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The Prestige More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Another Nolan triumph

Author: Framescourer from London, UK
30 July 2007

A wonderful, dense, entertaining and shocking film. In a way it defies analysis (there's manicured irony in using Thom Yorke's 'Analyse' as the song under the credits). It's part Gothic horror, love story, occult sci-fi thriller... the plot hangs together despite its many sleights of hand but quite how it remains so utterly compelling is a different issue.

I think it's largely to do with the acting from an extraordinary diverse cast. A (cockneyfied) Bale and Jackman head the cast which takes in cinematic aristocracy old (Caine) and new (Johansson), untried (Rebecca Hall) and cult (Serkis and Bowie). There are no weaknesses.

But then I suspect that Nolan has an auteur's grip over the project. The editing is exact and deftly directs the audience to where he wants them to look. The script is what is being delivered - sometimes a little too softly in the mix from Bale, my only gripe - and the film takes no indulgent turns over its fleeting 2 hour span. It's a movie of high craftsmanship. 8.5/10

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A Great Tale of Rivalry, Obsession, Revenge and Sacrifice

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
28 April 2007

In the end of the Nineteenth Century, in London, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), his beloved wife Julia McCullough (Piper Perabo) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.

"The Prestige" is a great tale of rivalry, obsession, revenge and sacrifice. The unpredictable screenplay has many twists, disclosing unusual situations and hooking the attention of the viewer until the very last scene. Christopher Nolan, after the masterpiece "Memento", offers another excellent movie for the cinema lovers, better and better than the Oscar winner "The Departed". The amazing dispute between the outstanding Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman is supported by the extraordinary Michael Caine and a wonderful cinematography. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Grande Truque" ("The Great Trick")

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Far to interesting for the average bum

Author: EricBosarge from United States
30 October 2006

Now this was a movie that made you stop and think and then think again, and then go buy a ticket to watch again and think. Most of the people in the audience looked stupefied at the end of this flick. No greater tribute can be given for a movie based on magicians, magic, and science fiction. This is every magicians dream and to do it through the cinema is quite a trick in itself. The performances are excellent and Christian Bale as always is the character in life and breathe. Hugh Jackman is so turning out to be more than an eye catcher and can act in the most excellent and gentlemanly fashion. Michael Caine.......when don't you turn in an awesome performance. Scarlett Johanson does an excellent job and surrounded by such thundering performances, how can she not excel in the pouted way of hers and it is put most excellently to use in this movie. Take the rabbit out of the hat and take a bow, this was definitely a magic trick of a movie.

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Great Big Hole

Author: Belle Christian
13 August 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a great big hole in the plot. Angier is obsessed with knowing what knot Borden used to tie his wife up just prior to her death. And Borden was haunted because he couldn't remember.

The problem is her hands were STILL tied together when she was rescued from the tank. All Angier had to do was look! Either of them would have looked. Wouldn't you check that first if you suspected it was the wrong knot that caused her death?! Even if both of them were too distraught at the time (really??) you'd think Cutter would have taken note. Here, let me rewind the movie just a bit for you, guys.....

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A Magical Experience

Author: Christian Nilo
31 July 2017

Set in a dark and malice late-Victorian England, The Prestige is a diabolical and intriguing thriller film by one of the most critically acclaimed director of our era, Christopher Nolan, about two stage magicians engaged in a competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion. This competition leads to sinister proceedings that moves both the story and audience to an ambivalent and ominous state. It's a tale of obsession and deception, a magic trick that creates a lasting impression.

The movie follows a solid story structure that made all the acts propulsive and fast-paced. Nolan's mastery of cinematic deception and visual illusions enables the film to proceed in a non-chronological yet understandable sequence. The changing of time and space between each cut makes the story engaging and entertaining to watch. The puzzles and tricks that were utilized makes the audience be part of the problem-solving in each scene, and although the answers are right in front of our eyes, Nolan still managed to hide them in plain sight, and were only revealed at the very last moment.

The characters in the story are lovable, relatable, human, and well- developed. The performance of the actors gave justice to their characters. Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the two magicians propelled the rivalry of their respective characters to a grander height that helped on amplifying the overall emotion that drives the story forward.

Cinematography wise, the film is indeed magical. The utilization of visual illusions and tricks through editing reflected the theme of the story, which is deception. The use of parallax effects made each act more watchable. The overall lighting and music throughout the film created a dark and gloomy ambiance which made the movie overall, a more thrilling experience.

