Now You See Me

 
(i)

 

Teen-appealing heist movie has a few intense fight scenes.
  • Review Date: May 30, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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.

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:May 31, 2013
DVD release date: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

This review of Now You See Me was written by

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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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 movie was awesome but the ending honestly sucked.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
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 is in her underwear and making out with J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg). A woman is briefly seen topless, nothing sensitive is shown. The language is pretty heavy, but most of it is mumbled. The "F" word is heard a couple of times. Then there are the usuals. There are some scenes that may frighten young viewers, but it seems worse than it is. A man gets his sleeve stuck in a garbage disposal. The two side characters get into a very cool fight, using magic. Over all this movie is okay for kids 10+. Good movie, good plot, good twists, cool magic. Now I wanna be a magician. Hmm. MOM WHERE ARE MY CARDS? :D
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
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 in the movie. Lots of fun.

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