Best Hollywood Movies on Magic and Magicians: Call it witchcraft, sorcery, or illusion; we all fantasize about magic.
At a certain age, most of us must have enjoyed a magic show and dreamed of learning a few tricks to charm people.
A few of us would also have mastered the art of some card tricks or other illusions at birthday parties or other gatherings to entertain the kids or the crowd present there.
Well, magic has always excited us. Despite knowing that it isn’t real, we often wish it to be true. That’s the real enchanting power of magic and it is very tough to resist the urge to become a wizard if that was possible.
This very fantasy has often been the driving force for filmmakers to craft a cinema around this theme. Today, we will share some of the best films about magic or magicians.
Best Hollywood Movies on Magic and Magicians
Whether it’s the fantasy world witchcraft or the modern-day illusions, the filmmakers have left no stone unturned to make films that not only feature magicians but also enchant the world watching it.
Let’s check out the top Hollywood movies on Magic or Magicians:
The Prestige (2006)
Based on Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel, The Prestige tells the story of a rivalry between two stage magicians. The two magicians try to outwit the other by creating the best stage illusion. However, the competition becomes an obsession resulting in tragic results. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film is a mystery thriller set in London at the end of the 19th century.
The Illusionist (2006)
A romantic story set around the world of magic and illusion, The Illusionist is a 2006 mystery film that will keep you guessing. The film revolves around a magician, who reunites with his lover after 15 years. However, fate plays its part as his lover is already engaged to the crown prince. Directed by Neil Burger, this film keeps you glued to your seats as the mystery doesn’t unfold till the climax.
Now You See Me (2013)
Now You See Me is a heist film revolving around the revenge theme. Directed by Louis Leterrier, the film tells the story of four illusionists who rob banks during their stage performances without leaving a clue whatsoever. When an FBI agent and an Interpol officer team up together to catch them in the act, a new mystery awaits and the audience learns about the true motives behind the heist.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)
Unlike the films mentioned above, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a fantasy film that revolves around real magic. The film basically follows the story of a young physics student, who is approached by a Merlinian (a good sorcerer or magician) to become his apprentice. The Merlinian named Balthazar Blake trains the young boy to inherit Merlin’s powers and join him in the fight against the evil forces.
Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
The list of top Hollywood film on magic would be incomplete if we don’t include any of the Harry Potter films. Well, rather than adding a couple of them, we decided to add the whole series as all the 8 films are remarkable. The 8-film series developed a fantasy around its theme and created a whole new world of Hogwarts. Today, the whole concept adapted from JK Rowling’s books has achieved cult status among the mass globally.
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Now You See Me 2 is the sequel to the 2013 film and shares a similar theme. The story again revolves around a group of 4 illusionists, who are kidnapped by a business tycoon to help him steal a data mining chip. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that stealing the chip is just a ploy. The whole setup was, in fact, a son’s plan to avenge his father’s humiliation at the hands of the illusionists in the previous film.
Also Read: Best Heist Movies from Hollywood
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Well, there’s no top movie list without some classic flicks. The Wizard of Oz is the screen adaption of the 1900 children’s book classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This musical fantasy film received accolades from all over and it still remains one of the best musical films of all time. It’s also the most successful film adaptation of the classic children’s book.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantasy adventure film from the Harry Potter universe but set many decades before the Harry Potter timeline. Also, unlike Harry Potter films which are set in Britain, this Harry Potter spin-off has an American flavor. Based on the 2001 book of the same name, the film follows the adventures of Newt Scamander in the United States.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Doctor Strange is a mystical character from the Marvel Universe and the 2016 American superhero film of the same title works as his origin story. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the film tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange who loses his ability to perform surgery after an accident. He sets off on a journey to find alternate methods to heal his hands not aware that his destiny awaits there. From there on, his transformation from a handicapped surgeon to a superhero begins.
Practical Magic (1998)
Practical Magic is a tale of two sisters who are poles apart but belong to a family gifted with the power of magic. As great as it seems, the two sisters are unaware of the supernatural forces that are coming to hunt them down. The film is about their stand together to fight off the evil forces and save their family legacy. The film is directed by Griffin Dune, whereas the two sisters are played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.
Sleight is a modern-day take on the life of magicians globally. Gone are the days of stage shows for magicians as streets are becoming the new stage for the new generation of magicians. Directed by J.D. Dillard, Sleight follows the life of a street magician based in Los Angeles who uses science skills to float things in the air. However, there’s a darker side to his life, and here’s where the film gets interesting.
The Magic Life (2012)
The Magic Life is a documentary film revolving around three aspiring magicians. Directed by Nelson Chang, the film tries to reflect upon the world of magic performances whether on stage, at parties or on the streets. The rest of the film is about whether they are successful in pulling off the biggest trick of their lifetime and becoming renowned as magicians.
Presto is an animated short film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The film is actually a humorous take on the stage magicians and their tricks using rabbit. The film follows the life of a magician trying to perform with his uncooperative rabbit resulting in a lot of funny incidents. Directed by Doug Sweetland, this short film is a perfect homage to stage magicians.
Make Believe (2010)
Make Believe is a documentary film showcasing the world of tricks and illusions. It follows the story of 6 best young magicians pit against each other for the title of Teen World Champion. Directed by Clay Tweel, the film is an excellent watch if you want to learn what actually happens at backstage.
It would be unfair not to list a biographical film about a real magician on our list of best films on magic and magicians. So, here’s the 1953 Hollywood biopic Film titled Houdini which is based on the life of magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. Directed by George Marshall, the film is the screen adaptation of the book of the same name penned by Harold Kellock.
Over to you!
Not many films are made about magic or magicians. Whether called an illusion or a mystic art, magic has always enticed us all. By sharing our list of top Hollywood films on magic and magicians, we are giving our tribute to this age-old art and trying to keep the hopes that “Magic can be real”.