The Prestige tells the story of humanity's obsession and greed for power through two magicians who are willing to take all means necessary to top the other. It's a tale of demise amplified by suspense, deceit, compulsion, and avarice. It's an intelligent and cerebral film that is easy to understand when you watch it carefully. The amount of its rewatchability which is kind of rare on today's films makes each viewing a different and delightful experience. This is a film I would recommend to everyone especially to those who enjoy thriller films that is full of puzzles. The story of The Prestige is already commendable to its roots but if we look carefully towards its lessons, we will realize how rewarding this film really is. As said in the movie, we know the truth but we want to be fooled because of our desire to be amazed. Learning the truth however doesn't kill the magic, but brings the magic within us.


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"Are you watching closely?"

Author: Asif Khan (asifahsankhan) from London, England
24 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a Christopher Nolan film, that's the first thing to notice here. But it's no Dark Knight or an Inception. It's a Magic movie. And... The film will play a bunch off tricks with your mind and way faster than you can say: "Abracadebra!!"

Rival magicians Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Christian Bale) have a long history of bad blood, beginning when Angier blamed Borden for the accidental death of his wife during a show. They part ways and Borden, with his illusion designer Fallon, creates a magic trick called "The Transported Man," in which he enters one cabinet and exits another immediately after. With the help of Nikola Tesla (David Bowie), Angier creates his own version of the trick with a mysterious machine.

The story culminates with Borden finding a tank where Angier is drowning and being accused of Angier's murder. There are actually has two twists, one that is mundane and the other which is extraordinary, both based on the reveal of how the two men performed their separate tricks.

On stage left, you have Christian Bale's ambitious magician, who reveals that he has pulled off all of his tricks over the years by actually being a pair of twins who have spent their lives acting as a single person. On stage right you have Hugh Jackman's self- destructive showman, who actually helps create a science fiction cloning device that allows him to pull off his illusions. It's two insane plot twists for the price of one, and you didn't see either coming.

Angier's machine was actually a cloning device, and his clones were killed after each performance, drowned in a water tank. Borden's twist is simpler but more surprising: Like — he was actually identical twins, the two men each living half as Borden and half as the mysterious Fallon.

A must see for everyone not just Nolan fans.

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"If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world."

Author: Irie212 ( from New York City
24 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

That quote is from Nikola Tesla himself, it's not from the dialog spoken by David Bowie as Tesla. But I think it summarizes what is wrong with The Prestige. The action of the movie centers around the nexus where science meets illusion, which is a fascinating avenue into metaphysics, but in this movie, the science is little more than elaborate window dressing to what boils down to a melodrama about the all-consuming hatred between two illusionists the 1890s, Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Christian Bale).

I'm not a fan of reviews that say what filmmakers should have done. Better to judge artists on the choices that they did make in the writing, casting, production, etc., and how successful those choices were in the finished work. But The Prestige is particularly frustrating because the Nolan brothers are obviously talented men, and I'm convinced that they missed opportunities both large and small.

First, the science: Besides including Nicola Tesla as character, there are two stagecraft engineers, Cutter (Michael Caine) and Fallon (Bale, disguised, in a dual role). Neither, unfortunately, add much to the story, which, again, boils down to a feud which is so vicious that both men end up handicapped.

Second, a rather glaring flaw in the script: Angier is determined to duplicate Borden's most phenomenal trick, teleportation, which can be compared to Scotty beaming people from Point A to a nearby Point B. Angier's engineer, Cutter, deduces that Borden achieves the illusion by simply using a body double at Point B, but Angier stubbornly refuses to believe that, which drives the plot off the rails for two reasons: (1) Less believable than any magic trick, ever, Angier is promptly presented with his own exact lookalike--Gerald Root, an underemployed and drunken actor-- which is preposterous, and disappointing except that it gives us a double-dose of Hugh Jackman. (2) Cutter was right about Borden simply using a double (his twin, Fallon), but Angier has gone to Colorado to find Tesla, whom he employs, and the great Tesla actually invents a kind of teleportation that is more fantastic than Scotty's transporter: it not only transports, it clones. While the subject remains at Point A, a duplicate pops into existence at Point B.

A stunning breakthrough, no? But it's used as just another magic trick.

In the end, more disappointment for the viewer. Angier confesses that his motivation all along-- the driving passion of his life-- is nothing more than to bask in applause, so the whole feud boils down to Angier's rolling-in-it ego vs. Borden/Fallon's consummate duplicity. The women Borden and Fallon love don't even know there are two of them. Ultimately, both wives end up dead, and a shared mistress (Scarlett Johanssen) is so manipulated and betrayed that she scrams.

The actual climax sinks to a horror-film tactic, with clones of Angier rotting in water tanks under the stage. That's followed by a pat Hollywood ending, where the covetous Angier dies, the resentful Fallon is hanged, and Borden walks off with one of the two surviving females, his daughter.

