Now You See Me

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

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 76 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 16-year-old Written byGreenMaple June 24, 2019

Clever

Arguably like a flashy and non-deep Inception, if that makes any sense.

Not positive-message heavy, but pretty reliably entertaining for a wide audience. I gu... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylittlepig1 January 26, 2017

Okay - not the best but not the worst

I wasn't hooked like I use to be with movies and tv shows. It's kind of entertaining though. One kissing scene. Some sexual references like "you... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydoubleE June 10, 2013

Now You See Me should have been rated PG

This movie was AMAZING. Its so fun to watch and the magic tricks will amaze you. There is some violence but its very minimal and not graphic (one fight, and a c... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 21, 2016

A fabulous heist film in my opinion, but some far-fetched tricks.

Now You See Me is a mixed-acclaimed film with an all-star cast. It can be suspenseful and intense at times, but nothing your teen can easily handle. A quadruple... 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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