If you're only going to see one movie this year about turn-of-the-century stage magicians, see this one. It does have a lot in common with The Illusionist. Both movies feature beautiful period settings, solid performances, and one actress who is very attractive but not very good at acting (The Illusionist's Jessica Biel and The Prestige's Scarlett Johansson). The big difference is that The Prestige has enough story to drive a two-hour movie without dragging, whereas The Illusionist does not. Plot is so crucial to this kind of movie. No matter how good the performances are, a movie with a bad, slow, or transparent plot won't have the audience talking about it afterwards or seeing it again to catch everything they missed the first time around. The Prestige delivers on this front and sustains it with an excellent performance by Christian Bale (as well as some good ones from Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman).
Viewed: 10/21/2006 | Released: 10/19/2006 | Score: B