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Practical Magic
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Reviews & Ratings for
Practical Magic More at IMDbPro »

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53 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Magical Fun

Author: heir marrell from Los Angeles
13 June 1999

This is a "fun" movie, surprising and funny but much more for adults than children- it's too scary and graphic for little ones. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman give star-powered performances- both deliver the goods here and you'll enjoy it whether you're fans of them or if you're not. They're simply charming and as much as people may want to dislike Kidman for being Ms. Cruise, she again proves she's a star in her own right.

Forget the critics and the Be-faithful-to-the-book drones, this is a good movie- hip, edgy and sometimes spooky. If this was a movie made by two unknown actresses, it would be a "gem" critics would recommend to audiences, but for some reason with Bullock and Kidman, it gets reviewed on a different scale and ends up short for people. Forget all that- it's great entertainment with yes, two pretty big stars- but they can't help that so get over it and enjoy the movie for what it is- a real "gem."

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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Loved it

9/10
Author: lllama from United States
2 May 2002

Normally I don't care for chick flicks, but I can't seem to stop watching this one over and over again. I was surprised that so many others didn't care for it. I just loved the sets, the costumes, the women and their relationships, the real magic in the film, the special effects, the child actresses. This was stuff that women could relate to better than men. Aidan Quinn was the only boring part of the movie. I wished they'd chosen an actor who was more into the role. He seemed bored and made his part in the film more boring. (Also, he mumbles. Someone should give him elocution lessons.)

This movie wasn't meant to be heavy. It was meant to be light, fun fluff, and that it is. The characters weren't meant to be deep, but I felt the relationship between the two sisters was deeper and well performed by two skilled actresses. In spite of the fluffiness of it, I enjoyed the two scenes in which we got to sit and relax to the sound of Stevie Nicks' "Crystal." So what if cars weren't crashing and guns weren't shooting. They weren't supposed to be. I felt the camaraderie of the moment as the two sisters and their aunts got drunk on "midnight margaritas" while dancing to Harry Nilsson's "Lime in the Coconut." It was just plain light fun. Also, women can enjoy the vicarious satisfaction of watching these women destroy the evil, bullying man who tries to destroy them.

The end of the film was rather Disney-kiddie-flick-like. Another ending might have worked better, but it was tolerable because it reminded the audience that the film was all in fun, and not to be taken seriously.

I usually prefer deeper films, but I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of fluff. Sure it was silly and campy, but it was fun. A film doesn't have to take itself seriously to be fun. Bullock, Kidman, Channing, and Wiest are beautiful, charming and wonderful to watch in this flick, and I love watching the four of them over and over again.

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33 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

In favor of this movie!

10/10
Author: Starcat Zeppo from USA
11 September 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reading the reviews of this movie is like being on a teeter-totter. One hates, the other loves, one hates... I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

Maybe it's because I come from a family of 6 sisters.... The bonding and care between the sisters and the Aunts, standing against the rest of the town's distrust and dislike shows family strength. When Sandra is weeping over her husband dying, I cried with her. I thought it was a fabulous moment for her in the movie.

If you want a movie about a woman getting revenge on an abusive husband, rent The Color Purple (ALSO a fave of mine) This movie was playful, at times slightly spooky... Hello? It's a Witch story... it should have SOME spooky stuff in it, and I don't feel the special effects were too over done.

As far as them inviting the women of the town in to help, I loved that whole sceen as well. The flash backs to the sisters as children and not wanting to let the other go... all of it. Each time that sceen pops into power mode, it makes me want to call every one of my sisters.

I haven't read the book, so I understand there might be some disappointment from those who HAVE read it. Movies rarely pack the punch of the written word they're based on. (Like EVERY King movie EVER put on film!)

But I adore Practical Magic. I saw it in the theater, and bought it as soon as I could.

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37 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

The Witches of Eastwick with a twist of lemon . . . .

