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The Prestige Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

… go enjoy the trickery. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    66

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Prestige isn't art, but it reaps a lot of fun out of the question, How did they do that?

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A visually stunning, startlingly clever sleight of hand that will have audiences pondering well after the lights go up.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Prestige reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Rival magicians battle in smart, dark period tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark period piece about dueling magicians includes several violent deaths: two by drowning (the victims' frightened faces are visible), two by hanging, and another by shooting. Other violence includes one man shooting another's hand (there's some blood, and fingers are lost); the revelation that a bird has been smashed into a bloody pancake during a trick to simulate its "disappearance"; the accidental smashing of a woman's hand in a similar trick; and a man submitting to having his fingers chopped off (the action isn't shown, but the noise of the chop and his facial expression are jarring). Other than the violence, there's not too much to worry about -- a little sexual activity (mostly just kissing), fairly mild language, and some drinking.

  • Families can talk about the competition between Robert and Alfred. How does the movie show the rising stakes of their conflict? How can you tell that the audiences within the film love the magicians' illusions? Why are the magicians driven to go to such extreme lengths? How does their relationship with the more-experienced Cutter affect them? Is magic as popular today as it was in the late 1800s/early 1900s? Why or why not? Is there such a thing as real magic, or is it all illusion?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters lie to each another incessantly, as well as commit murder and suicide; deception (in magic tricks and in audiences' desire to be fooled) as a theme.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Explicit deaths by hanging, gunfire, and drowning (all are only briefly shown, but it's clear enough what's going on); bodies (human and cat) zapped by electric currents; hand is shot, resulting in blood and missing fingers; fingers chopped off hand (as a sign of commitment and "sacrifice" to art/life of magic); fall through a trapdoor leads to injury and a permanent limp.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some kissing and passionate embracing by a married couple and later by a different, adulterous couple; women in showy, bustiers on magicians' assistants; adultery.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild profanity: a couple of instances of "s--t," as well as "damn" and "ass."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Thematic: Magicians promote their own shows by crashing other magicians' shows with placards.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking to the point of drunkenness (the result of frustration in neglected wife and ambitious magician).

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