Now You See Me
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen-appealing heist movie has a few intense fight scenes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Justice circles back, even if it takes years. Also, ingenuity and hard work pay off, with patience.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Includes several uses of "s--t," plus "bulls--t," "a--hole," "d--k," "ass," "hell," "damn," "crap," "goddamn," "oh my God," and the like.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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Now You See Me
Based on 16 parent reviews
Good movie, watch out for some dialogues
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Fast paced and fun
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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?
- In theaters: May 31, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: September 3, 2013
- Cast: Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo
- Director: Louis Leterrier
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 116 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language, some action and sexual content
- Last updated: March 2, 2023
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