Now You See Me

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Now You See Me Movie Poster Image
Teen-appealing heist movie has a few intense fight scenes.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 116 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 68 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Justice circles back, even if it takes years. Also, ingenuity and hard work pay off, with patience.

Positive role models & representations

In many ways, the leads of Now You See Me, magicians and mentalists who call themselves the Four Horsemen, aren't really role models. They scheme, steal, and fool. But it's not for personal gain, which is somewhat admirable. A man comments about a central female character's weight twice.

Violence

A few action-packed fight scenes that look brutal, though viewers don't see any gore: A man's sleeve is trapped in a garbage disposal, and there's lots of kicking, punching, and head-banging. Guns are drawn. In one pretty gnarly car chase, a car tumbles after hitting a median, with the driver dying in a fiery crash.

Sex

Flirty banter and a sweet kiss. A girl strips to her underwear and makes out with a guy. Some innuendo. A woman is very briefly seen topless in a Mardis Gras crowd; hands are covering her breasts.

Language

Includes several uses of "s--t," plus "bulls--t," "a--hole," "d--k," "ass," "hell," "damn," "crap," "goddamn," "oh my God," and the like.

Consumerism

Several labels seen/mentioned: MGM Grand, Starbucks, Skype, Nokia, BMW.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

A character is shown drinking too much at a bar. The next day he references getting drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Now You See Me is an entertaining (if uneven) caper movie that could be thrilling for teens interested in magic and illusions, though some fight scenes may be too harsh (kicks to the face, pistol-whipping, a deadly car crash) for younger viewers. Viewers can also expect intermittent swearing, including derivations of "s--t," and a brief scene featuring a scantily clad woman astride a man. A character drinks too much at a bar, and several labels are seen/mentioned.

User Reviews

Adult Written bygggo June 9, 2013

Fun movie

Great for teens. Even pre-teens would be ok--except there is some bad language. A movie where you actually have to think a little and pay attention to clues i... Continue reading
Adult Written byboneless711 September 21, 2013

Watch out for boobs

There is a scene that takes place during Mardi Gras where a woman lifts her shirt to show her breasts. It's very brief, but noticeable.
Kid, 11 years old June 8, 2013

My FAVORITE movie

Now You See Me, is a very cool, very interesting movie! It's a fun movie. Cool effects and charismatic characters. Near the beginning of the movie, a girl... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymattguy15 June 3, 2013

Now you see me now you don't

some kissing a girl takes off her shirt kisses danny but gets kicked out. a deadly car crash where you think someone dies. some bad words near the end. the movi... Continue reading

What's the story?

J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) are four small-time magicians, escape artists, and mentalists who are recruited by an anonymous leader to execute a series of increasingly explanation-defying, crowd-pleasing tricks as a group called the Four Horsemen. Their first act together -- a Las Vegas feat that has them stealing 3 million euros from a Parisian bank via an unwitting audience member and a teleportation machine -- attracts the attention of FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol staffer (Melanie Laurent). A billionaire mogul (Michael Caine) bankrolls their act, but even he isn't part of the inner circle. And neither is the former-magician-turned-professional-debunker (Morgan Freeman) who's on their case. Who are the Four Horsement, and what are their shows building up to? The ultimate magic trick?

Is it any good?

NOW YOU SEE ME is, in its best moments, hugely entertaining. Large-scale tricks unveiled in Vegas, New Orleans, and NYC's graffiti mecca, Five Points, are a visual delight. They satisfy with skilled camera work, perfectly executed patter from the able cast, and efficient pacing.

But ultimately, the movie is an illusion that doesn't pay off. The best caper movies let you in on the caper, showing you how it's going to go down so that you can share in the thrill of getting away with it. Now You See Me does that, in some ways, but neglects to do so when it's most crucial -- it unmasks some of the trickery, but not all of it -- demanding viewers to continue to suspend their disbelief and rely on belated explanations rather than find out on their own. This is one of a few reasons the movie doesn't quite gel, despite being very entertaining. Add to that a puzzling secondary storyline about a budding romance (who cares?), a wasted Caine (still in fine form, but not given much to do after an initially satisfying introduction), and disappointing corny bits that frankly don't belong in a movie with this much potential. Less smoke and mirrors and more substance could have made this film a more memorable romp.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the Four Horsemen did what they did. Are they motivated by greed, altruism, or a respect for their craft?

  • Now You See Me unmasks some magic tricks, including some fairly elaborate illusions that people readily believe. Why do you think they do? What is the film saying about performers like these?

  • Are the characters role models? Are they intended to be? Can you think of other law-breaking characters who are presented sympathetically?

Movie details

For kids who love crime thrillers

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