Movies and tv series

Illusions, Tricks and Mind Games from the Best Movies About Magicians

18.03.2019

With Aladdin approaching theatres in the US on May 24th this year we are already anticipating the disguised tricks director Guy Ritchie had in store for Will Smith’s Genie; and whilst we wait to be dazed and confused, entertained – including fun for the little ones – there’s a whole lot of movies on magicians out there to be watched, if being confused is one feeling you enjoyed.

We have gathered the widest spectrum of movies with magicians, those who feature magic in some sort, the fantasy movies that have made all kids want to be ‘magicians when they grow up’.

Doctor Strange

Director: Scott Derrickson

Writers: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams 

Benedict Cumberbatch is the actor to go to when the script revolves around an enigmatic character, their multi-layered personality, their wit and of course their extraordinary intelligence. In Doctor Strange he plays the part of a well-established surgeon who after a serious accident ends up in a world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Amongst movies on magicians this is the one signed by Marvel, and if you have missed it, we have given you one or two good reasons to watch it.

The Prestige

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan 

Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson

The Prestige is one of the most inspiring movies on magicians as it will drag you into a rather intricate, non-linear plot of the rivalry between two masters of this art. The cast is magical too, as it sees director Christopher Nolan working with Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson- all on the very same list. Released in 2006, even if you are not drawn to magic, this movie will have glued to the screen.

Houdini

Director:  Uli Edel

Writers: Nicholas Meyer 

Stars: Adrien Brody Kristen ConnollyEvan Jones 

Adrien Brody stars as the famous magician in the biopic mini series in two episodes written by Nicholas Mayer. The Hungarian-born-American illusionist has become famous for his extreme escape acts, which included chains, ropes and straightjackets used underwater. Houdini’s one of the best movies on magicians, on one of the best magicians ever existed.

Now You See Me (2013)

Director: Louis Leterrier

Writers: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo

They are Robin Hood types of magicians, they are in fact a team of illusionists who thanks to their brilliant skills and minds can pull a bank heist, managing to give all the money to their spectators; the F.B.I. tries to keep up with them, but they are masters at defying even the best cops. The first instalment of Now You See Me is one of the most exciting movies with magicians.

Now You See Me II

Director: Jon M. Chu

Writers: Ed Solomon 

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson 

The second instalment of Now You See Me takes place one year after the Four Horsemen – that’s how the gang of Robin Hood magicians like to be called – have pulled off their biggest trick; they come back to expose Walter Mabry’s unethical practices.

Sleight

Director: J.D. Dillard

Writers: J.D. Dillard, Alex Theurer

Stars: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Storm Reid

A young boy wants at all costs to give a better life to his sister and himself; after the death of both of their parents the only place he can turn to is illegal activities. But he knows he’s no ordinary kid: he’s not even a just magician as makes sure others to believe when performing tricks on the streets: he’s got a supernatural force he can use to save his family. Mixing reality with fantasy, this is one of the best movies on magicians.

The Wizard of Oz

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor 

Writers: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson

Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger

Hold your horses, we know there’s not much seeing of the actual Wizard of Oz, but how could we not include it in this list of movies about magicians? The whole story is based on ‘We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wizard the Wizard of Oz, because, because, because of the wonderful things he does’. It’s a classic, a must watch.

Penn & Teller get killed

Director: Arthur Penn

Writers: Penn Jillette, Teller

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Caitlin Clarke 

What do two magicians do in their daily lives, when they are not tricking the audience? Penn & Teller tell this exact story through a series of practical pranks that will surely show you another side of being a professional magician. The American duo has been performing since the 1970s, and they hold the longest running headline in Las Vegas.

Willow

Director: Ron Howard

Writers: George Lucas, Bob Dolman 

Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis

A prophecy about a birthmark, a haunted new born baby by the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda; a farmer and a magician find the baby after she had been drifting downriver to a village of Nelwyn (dwarves). With Val Kilmer and directed by Ron Howard, it is a movie with magicians to watch.

Hocus Pocus

Director: Kenny Ortega

Writers: David Kirschner, Mick Garris 

Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy

Sarah Jessica Parker isn’t all sex and the city, there’s a playful side to her making her the perfect actor for a role in a great Halloween movie for kids; she is one of three diabolical witches that populate Salem. Follow what the three magicians get up to as they are awaken by an accidental spell by a teenage boy.

Labyrinth

Director: Jim Henson

Writers: Dennis Lee, Jim Henson

Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud

Probably what is considered one of the best fantasy movies of the 80s, Labyrinth is the movie where kids from that era encountered David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King and with him, they were transported to a surrealistic set and myriad of fantastic creatures- all from the mind of Jim Henson. It doesn’t get more enchanting and magical than Labyrinth when it comes to movies with magicians.

Harry Potter saga

J.K. Rowling is the one woman responsible for many kids around the world falling in love with magic wands, flying a broom and telekinetic movement of objects. Harry Potter is one of the most successful franchises in movie history and it happens to be THE quintessence of movies about magicians.

The Illusionist

Director: Neil Burger

Writers: Neil Burger, Steven Millhauser 

Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti 

Nothing is going to stop the love of a man for a woman who is way out of his league. Unless the man in question is a magician and can use all of his techniques and abilities to pursue his goal. Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti star in this movie on magicians from 2006.