The 17 best movies about magic and magicians

For the latest entry in our ongoing weekly movie series, where we generally recommend movies to watch “if you liked” a particular new release, we decided to prepare you for the next release of now you see me 2 highlighting some of our favorite movies that have to do with magic (think trickery/magic tricks, not witchcraft) and/or magicians.

now you see me 2 is set three years later the events of the first film. After outwitting the FBI and winning over the public with their Robin Hood-esque magic tricks, the illusionists known as The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing unethical practices. of a tech mogul. The man behind their vanishing act is Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Cavaliers with their most impossible heist yet.

With now you see me 2 In theaters June 10, you have the rest of the week to check out some of the best films in the genre. Here are some of our favorite picks:

Death Defying Acts (2007)

Upon arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland, for a series of jaw-dropping performances, master illusionist Harry Houdini offers an impressive cash reward to any psychic believed to be able to accurately tell him his late mother’s exact last words. Gorgeous con artist Mary McGarvie rises to the challenge and engages Houdini in a dangerous flirtation that will blur the line between reality and paranoia and test the very limits of his skepticism.

Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012)

Deceptive practice traces the achievements and influences of world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor Ricky Jay, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to now-forgotten legends like Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his main mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller.

The Escape Artist (1982)

After the death of famous escape artist Harry Masters, his grieving son Danny moves in with distant relatives. A talented magician in his own right, Danny yearns to break away from his father’s legacy but finds trouble in the form of the delinquent son of the town’s unscrupulous mayor. The plot culminates when Danny challenges the local police to incarcerate him, swearing that he will pull off an escape that will rival his father’s.

The Geisha Boy (1958)

A clumsy magician stumbles from one chaotic situation to another when he joins a USO tour in the Far East.

The Great Buck Howard (2008)

Defying his father and dropping out of law school, aspiring writer Troy Gable searches for a way to gain meaningful life experience. Troy gets that and more when he takes a job with Buck Howard, a conceited mentalist who hopes to reinvigorate his flagging career by staging a big comeback.

The Great Magician (2011)

In Beijing in the early 1920s, the country’s most talented artists gathered to show off their most spectacular talents. The challenge is on – a handsome prize to whoever can replicate a magic trick called the Feast of the Eight Immortals.

Guzaarish (2010)

Fourteen years after a crippling spinal cord injury, quadriplegic magician and radio jockey Ethan Mascarenhas decides to file a lawsuit for euthanasia (mercy killing) with the help of his best friend and lawyer.

An Honest Liar (2014)

World-renowned magician and escape artist James “the Amazing” Randi dedicates his life to exposing fake psychics and others who claim paranormal powers.

Houdini (1953)

While working as an artist on Coney Island, Harry Houdini meets and falls madly in love with Bess. The two quickly wed, and with her by his side, the magician begins his rise to fame as the world’s greatest escape artist and magician. But as the escapes become increasingly dangerous, Bess worries that Harry is going too far.

The Illusionist (2006)

A master magician named Eisenheim vies with Crown Prince Leopold of Vienna for the hand of the noble Sophie, the daughter he once loved. He brings his considerable powers to the prince, as she is about to be made a royal bride. However, a police detective named Uhl attempts to warn Eisenheim that he is playing a very dangerous game.

The Illusionist (2010)

Magic tricks can’t compete with rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s, so a French illusionist finds himself visiting the seedy pubs and ramshackle restaurants of Scotland. But things become clearer for him when he meets Alice, a girl who believes her powers are real. Together they travel to Edinburgh for a show, but he doesn’t have the heart to reveal that his exploits are just tricks and risks financial ruin by giving her gifts provided by his ‘magic’.

The Mad Magician (1954)

A failed magician turns into a homicidal maniac, eliminating his victims using the same tricks he learned while creating illusions.

Magic (1978)

Corky, a failed magician, adopts a new ventriloquist act with an abrasive dummy named Fats, and suddenly finds himself lined up for a TV show. When an unhinged Corky fears he won’t pass the required mental exam, he flees with Fats to his hometown, where he meets an old high school sweetheart, Peggy. Corky persuades Peggy to leave her marriage without love – but Fats, who seems to be making her own decisions, doesn’t approve of the relationship.

The Magician (1958)

Dr. Vogler is a hypnotist, magician, and the leader of “Vogler’s Magnetic Health Theater”, a traveling performance troupe known for its seemingly supernatural abilities. When Vogler’s show arrives in Stockholm, skeptical townspeople form a committee determined to disprove the troupe’s alleged magical abilities. The townspeople, led by a cruel doctor, fail to rationally explain Vogler’s exploits – and events take a disturbing turn.

Fast (2008)

A Pixar computer-animated short film, Presto was screened theatrically ahead of their feature film WALL-E. The short is about a magician trying to put on a show with his uncooperative rabbit and is a gagged homage to classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes.

The Prestige (2006)

An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier, in a bitter battle for supremacy. Terrible consequences loom as the pair escalate their feud, each seeking to not only outwit, but destroy, the other man.

Oz the Great and the Mighty (2013)

When sleazy circus magician Oscar Diggs is deported from Kansas to the wonderful land of Oz, he thinks fame and fortune are his. However, three witches are still unconvinced that Oscar is the Grand Wizard the people of Oz need and expect. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems of Oz, Oscar must figure out who’s good and who’s bad before it’s too late.

Also, be sure to check out 10 Movies to Get You Through the Holiday Season and 20 Slasher Movies Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know.

Brian L. Hartfield