What’s the big deal about movies about magic? They can always add special effects or use camera tricks to create the illusion of magic, so it’s not like it’s about the sleight of hand or misdirection. What it comes down to is the charisma of the characters playing magicians in the film, like George Clooney or Hugh Jackman. They’re the ones who have to make magic seem achievable and believable by ordinary humans, lest audiences riot and cry foul at the supposed sleight of hand that they’ve shown you, but that same magic also has to be awe-inspiring and creative. It’s a tall order being a magician on film!

So here are 10 movie magicians that you have to see to believe. You’ll be a master magician after this magical movie marathon!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The Four Horsemen from Now You See Me

Heaney (Isla Fischer), Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Wilder (Dave Franco) in Now You See Me. Credit: Sky Movies

Heaney (Isla Fischer), Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Wilder (Dave Franco) in Now You See Me. Credit: Sky Movies

The Four Horsemen are made up of Danny (Jesse Eisenberg), McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Wilder (Dave Franco), and not Magneto, Psylocke, Archangel, and Storm as you might have guessed. And their greatest trick is that they’ve had actually had one Horseman hiding in plain sight all this while in the film – Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), who’s also an FBI agent. Before you tell me that I’ve labelled this section wrongly, highlight the header and reread it. Just like with Rhodes, there’s been an additional magician hidden in here all this while!

Bet you didn’t expect to see a magic trick in an article about magicians!

6. Robert Angier from The Prestige

Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) in The Prestige. Credit: Fanpop

Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) in The Prestige. Credit: Fanpop

Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) was the obsessive magician determined to upstage his rival, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) in The Prestige. Although the story was rather convoluted, Angier’s desperate attempts to replicate Borden’s teleportation trick succeeded in the most gruesome of ways – he had Tesla (David Bowie) build him a cloning machine that would allow him to look like he teleported out of harm’s way, when in actuality he would die and be replaced by a clone every time he performed the trick. Angier even had a stage name, “The Great Danton,” which speaks to his single-minded determination to perform the trick.

Ironically, that meant that Angier never really did perform that illusion, did he?

7. Danny Ocean from Ocean’s Eleven

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in Ocean's Eleven. Credit: hotflick.net

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in Ocean’s Eleven. Credit: hotflick.net

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) didn’t perform magic per se in Ocean’s Eleven, but he did pull off a casino heist with aplomb and ten other companions, earning his team a cool 150 million USD (which is about 203 million USD if you’re keeping count). The greatest reveal was when we realised that everything we were watching was, in fact, pre-recorded, while the rest of Ocean’s Eleven took off with the money.

It may not have been called magic, but it certainly was as good a performance as any!

8. Oz from Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz (James Franco) from Oz the Great and Powerful. Credit: Geeks of Doom

Oz (James Franco) from Oz the Great and Powerful. Credit: Geeks of Doom

The Wizard of Oz (James Franco) was always a conman, and Oz the Great and Powerful was a prequel that showed us how a person with no true magical ability became the leader of a country full of magical beings. Oscar Diggs, his human name, flirts his way across the film, and watching him outwit creatures far more powerful than he was showed us that ingenuity beats magic any day.

It also shipped Oz-Glinda, which was… strange.

9. Mike from Magic Mike

Mike (Channing Tatum) in Magic Mike. Credit: Pinterest

Mike (Channing Tatum) in Magic Mike. Credit: Pinterest

Mike’s (Channing Tatum) only magical ability in Magic Mike was to get ladies to come see the film in droves. When you think about it, it’s pretty much just a stripper show – yet it still managed to garner a sequel (and more box receipts too)!

Mike might just be the greatest magician of them all.

10. Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) in Now You See Me 2

Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) joins the Horsemen in Now You See Me 2. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) joins the Horsemen in Now You See Me 2. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So in the sequel to Now You See Me, Heaney Reeves is replaced by Lula May (Lizzy Caplan), whom Atlas fondly remember as the magician who pulled a hat out of a rabbit. I guess she’s the hipster sort of magician who deconstructs magic tricks! She’s more flamboyant than Reeves, although she doesn’t command the same sort of presence that her predecessor does. Still, she holds her own pretty well as the newcomer and the only lady among the Horsemen.

Poster for Now You See Me 2. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Poster for Now You See Me 2. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So how does Lula May fare as a performer and magician? You’ll need to catch Now You See Me 2 to find out for yourself! The sequel to Now You See Me, it sees the return of the Four/Five Horsemen going up against another. They get teleported to China and have to face their old nemesis Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). And Jay Chou stars in it too!

Don’t miss Now You See Me 2 (since then technically, it would be Now You Don’t See Me)!

 

Credits: Sky Movies, Fanpop, hotflick.net, Geeks of Doom, Pinterest, Golden Village Cinemas