They say magic in the movies doesn't work. Here's 10 examples that prove said pundits wrong, and then some.
There's a point in every movie about magic where someone makes the following statement: "Magic doesn't work in TV or in the movies because the camera can't be misdirected. It sits silently watching everything, not allowing the magician to use the tricks of the trade to successfully pull off their illusion." Of course, that's the rub with all stage productions. What works in front of a live audience, a group of beleaguered and gullible patrons, simply doesn't succeed once it's recorded and replayed. With such scrutiny comes knowledge one shouldn't possess. Sure, some of the allure is there, but for the most part, the sense of wonder is turned into a simple shoulder shrug. Still, Hollywood has tried on many occasions to use the practice as a means of making their own motion picture enchantment. Sometimes, the profession is portrayed. In other instances, magic is made into something real and relatable, a gift given to one from some unknown source.
A perfect example of the former is the newly released hit from the Summer of 2013, Now You See Me (available on DVD and Blu-ray). In fact, that film got us thinking about the 10 Greatest Movies about Magic and Magicians. Of course, said compendium is not without a caveat. First up, let's get this out of the way right up front. Harry Potter deserves his own category and list. The boy wizard who turned magic and mysticism into a wondrous worldwide phenomenon (via author J. K. Rowling's classic novels) was featured in eight films. If we included them, they'd bump out several of the other titles we wanted to discuss here. So Harry gets his more than honorable mention and we're done dealing with him. Similarly, we did push the boundaries a bit on what we would include, sans the hallowed Halls of Hogwarts. In a couple of cases, the magic element is a minor point in an otherwise obvious bit of storytelling. Still, without that facet, these films wouldn't be so interesting.
So without further ado, here are our choices, beginning with one of the most bizarre examples of the sleight of hand subgenre: