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"The closer you look, the less you'll see."
— The film's tagline.

Now You See Me

Now You See Me

Directed by
Louis Leterrier
Produced by
Bobby Cohen
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Screenplay by
Ed Solomon
Boaz Yakin
Edward Ricourt
Story by
Boaz Yakin
Edward Ricourt
Starring
Release dates
May 21, 2013 (New York City)
May 31, 2013 (United States)
July 31, 2015 (France)
Running time
115 minutes
125 minutes (extended cut)
Country
United States
France
Budget
$75 million
Box office
$351.7 million

Now You See Me is a 2013 American caper thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Common, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

Released on May 31, 2013, the film received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized the scattershot plot and ending, but praised its cast, acting and script. Despite mixed reviews, the film was a box office success, and a sequel is set for release on June 10, 2016.

Plot Edit

Four gifted street magicians — J. Daniel "Danny" Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves, and Jack Wilder — are brought together by an unknown benefactor and, one year later, are performing in Las Vegas as "The Four Horsemen," sponsored by insurance magnate Arthur Tressler. For the finale of their first show, they declare they will rob a bank, and invite audience member Étienne Forcier, an account holder at the Crédit Républicain de Paris, to do it. Forcier is apparently teleported to his bank in France, where he activates an air duct that vacuums up the money and showers it onto the Las Vegas crowd. Upon the discovery that the money really is missing from the bank vault, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes is called to investigate the theft and is partnered with Interpol agent Alma Dray. They arrest the Horsemen, but are forced to release them due to lack of evidence.

Dylan and Alma meet with Thaddeus Bradley, a former magician who professionally reveals the secrets behind other magicians' tricks. Thaddeus was in the audience and deduces the Horsemen stole the money weeks earlier, replacing it with counterfeit money printed on flash paper: while the real money was taken to Vegas for the trick, the counterfeit money was somehow burned. The three go to the group's next performance in New Orleans, where the Horsemen steal millions from Tressler's bank account and distribute it to the audience, somehow composed entirely of victims of Hurricane Katrina whose insurance claims had been denied or reduced by Tressler's company. Dylan attempts to apprehend the Four Horsemen, but they escape. An infuriated Tressler hires Thaddeus to expose and humiliate the Horsemen in their next performance. Meanwhile, Alma researches the group and suggests to Dylan they may be tied to twice-a-century initiation into a secret society of magicians called "the Eye," who claim to have access to real magic. One of their members, a man named Lionel Shrike, died decades ago when Thaddeus exposed his tricks and ruined him, and Shrike hastily attempted a stunt to rebuild his career, escaping from a safe dropped into a river, only to die when the stunt went wrong. Alma believes there may be a "Fifth Horseman" who is aiding the group off-stage.

Preparing for their show in New York, the Horsemen evade authorities, and Dylan and Alma chase Jack across the city, but his car crashes and explodes. The remaining Horsemen vow to continue in his name and complete their final performance, stealing a money-filled safe made by Elkhorn, the same company that made the safe Shrike died in. They perform their one last show at 5 Pointz during which they seemingly vanish into thin air, inexplicably transforming into a shower of bills that rain down on the crowd. The money turns out to be obvious forgeries, and the real money is found stashed in Thaddeus' car and he is arrested, assumed to be the Fifth Horseman. Dylan visits him in his cell, where Thaddeus explains that the only way the safe could have been removed was if Jack was still alive, having faked his own death. Thaddeus goes on to explain that the Fifth Horseman has to be an inside man and discovers it is Dylan himself when the agent disappears from the locked cell and reappears outside it. A somewhat gleeful Dylan tells Thaddeus he wants him to spend the rest of his life in jail and leaves without explaining himself. The Horsemen are now rejoined by Jack, whose death was staged as part of the trick using a replica car and a body stolen from a morgue. Dylan appears, reveals he is their mysterious benefactor, and welcomes them to the Eye.

At the Pont des Arts in France, Alma is met by Dylan, who reveals himself to be Lionel Shrike's son. He masterminded the Horsemen plot as revenge on those involved: Thaddeus, for humiliating his father and forcing him to try a risky stunt to revive his career; the Crédit Républicain de Paris and Tressler's company, who refused to pay the insurance on his father's death; and Elkhorn, the company that produced the substandard safe used in the trick that led to its failure. Alma decides not to turn him in. She takes a lock and a key that Dylan produces, putting the lock on a chain fence and throwing the key into the Seine.

In a mid-credits scene, the Four Horsemen have driven to a wasteland in the middle of a desert. All of them enter and find a secret room containing boxes full of their new magic equipment. They turn to Merritt and ask him for his individual card to open the boxes, but he has either lost or forgotten the cards.

