, just a 6. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
SEROJJul 3, 2013
I'm don't know what to say. This movie is not either bad or good. It's just so unfinished. Could be a lot better! 5/10 is my score, very boring and decent movie.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
ypomoniJul 5, 2013
Maybe I'm biased seeing as I saw the Illusionist after the Prestige, and yes, the two films are alike enough to be compared to one another. Whereas the Prestige seemed like something different, this film felt like a copy. E Norton was good,Maybe I'm biased seeing as I saw the Illusionist after the Prestige, and yes, the two films are alike enough to be compared to one another. Whereas the Prestige seemed like something different, this film felt like a copy. E Norton was good, but P Giamatti stole the show here. it's a shame, coz it actually had a good twist at the end Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
RayzorMooseNov 13, 2013
The Illusionist shows off its tricks.
The Illusionist initially has eye popping appeal with a cast of great actors. The premise itself is as mysterious as it sounds, and the result it a fine movie. It suffers though with a lack of
The Illusionist shows off its tricks.
The Illusionist initially has eye popping appeal with a cast of great actors. The premise itself is as mysterious as it sounds, and the result it a fine movie. It suffers though with a lack of explanation for blatant phenomenon's it preforms and then ignores.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
RodG.Feb 20, 2007
It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but it was entertaining enough to watch. The ending was predictable like most movies nowadays. The guy was an illusionist so how else could it have ended?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
DouglasS.Mar 11, 2007
A wasted opportunity. It was a beautiful portrait that had drained the life out of its subject. The writing was flat, uninspired and lacked depth. I do not mind that the twist was apparent early on, but apart from narrative revelation there A wasted opportunity. It was a beautiful portrait that had drained the life out of its subject. The writing was flat, uninspired and lacked depth. I do not mind that the twist was apparent early on, but apart from narrative revelation there was nothing else for the mind to feed on. There was no real passion or magnetism to the characters, no depth to their behaviour. A tale about an illusiionist and a prince could have offered some insight into perception, the human capacity for delusion and the artifice of social hierarchy, but this tale was purely confectionary. Furthermore, it suffered from a Philip Glass score. This kind of score is insistent in its repitition, it does not vary in its constitution, it merely pauses to breathe. It is perfect for montage movies (see The Hours, Notes on a Scandal). Time passes, scenes change, but the score remains the same. It may smooth over rough edges in a film but it sucks away individual scene vitality, in favour of an overall drab consistency. It is a sure sign that a director is not doing his job. Nice lighting by Dick Pope though. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JanM.Sep 25, 2006
While the film successfully holds the viewer's attention, the tale it weaves is ultimately unsatisfying -- like a dinner of chocolate fudge. Midway into the film, the viewer is wondering why nothing on the screen really matters, and While the film successfully holds the viewer's attention, the tale it weaves is ultimately unsatisfying -- like a dinner of chocolate fudge. Midway into the film, the viewer is wondering why nothing on the screen really matters, and this lack of concern for the characters and their situation holds even as the final credits roll. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
PeterF.May 27, 2007
Edward Norton doesn't phone in his performance, he sends it as an IM. How this great actor could give us such an uninspired, incoherent characterization is the only mystery worth pondering in this turgid film. And that dreadful accent! Edward Norton doesn't phone in his performance, he sends it as an IM. How this great actor could give us such an uninspired, incoherent characterization is the only mystery worth pondering in this turgid film. And that dreadful accent! At least Paul Giamatti was there to act against type and make some interesting choices. But the best acting in the world could not save a tired script and hallmark-card lighting and set-design. Painful. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
MariaApr 9, 2008
Hard to sit through. ed norton is so tiresome these days. and the script was dead. did he rewrite this script too?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JohnR.Nov 13, 2006
Nicely filmed and acted, but the script and characters do not take us in very deeply. In the end it is just a period bauble and a lukewarm love story with nifty tricks.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
andrewt.Oct 29, 2006
Reasonably entertaining historical drama/thriller. Vienna and the Austrian empire circa 1890(?) are nicely portrayed, and the story is certainly not boring. The magic does significantly help build drama and is quite enjoyable to watch. Reasonably entertaining historical drama/thriller. Vienna and the Austrian empire circa 1890(?) are nicely portrayed, and the story is certainly not boring. The magic does significantly help build drama and is quite enjoyable to watch. However, with the exception of Giamatti's chief inspector, none of the characters are drawn with much depth, perhaps to help maintain the illusions that this movie so much depends on. And the underlying love story is almost childishly portrayed. But overall, the movies provides an entertaining evening. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JackieC.Jan 12, 2007
Edward Norton as a passionate leading man comes off more like a whimpish poser. No heat at all between the love interests. I predicted the ending well in advance without ever wanting to do so. Thank goodness for Paul Giamatti!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
TerryR.Jan 21, 2007
Looks great and good performances but a little empty at heart.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
DougL.Nov 28, 2006
Mediocre in every sense, except perhaps Paul Giamatti. The conclusion was rather obvious and the journey there just wasn't very interesting. Plus it has a very muddy look.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
dajhornApr 13, 2014
The acting was brilliant and the production was perfect, but the plot of The Illusionist is too cliched. If this movie was made with fewer special effects, then the not-so-twist ending might have been more forgivable.
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5
TyranianApr 10, 2019
Pretty good performances and visuals but major problems with the story that are poorly resolved.
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