Box art for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

action & adventure, comedy


Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton have ruled the Las Vegas Strip for years. But now they face cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    36%
  • Audience Score
    33%

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Not enough magic to mostly unfunny Carell-Carrey comedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is heavy on scatological and sex humor, as well as cringe-inducing scenes of some Jackass-style stunts, but it doesn't veer completely into over-the-top raunch. Language includes one use of "f--k" and several of "s--t" and "a--hole." Main character Burt is known to bed a different woman from the audience every night; two humorous sex scenes feature bra-clad women and jokes about condom size. The violence is mostly self-inflicted by Burt's rival, a street magician who sleeps on burning coals, cuts his skin, asks to be punched, douses himself with pepper spray, and drills a hole in head -- among other things. And early scenes show a kid being bullied. If you dig under the Vegas-style humor, the two big takeaways are that friendship should be forever, and your career should be your passion, not just what you do for money.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why the dueling-magicians premise of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is funny. Have wild stunts taken away from the entertainment value of old-school magic?
  • Why do you think there aren't too many female magicians? Is Burt right that women aren't cut out to be magicians? Is Jane intended to be a role model? What about the male characters?
  • What does the difference between Burt's and Steve's styles say about the nature of entertainment? Is it inevitable that humor and magic are generational and not universal? Kids: Do you think things are funny that your parents don't like, and vice-versa?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A generic, fitfully funny mainstream comedy that doesn't nearly get the best from its name-brand players but doesn't qualify as a desecration, either.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, March 15, 2013

Rotten: Occasionally amusing but instantly forgettable.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rotten: Perhaps it's a magical disappearing humor act that afflicts this throwaway.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Thursday, March 14, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Has Jim Carrey has had his big moment in the limelight? he's taking on ensemble roles lately, no pivotal lead star vehicles anymore?. As for Carell this could be his best film to date, a sweet sincere performance which is a change from his usual tomfoolery in various naff wasted projects. This film is a mixture of two things really, on one hand we have yet another film about magic, this time a light hearted comedy. On the other hand, at times, it does ever so slightly cross over to that 'frat pack' type of comedy and you half expect Wilson or Farrell to pop up, luckily its not that outrageous. A simple concept about two traditional razzle dazzle Vegas magicians that fall out after many years together. Then to add insult to injury a younger, tougher, edgier, high risk taking street magician steps into the fray and steals what their fame. When I first started to watch this I defintely thought it was heading down the silly spoof route. There are moments that hint at that, but as the film progresses it turns out to be a really nice touching film that makes you smile. There are some great little funny touches dotted throughout which mainly come from Carell's character. Even though in the plot the character is from the 80's generation he seems to have been transported from the 50's. A complete male chauvinist and womaniser with little tact, yet he doesn't realise it and thinks he's a gentleman. Much of this is down to his Vegas bubble lifestyle which has transformed him into this spoilt makeup wearing lothario. Naturally this makes for some great dialog and some hilarious pompous behaviour from Carell. Kudos to Carrey for his wholly annoying street magician who obviously is having a go at people like David Blane/Criss Angel. His nasty tricks aren't real magic of course, simply sick stunts that appease people's morbid curiosity. So the film does achieve something plot wise, you hate Carrey's character and see him for what he clearly is, whilst at the same time you are gradually warming to Carell's character and seeing he is actually a decent man. I also loved Arkin's character and performance as the old classical, black tux magician with the pencil thin tash, almost Vincent Price-like. I also liked Gandolfini's Vegas hotel/casino owner, I loved his chic 70's-like fashions (well that's how it appeared to me) and how he still looks like a head honcho for the mob. Some great hand trick work shown throughout, alongside various other more impressive tricks, being a film I'm sure many were assisted with movie effects. The only thing I didn't really like was the ending and how they win back their fame. It seemed a step too far and way too easy for something horrific to go wrong surely!. OK its a comedy and there's gonna be artistic license involved, its not suppose to be genuine but still...it just didn't quite feel right. Plus the idea seemed like a massive undertaking on a regular basis sheesh!. Apart from that minor detail a very pleasant surprise, enjoyed the film, the glossy visuals and all the characters. Love the films title by the way, although I think 'The Amazing Burt Wonderstone' looks and sounds better.

- phubbs1, Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 stars

Has Jim Carrey has had his big moment in the limelight? he's taking on ensemble roles lately, no pivotal lead star vehicles anymore?. As for Carell this could be his best film to date, a sweet sincere performance which is a change from his usual tomfoolery in various naff wasted projects. This film is a mixture of two things really, on one hand we have yet another film about magic, this time a light hearted comedy. On the other hand, at times, it does ever so slightly cross over to that 'frat pack' type of comedy and you half expect Wilson or Farrell to pop up, luckily its not that outrageous. A simple concept about two traditional razzle dazzle Vegas magicians that fall out after many years together. Then to add insult to injury a younger, tougher, edgier, high risk taking street magician steps into the fray and steals what their fame. When I first started to watch this I defintely thought it was heading down the silly spoof route. There are moments that hint at that, but as the film progresses it turns out to be a really nice touching film that makes you smile. There are some great little funny touches dotted throughout which mainly come from Carell's character. Even though in the plot the character is from the 80's generation he seems to have been transported from the 50's. A complete male chauvinist and womaniser with little tact, yet he doesn't realise it and thinks he's a gentleman. Much of this is down to his Vegas bubble lifestyle which has transformed him into this spoilt makeup wearing lothario. Naturally this makes for some great dialog and some hilarious pompous behaviour from Carell. Kudos to Carrey for his wholly annoying street magician who obviously is having a go at people like David Blane/Criss Angel. His nasty tricks aren't real magic of course, simply sick stunts that appease people's morbid curiosity. So the film does achieve something plot wise, you hate Carrey's character and see him for what he clearly is, whilst at the same time you are gradually warming to Carell's character and seeing he is actually a decent man. I also loved Arkin's character and performance as the old classical, black tux magician with the pencil thin tash, almost Vincent Price-like. I also liked Gandolfini's Vegas hotel/casino owner, I loved his chic 70's-like fashions (well that's how it appeared to me) and how he still looks like a head honcho for the mob. Some great hand trick work shown throughout, alongside various other more impressive tricks, being a film I'm sure many were assisted with movie effects. The only thing I didn't really like was the ending and how they win back their fame. It seemed a step too far and way too easy for something horrific to go wrong surely!. OK its a comedy and there's gonna be artistic license involved, its not suppose to be genuine but still...it just didn't quite feel right. Plus the idea seemed like a massive undertaking on a regular basis sheesh!. Apart from that minor detail a very pleasant surprise, enjoyed the film, the glossy visuals and all the characters. Love the films title by the way, although I think 'The Amazing Burt Wonderstone' looks and sounds better.

- phubbs1, Thursday, April 18, 2013

2 stars

a few decent laughs, the film is entertaining and the cast is very good but there were so many things i could think of that would have improved the story. worth seeing.

- sanjurosamurai, Saturday, March 16, 2013