Cast Edit

  • Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel "Danny" Atlas (The Lovers), an arrogant illusionist and street magician, and the publically-seen leader of the Four Horsemen.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Dylan Rhodes, an FBI agent working to find and capture the Four Horsemen.
  • Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney (The Hermit), a hypnotist, mentalist, and a self-proclaimed psychic. Originally a more famous hypnotist and mentalist in his youth, he was doing well until his brother, who was also his manager, stole all his money and ran off, leaving McKinney with a long hard trek back to his former glory, personally, professionally and financially, when he was left the 'Hermit' card. Middle-aged, McKinney is the oldest of the Four Horsemen.
  • Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves (The High Priestess), an escapist and stage magician. She is also J. Daniel Atlas' former assistant.
  • Dave Franco as Jack Wilder (Death), a sleight of hand illusionist, street magician, and a talented impressionist of other people's voices. Additionally, he is a pickpocket, and is able to pick locks. In his early twenties, Wilder is also the youngest of the Four Horsemen, so he looks up to the others (particularly Atlas), and is always more nervous than the rest of them.
  • Mélanie Laurent as Alma Dray, a French Interpol agent who is partnered up with Dylan Rhodes to investigate the bank theft and Rhodes' love interest.
  • Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, an ex-magician who, for thirty years, has made money by revealing the secrets behind other magicians' tricks.
  • Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler, an insurance magnate and the Four Horsemen's sponsor.
  • Michael Kelly as Agent Fuller, an FBI agent who serves as Rhodes' sidekick.
  • Common as Agent Evans, Rhodes's supervisor at the FBI.
  • José Garcia as Étienne Forcier, the account holder at the Crédit Republicain de Paris.
  • Caitriona Balfe as Jasmine Tressler, Arthur Tressler's young wife.
  • Elias Koteas (uncredited) as Lionel Shrike, a magician who drowned while performing a trick thirty years earlier.

Production Edit

Filming Edit

On-set incident Edit

During filming of the scene where Henley Reeves tries to escape from a tank of water and piranhas, Isla Fisher came close to drowning. Fisher had gotten stuck and tried to alert the crew by banging on the window she was facing, but the cast and crew did not think anything of it because that was what the character was supposed to be doing. She was able to untangle the chain and get out of the tank safely.

Release Edit

Critical reception Edit

Now You See Me received mixed reviews from critics. The film's most common criticism is that various plot points were insufficiently resolved at the film's conclusion, leaving some questions unanswered or answered unclearly (although it has been suggested that this was intentional, potentially leaving room for a sequel). Based on 149 reviews from film critics, Rotten Tomatoes rated the film 50%, with the site's consensus saying "Now You See Me‍ '​s thinly sketched characters and scattered plot rely on sleight of hand from the director to distract audiences." Metacritic assigned the film a score of 50 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on reviews from 35 mainstream critics.

Peter Hammond from Movieline writes, "Pure summer movie magic—literally. More fun than Ocean's 11, 12, and 13 combined. You won't believe your eyes—and that's the point."

Audience polls conducted by CinemaScore give the film a rating of an A–.

Box office Edit

Despite mixed reviews, the film had a successful box office run, placing second behind Fast & Furious 6 and getting $29,350,389 on its opening weekend from 2,925 theaters. By the end of June, it had grossed double its production budget. The film stayed in the top 10 of the North American box office for six weeks after release. The film earned $117,723,989 at the North American domestic box office and $234,000,000 internationally, totaling to a $351,723,989 worldwide against a $75 million budget.

Home media Edit

Now You See Me was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 3, 2013. The Blu-ray release contains an extended version of the film, featuring ten additional minutes, bringing the film to a 125-minute runtime. It also contains two featurettes: a behind-the-scenes and a "History of Magic", plus 30 minutes of deleted scenes.

Sequels Edit

Main articles: Now You See Me: The Second Act, and Now You See Me 3

On July 3, 2013, after the box office success of the film, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer officially confirmed that there will be a sequel to the film with production beginning in 2014 for an unspecified release date. Louis Leterrier stated that he would return to direct the sequel; however, in September 2014, it was confirmed that Jon M. Chu would replace Leterrier as director. Eisenberg, Ruffalo, Harrelson, Franco, Caine, and Freeman are set to reprise their roles for the sequel. Fisher was unable to reprise her role and was replaced by Lizzy Caplan. It is set to be released on June 10, 2016 and will be titled Now You See Me: The Second Act. On October 2, 2014, Michael Caine confirmed in an interview that Daniel Radcliffe will be playing his son in the film and that shooting is expected to begin in December in London. Filming began in late November. On May 22, 2015, Lionsgate revealed the details about the development of the sequel, when CEO Jon Feltheimer announced that they had "already begun early planning for Now You See Me 3."

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