Parents' Guide to

Make Believe

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Teens chase magical dreams in inspiring documentary.

Movie NR 2010 91 minutes
Make Believe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+


This was ok as a documentary, although pretty outdated. Some of the kids’ stories are inspiring, but a few of them are… not. There are too many great documentaries out there to waste time with this one. We watched this with our 10 and 13 year-old daughters and were shocked at a scene where a veteran magician is giving a teenage girl advice about being sexy on stage. She tells her that women entertainers are successful because they’re hot and people want to see their t*ts. UGH, really?!?!

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much consumerism
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+

Quite a good movie with one iffy part

We watched this with our 9 and 11 year old. While it wasn't as engrossing as some other documentaries we've watched (e.g. Spellbound) we all were entertained and enjoyed it. The stories of the international contestants were especially good and great to have the kids see a bit of other cultures. One part I wasn't expecting is when one of the women (ex-magician) who runs a magic place in LA and "mentors" a teenage girls magician talks to her about "Flaunting it if you've got it" and telling her how people used to criticize her skills and thought she was only up on stage because of her "t***s". She also calls the girl, who is from Malibu and is a pretty blonde, "Barbie".
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

This award-winning documentary is a fun and inspiring story. It follows the lives of these quirky single-minded teenagers as they focus all of their energies into being the best magicians they can be. Even for those who aren't fans of magic, this compelling story of teenagers aspiring to, in the words of magician Bill Koch, "excellence: nothing less," is nothing less than enchanting. By the time they make it Las Vegas for the World Magic Seminar, you know what's at stake for these six as they each take the stage to perform their tricks.

Also, for those who are interested in learning magic, the DVD includes over an hour of magic tutorials.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 13, 2010
  • On DVD or streaming: September 20, 2011
  • Director: J. Clay Tweel
  • Studio: Level 22
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Character Strengths: Perseverance
  • Run time: 91 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: December 25, 2022

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