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10,190 Ratings

The Prestige

Directed by Christopher Nolan
United Kingdom, United States, 2006
Drama, Thriller, Mystery


Two nineteenth century illusionists engage in competitive one-upmanship against one another. Spurred by tragedy, a battle of the wits dangerously escalates into one with serious consequences.

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The Prestige Directed by Christopher Nolan

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2007 | 2 nominations including: Best Achievement in Art Direction

London Critics Circle Film Awards

2007 | Winner: British Supporting Actor of the Year

2007 | 3 nominations including: British Actor of the Year

Austin Film Critics Association

2007 | Nominee: Best Film

Irish Film and Television Awards

2007 | Nominee: Best Costume Design for Film

These alter egos make sense really only in opposition to each other… It’s this same contrast that makes the film so fascinatingly self-reflexive. The grueling battle of wills between the glib parlor trickster and the grim perfectionist — each of whom resents and envies the other in equal measure — encompasses both halves of the filmmaker’s sensibility and turns The Prestige into an interestingly ambivalent directorial self-portrait.
July 17, 2017
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Explicitly modelled on the pattern of a magic trick, it’s also bound to the rules of the mystery thriller genre; yet the one relies on lingering uncertainty, the other on full disclosure. And in devoting so much room to hollow romantic subplots, the film ends up breaking two of the magician’s cardinal rules: not only does it tell you how it’s all done, it takes so long about it that you’ve got time to look up its sleeves and work it out for yourself.
November 08, 2006
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With his film’s finale note, Nolan attempts to flippantly justify an unresolved and exceptionally nonsensical plot point by telling his audience “You want to be fooled.” What he fails to realize, however, is that cinema’s most compelling trick isn’t simply superficial deception, but the ability to elicit emotional engagement in something that’s inherently artificial—a feat The Prestige, for all its razzle-dazzle duplicity, never pulls off.
October 16, 2006
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