Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Now You See Me’ Review: Star-Studded Cast Makes For a Fun Flick

Now You See Me is a mind-blowing and entertaining story that will keep you guessing till the end. Although at times, it’s a little too smart for its own good, the star-studded cast is fantastic, especially Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco.

Director Louis Leterrier’s (Clash of the Titans) film is a compilation of several genres. It’s a mystery mixed with some comedic elements and near the second act turns full-on thrills. Anyone who appreciates magic, an excellent ensemble and Dave Franco’s gorgeous face will have a great time in the theatre.

A mystery man brings four of the world’s greatest illusionists together to form a group called “The Four Horsemen.” The four magicians who specialize in a plethora of stunts including evading flesh-eating piranhas, mind-reading, pick-pocketing and physical trickery consist of Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco).

A year later, The Four Horsemen are headlining a show in Vegas where their prize magic trick is to teleport a random audience member to his bank and rob it, bringing back the money for the entire audience. Are the Horsemen thieves or does this ring a Robin Hood vibe?

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FBI agent Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol officer Dray (Melanie Laurent) aim to capture the Horseman and figure out just how they are stealing money from a bank across the country.

As the film unfolds, we welcome the talents of Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman into the picture, although Caine’s screen time is surprisingly short. There’s a lot of fun, many cool stunts and several twists and turns that make the screenplay of NYSM. The twists and turns may be a bit too much as the film climaxes somewhere in the middle and loses touch as we strive to find answers near the end.

You might be surprised when you watch Now You See Me, because as much as the story revolves around the magicians, it’s really Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent’s characters that guide the audience through the story. Ruffalo and Laurent have impeccable chemistry as the duo trying to take down the magicians, but I really wanted to see more Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco and Fisher during the second part of the film.

The magic and mystery elements dominate the second act and we lose track of the most interesting characters in the film! The screenplay takes the audience into the thriller element of the story, but denies us the connection we want to the Four Horsemen.


Jesse Eisenberg is fantastic as the arrogant and egotistical Atlas. Eisenberg isn’t shy to playing a character who believes he is the best at what he does (Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network), but this is a role he has never done before and shows how versatile he is as an actor. Eisenberg has a wonderful screen presence and his chemistry with Fisher is allows for the appropriate comedic elements.

There is an amazing five-minute sequence with one of my favorite actors who I absolutely adore: Dave Franco. Franco’s character is a pickpocket, quick on his feet and fast with his hands. He single handedly wipes two cops off their feet when they attempt to arrest him. The camera work is well done and the stunts Franco does are pretty incredible. Certainly one of the best scenes in the film and one to look out for.

Now You See Me has its problems, but the cast, stunts and visuals are fantastic and makeup for the confusing plot-points. Did I mention I’m also obsessed with Dave Franco?

Listen to my interview with Jesse Eisenberg here.

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