Box art for The Prestige

The Prestige

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

action & adventure, drama, thrillers

Award-winning actors Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson star in The Prestige, the twisting, turning story that, like all great magic tricks, stays with you.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
5 out of 5

Rival magicians battle in smart, dark period tale.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dark period piece about dueling magicians includes several violent deaths: two by drowning (the victims' frightened faces are visible), two by hanging, and another by shooting. Other violence includes one man shooting another's hand (there's some blood, and fingers are lost); the revelation that a bird has been smashed into a bloody pancake during a trick to simulate its "disappearance"; the accidental smashing of a woman's hand in a similar trick; and a man submitting to having his fingers chopped off (the action isn't shown, but the noise of the chop and his facial expression are jarring). Other than the violence, there's not too much to worry about -- a little sexual activity (mostly just kissing), fairly mild language, and some drinking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the competition between Robert and Alfred. How does the movie show the rising stakes of their conflict? How can you tell that the audiences within the film love the magicians' illusions? Why are the magicians driven to go to such extreme lengths? How does their relationship with the more-experienced Cutter affect them? Is magic as popular today as it was in the late 1800s/early 1900s? Why or why not? Is there such a thing as real magic, or is it all illusion?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 29
    see all The Prestige reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The film is lavishly mounted, set-wise, costume-wise, makeup-wise and special-effects-wise. But the magicians themselves are cold and devious, and the chill permeates the whole film.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rotten: Not only does it tell you how it's all done, it takes so long about it that you've got time to look up its sleeves and work it out for yourself.

- Ben Walters, Time Out, Thursday, November 9, 2006

Fresh: The film is never less than engaging, though considering that the title The Prestige refers to the moment in a magic act that gives it its "wow" factor, it's kind of a shame that the ultimate "reveal" in the movie is a little too tricky for its own good.

- Bob Mondello,, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Audience Reviews

2 stars

six or seven dollars worth of movie

- brooklynspo, Monday, June 4, 2007

5 stars

Wow, I didn't see this one coming. It's been quite a while since I've been surprised by the quality of a movie like this. It kept me guessing and engrossed from beginning to end. The way that the narrative shifts back and forwards in time can be a little hard to follow on the initial viewing, but that's the only possible negative that I could ever think of, for The Prestige.There have been many comparisons made between The Illusionist and The Prestige, and understandably so. They were released not very far apart. They both deal with magicians, and pushing the boundaries of what is considered illusion and what is considered real. Both of them have solid casts (though the absurdly excellent actors in The Prestige could easily be described by a stronger word than "solid"), captivating stories, and twisting plots. But, while The Illusionist is merely great, this movie is basically flawless in my eyes.The story got better and better and better as it went on, topping itself again and again. The movie keeps improving with repeated viewings, as well. You'll pick up on clues that you probably completely missed the first time around. Needless to say, I was blown away by the ending. It bears repeating that at the actors and actresses are marvelous. I'm gushing, I know. You get it by now, I love this movie. Even after a few years and several viewings, I still enjoy every moment of it.I LOVE THE PRESTIGE!

- lewiskendell, Saturday, August 14, 2010

4 stars

Christopher Nolan's storytelling is the success of his mystery thriller, The Prestige.2 hours and a few minutes of magic almost sounds like a playful day out with the kids, but lo and behold, it is actually a dark mystery that constantly unravels. The slow to mediocre pacing is offset by the multiple time lines, in which the story jumps back and forth between to gradually reveal the secrets that there is to offer. The Prestige also forces thinking without causing a headache, which is a huge positive for a film like this.The film's second half contains a number of twists and turns, and what Nolan does successfully is blend an enormous twist into a smooth climax of an already great film. In other words, the climax is memorable, but so is everything else.The casting is first-class. Both Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman comfortably carry their portions of the movie, while the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, and David Bowie step in from time to time without any problems.The Prestige is an example of fine storytelling. Highly recommended and... abracadabra.

- skactopus, Thursday, August 5, 2010