10/10
Author: Eric Skoglund (e_skoglund@yahoo.com) from New York, NY
19 March 1999

I liked Practical Magic a lot. I didn't think I would because it was about two sisters and seems to be a "chick flick". However, there was a lot more to the movie than the relationship between Gillian and Sally Owens. For example, Gillian is possessed by the soul of her cruel mate after Sally accidentally kills him with too much magic. Also, the Owens curse plays a pivotal role in the movie. I was surprised by the movie and I know it should have made a lot more money, but the timing of the release was probably wrong. Good actors, and good direction. I bet the book is good too.

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Way better than the score would indicate

10/10
Author: Bill Dwyer from Los Gatos, CA
26 December 1999

Light and easy, suspenseful in parts, funny, charming. How you'd expect normal ladies to act if they happened to be witches. I spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon with this film. Best part is when they use the PTA phone tree to recruit a coven. Watch it, you won't be sorry

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A Wonderfully fun movie

Author: Sarah Fehn from San Francisco
7 March 2003

This movie is one of my favorites - I love watching it.

I have to agree with the remarks by AshIsTheGal and Warlen. Nicole Kidman had never been one of my favorite actress either, but I loved her in this movie (as I did Sandra Bullock). The real standouts though were Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest - watching them perform was almost worth the price of admission itself! They are wonderful.

I don't see this movie as being about magic or witchcraft, the romance between Sally and Gary Hallet or even Jimmy Angelov chasing Gillian (which is a huge catalyst - but not really any more than that). For me, this movie is really about the relationships between sisters and women (the Aunts Franny and Jet, Kylie and Antonia, the Owens' women and the townswomen and of course, between Sally and Gillian - both young and adult).

All of the actresses had a great chemistry, but I couldn't believe how well matched Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were. I felt that their bond was very believable and I loved watching their relationship to each other (and themselves) grow and mature as they went from being children to adults.

I certainly don't think that this film will appeal to everybody, and I can see why so many people "don't get it", but if you watch it more for the relationships between the women and not so much for the romance angle or the magic I think that you will really enjoy this movie. I thought that the romance and magic were handled very well, I just saw them as being secondary to the real story. Also - it has a wonderful soundtrack.

I read the book after seeing the movie, and while there are many changes between the two, I really enjoyed both. I thought that the changes made to the movie made for a better movie overall.

All in all, a very enjoyable movie. I highly recommend it.

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Deliciously Wicked....!!!!!!!!!!

Author: Joe from St. Petersburg, FL
26 October 1998

Finally.....

Through this autumn's movie mediocrity, comes a fresh, fun and deliciously wicked movie by acclaimed actor/director Griffin Dunne. I must first point out that I did not read the book... and also that I am male (drawing attention to this fact since most of my male friends would not be caught DEAD in a male-bashing, chick flick dark comedy that reeks in the celebration of womankind!)

Sondra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are devilishly sexy as the spell-casting sisters doomed to be single for the rest of their natural life... and Stockard Channing and Diane Weist are also enchanting as their aunts that have raised them on chocolate cake and midnight margaritas! Aidan Quinn rounds out the superb cast as a detective determined to find out the truth behind the disappearance of a wanted killer.

With a terrific soundtrack and an equally impressive musical score, Practical Magic will surprise and delight many a filmgoer who delves into the fantasy and fun of being bewitched!

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

A fun movie, despite a few weak points

7/10
Author: myrddyn from Portland, Oregon, USA
1 June 1999

It appears that director Griffith Dunne tried to keep this film from being as powerful as it could have been. The movie fails to fully develop the town's overt fear of witches (missing only slightly), the full foreboding of "something wicked this way comes" with Jimmy (although the script lets them get away with it), and the magical love bond between Sally and Gary. A few small changes, such as more supportive background music, would have made these points support and counterpoint the lighter parts of the flick.