Another quote, one spoken in the film by Bowie as Tesla, suggests how good this movie might have been, if it had been more about ideas than emotions. Speaking as a scientist to a magician, he says, "Perhaps you'll find more luck in your field, where people are happy to be mystified." That is where a potentially fascinating film could have been found, in a story about how illusionists ultimately rely on science and engineering, and when the science is revealed, the result is the end of confusion and the dawn of enlightenment. Getting it completely backwards, The Prestige exploits science in the service of illusion and insane rivalry.

Their subject was magic. I only wish the Mssrs. Nolan weren't quite so guilty of misdirection.

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Great acting and a twisty story about magicians from Christopher Nolan

Author: swilliky from United States
22 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the success of Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan took on magicians for his fourth original film. Two magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) compete for the greatest illusion. The stage manager Cutter (Michael Caine) accuses Alfred of attempting to steal Angier's trick but murdering him instead and sends him to jail in the furthest forward storyline. The film operates on multiple story lines, one that follows Robert searching for the great inventor Tesla (David Bowie) and his assistant Alley (Andy Serkis) in Colorado, and another storyline that tells the history of Angier and Borden as young magicians. These stories come from diaries that the men read of each other. Alfred meets Sarah (Rebecca Hall) at a magic show and falls for her quickly.

In the past, Borden tries a special knot that ends up killing Julia (Piper Perabo), Angier's lover. As Borden starts a solo career, Angier confronts him during a bullet catch trick and shoots his finger off. Having had his revenge, Angier reignites his career with a new name as the Great Danton and a new assistant Olivia Wenscombe (Scarlett Johansson). With the help of Cutter, he performs new tricks with special gadgets but Borden shows up to bust the birdcage and injure a participant. Desperate for a new trick and out of a show, Angier meets with Alley and finally is allowed to meet with Tesla in his hideout. This story parallels the real rivalry between Tesla and Edison over the conducting of electricity.

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Nolan's sloppiest flick!

Author: Shivam Murari from India
22 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now, this might probably be the most unpopular opinion. So if you are a Nolan fan who gets easily offended, just scroll away. If you are still here, let's start.

Nolan is a magician. He truly is. His work has a pledge, a turn and an applaud-worthy prestige. He captures everyone's imagination really well. Except for the critics, who are actually not there to be fooled. Yes critics still desire to be fooled but something as sloppy as this just can't.

Now I am not saying this movie is a mess. It is well crafted. It's narration (running in three timelines) is a piece of art. Some people may have found it annoying but lets be honest that is what his distraction was in this magic show. If you look carefully, however, you might not get distracted. Now, I had already received the spoiler about Alfred Bordon. It didn't take me long to know who Fallon was and why some day Alfred meant his "I love you" to his wife. However other turns are well placed. Christopher talks about presentation in this movie and why a great magic piece will not receive as many claps as a sloppier one presented in a classy suspenseful way. That is what Nolan is great at. Now, to find out that Cutter was right about the Transported Man trick all along would have been painfully disappointing for the viewers who were at the edge of their seat to find out about the 'greatest trick ever!' But how well did Mr Nolan knit his story around the whole thing? He included personal conflicts, professional conflicts, self-conflicts, career politics, romantic drama all in the turn and presented a 'lame trick' in a classy way and I am not disappointed.

So what did disappoint me? How Nolan let go of some untied pieces. Now, Cutter and Angier have keen eye for magic secrets. Cutter is an ingenieur who has identified some of the most intricate tricks with great ease. How then did they not recognize who Fallon was when they kidnapped him. How difficult was it to identify a fake demeanour for some of the best magicians? Additionally, from the maker of some of the best science fictions ever released, it was definitely not expected that he would mess up a simple 9th grade basics about clone. I let go of the technicality behind the cloning process because "it is a fiction" but how did the clone created have the same memory and same experiences? Every kid, who has basic knowledge of biology, knows that clones just have the same DNA, their behaviour and memory are entirely different.

Such major mistakes in what could have been one of his best flicks, took away from the movie. I am terribly disappointed but for the Nolan's art direction I am going with a six-out-of-ten. It is still worth a watch.

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Review on movie

Author: sanskrithis from Bangalore
17 September 2016

One can relate to this personal human struggle for victory over another at all costs on a much grander scale, as the two magicians could easily be symbolic of how leaders of countries come to blows with each other, at the expense of their women and children -- something we struggle with right now in our world. There are deeper layers of this film that will be uncovered over time. The movie was well acted, interesting, entertaining, visually stunning and the twist at the end was surprising. The Prestige definitely is one of the best movies about magicians. I found out about this movie on flickstree and flickstree is really good and helpful in finding movies of our choice.

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