Who knew being a magician would invite so much drama?

2006 saw the release of two, competing movies that added drama, intrigue, and other-worldly mystique to the secretive world of magic. Each of the films focused more on the problematic life choices of the characters rather than the magic tricks themselves, although The Prestige did delve into the world of fictional science to lend an added layer of depth to the onscreen trickery. Did we need two films about troubled magicians? Did we need one? 2006 certainly thought so. Have a look at the stats below, discuss the films, and cast your vote!

The Illusionist

  • PG-13
  • 110 minutes
  • Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

A man uses magic to woo a woman above his social status.

Release Date
August 18, 2006
Tagline(s)
Nothing is what it seems
Director(s)
Neil Burger
Writer(s)
Neil Burger, Steven Millhauser
Leading Cast
Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti
Box Office
$39,825,798 $84,276,175
Rotten Tomatoes
73% 83%
IMDB
7.6 / 10
Trailer
View Trailer
Sources

The Prestige

  • PG-13
  • 130 minutes
  • Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Rival magicians attempt to outperform each other with tricks that become ever-increasingly dangerous.

Release Date
October 20, 2006
Tagline(s)
Are You Watching Closely? Behind the mystery lies the secrets. Behind the secrets lies an astonishing discovery.
Director(s)
Christopher Nolan
Writer(s)
Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, Christopher Priest
Leading Cast
Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
Box Office
$53,082,743 $109,000,000
Rotten Tomatoes
75% 92%
IMDB
8.5 / 10
Trailer
View Trailer
Sources

Cast your vote for the best Troubled Magician Film of 2006

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t know how anyone could possibly choose The Illusionist or The Prestige. The Illusionist is good, but The Prestige is so much better.
    With The Prestige, it is the big, final reveal that is so compelling. Two competing magicians with a horrible inspiration for a rivalry go to monstrous lengths to out do the other.
    In turn, with The Illusionist, it is the big reveal that actually annoyed me. Maybe I’m smarter than the average person, but I didn’t need the “oh, that’s how he did it” moment with Paul Giamatti’s character. I had long since figured it out for myself and that who moment felt utterly contrived; as if they simply couldn’t come up with a good way to reveal the truth.

    Most importantly, with the ‘big reveal’ in both films; it took me longer to realize what the big secret was in The Prestige than The Illusionist.

    Reply

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