Bullock and Kidman are very good as the central characters, very believable as different-but-bonded sisters. Kidman is a little too flaky at times to be a fully credible witch, but this characterization runs well enough in context. Channing (whom I rarely enjoy) and Wiest are excellent in major supporting roles, outdone only by Webb and Wood (Sally's daughters) who show their abilities by *not* overacting their potentially cutesy roles. Instead, they do a great job in stating variations on their mother and Aunt Gilly.

Overall, I think most aspects of direction and production could have used one more iteration of quality improvement. Still, the movie is quite enjoyable, and worth watching again some time.

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31 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

What I think...

10/10
Author: Gilly Bean from North, UK
21 April 2001

Although this film received a lot of negative feedback from the press I think it is one of the best films I have seen! The acting, settings, etc were all spot on and the characters easy to relate to. This also received a lot of bad press from Wicca Organisations - I am interested in the craft too and found the film to relay the information in a suitable and exciting manner - Excellent!!!

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Sweetly enjoyable.

7/10
Author: CarelessMoonDruid from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
19 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm sure I'm not the only Magick User to review this movie, but if you're interested in a pagan view, here it is. If not, have a nice day.

"There is no devil in the Craft." How wonderful to hear those words come out of Sandra Bullock's mouth! I was simply delighted.

I'm not going to sit here and waste your time with the plot. The movie's been out since 1998 and most of you already know it. If you haven't seen the movie, the rest of the reviews gives you the plot, ad nauseum.

Nicole Kidman's character, Gillian Owens, is played wonderfully as a seductress. It was a bit stereotypical (remember the flighty Wiccan in Blair Witch 2?), but well played by Kidman.

I did not like the use of Belladonna, as it is used in the movie. It portrays a dark intent, which is something anyone in the Craft will tell you is strictly against the rules. However, it is a tendency in Gillian's (Kidman's) character to be drawn towards the dark path, and was therefore fitting.

And who can't identify with Sandra Bullock's Sally Owens wanting nothing more than to be "normal?" Who IS normal? WHAT is normal? Love is normal. And that's all she wants is to love unequivocally and receive that love in return.

And then there's "The Owens Family Curse." We all have ours.

Some bald early, some have the unbelievably spacious nose inherited from "Uncle Elmer." My family curse is the lack of child-bearing women in My family, hence I am the last of My mother's family. She had only Me and I have bore no live children.

At least she didn't put the usual curse on Me. (The "I hope you have a kid JUST LIKE YOU!" curse.).

The idea of Sally (Bullock) owning/operating a botanical shop, "I manufacture bath oils," is spot on. Many Magick Users long to do something along those lines.

Sally and Gillian's bringing back Gillian's lover (Goran Visnjic) from the dead (?!) "We don't do that." (Dianne Wiest as "Auntie" Bridget Owens) That spell book would have had to have been passed down from at least 5 generations, if not more to even HAVE a spell like that within its bindings. That having been said, those "in the Craft" don't do that. Most CAN'T do that, and those who can...well...shouldn't. Necromancy is of the Dark Arts, and is no part of the Craft.

And finally, the ending.

The ending was quite fantastic and over the top. Insanity, if you ask Me, but ... no one did.

Jumping off the roof of their house, in full witch regalia complete with pointy hats, bucked shoes and red and white-striped stockings, and floating down to the ground safely and slowly, FLOATING! down like that...put a fantasy-styled ending to what otherwise would have been a big boost for Pagans in the mundane world.

It's a very entertaining story, and contains great portrayals by.... Sandra Bullock .... Sally Owens Nicole Kidman .... Gillian Owens Stockard Channing .... Frances Owens Dianne Wiest .... Bridget Owens Evan Rachel Wood .... Kylie Owens Alexandra Artrip .... Antonia Owens ...right up until the ending. But the ending doesn't negate the entire movie. It just degraded its value far more than Pagans would have liked.

It still gets a 7.2/10 from...

the Fiend :.

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