The Prestige (2006) Review

Continuing my Christopher Nolan series of reviews, I’ve arrived at my favorite Christopher Nolan film, The Prestige. This film is the only movie I can think of where I can watch it and every time I finish, I’m still blown away and have my mind twisted. The way the film makes no sense at the beginning and slowly pulls it’s constant twists and turns layer by layer until you are blown away at the end is truly a work only a master of the craft can create.


The Prestige tells the story of two up and coming magicians, Robert Angler (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale), who are looking to find that perfect trick. The trick that will change the game and help them become the greatest magician that has ever lived. As they go through great and sometimes brutal lengths to find this trick, betrayal, deceit and even murder follow these two and the people who become involved in their lives. This is the basic premise of the plot but there is so much more to this plot. I don’t want to ruin this plot because it is one of the most original and intriguing plots in a film that I’ve ever seen.

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This film, as every Christopher Nolan film, has an amazingly stellar cast. High Jackman and Christian Bale are magical (yeah, I went there), particularly Christian Bale who has one of my favorite character arcs in a movie ever. What happens to this character is one of the most mind blowing and craziest arcs you’ll ever see. Michael Caine is Michael Caine in this movie which is of course amazing. There are a few really surprising actors who show up in this movie and to ruin them here would be a sin but they are all stunning and brilliant in their respective roles.


Christopher Nolan wrote and directed this film and to say he did a great job would be an understatement. This man is simply a true master and we do not deserve his contributions to the film industry. The film is set up in three acts and each act is like the three parts of a magic trick, the pledge, the turn and the prestige. It’s brillant how he makes the movie unravel like an actual magic trick. Each shot in this film makes my mouth drop, each scene builds constant tension and mystery and the way the film wraps itself up is literally perfect. The film has such an overload of questions presented in the opening scene and for it to answer all of them and not feel like it spoon feeds the audience is something special.


The Prestige is one of my favorite all time films and definitely my favorite Nolan movie. The cast is fantastic, the story is intriguing and the structure of the film is non-linear but done in such a cohesive way. This film is a true work of art and every film fan needs to see this movie at least once but trust me, once you watch it once, you’re going to go back and rewatch it and be as emotionally invested in this film as if it’s your first viewing each time you watch. ABRACADABRA!

Grade: A+


Next Up: Inception (2010)


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