This may be a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, but mainstream audiences should also note that this is an artful film that refuses to tell its story using the usual formula. For some viewers, this psychological angle will be exhilarating and challenging, although it might feel elusive to others. Either way, Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) has boldly made a film that defies expectations and gives Gyllenhaal two of his strongest performances in years.
Yes, he plays two roles in this doppleganger mystery. We meet him as Adam, a Toronto history professor with a beautiful but busy girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent) and a dull repetitious life. One evening he watches a movie at home that features an extra who looks exactly like him, so he sets out to learn more about the actor, credited as "Daniel Saint Claire", although everyone calls him Anthony. Adam discovers that Anthony's wife Helen (Sarah Gadon) is six months pregnant, and when the two men meet they are both disarmed that they look so exactly alike, down to their scars. Adam's mother (Isabella Rossellini) insists that he doesn't have a long-lost twin. Then things start to take a darker turn as the two men begin to learn things about each other.
Director Villeneuve is superb at getting under the skin of his characters, and the film is shot and edited to take us right into Adam's troubled mind, revealing his more shadowy inner corners through movie clips and creepy cutaways that may or may not be part of Anthony's freaky secret life, which involves some sort of elite sex club. Villeneuve further builds the mood with a horror-style musical score (by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans) and insinuating, sexy editing. He also resolutely refuses to explain what everything means, including the central plot itself, preferring to challenge viewers to internalise everything and discover their own explanation.
Continue reading: Enemy Review
When a Latin professor, Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons), sees a young Portuguese woman in a red coat about to throw herself from a bridge, he is compelled to save her. She wrestles her way out of the coat and runs off into the rain, leaving the bemused and mystified professor pondering what it all means. When he discovers a small book in the pocket of her coat, he begins to embark on an odyssey to find her, yet very soon he becomes more interested in the novel's author, Amadeu do Prado (Jack Huston). After discovering tickets for a train to Lisbon stuffed inside the book, Gregorius hastily boards the train himself, throwing caution to the wind, along with his normal, boring life.
Continue: Night Train To Lisbon Trailer
Adam Bell is a fairly ordinary man in a loving relationship and with a stable job. However, his life is turned upside down when he watches a movie and sees an actor bearing an uncanny resemblance to him. Shocked, he decides to track down the actor, named Anthony St. Claire, at his address but becomes spooked when he calls his house and is immediately assumed to be Anthony by his wife. With Adam's own girlfriend becoming increasingly suspicious by his jumpy and distracted behaviour and his mother insisting that he is her one and only son, Adam decides to meet his doppelganger. However, things don't go as smoothly as planned when Anthony decides he wants to sleep with Adam's partner. With his obsession consuming his life and harming the people around him, Adam must evaluate himself mentally in order to get his life back.
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The idea of magicians conducting a series of heists is a great one, but this under-developed film never quite seizes the opportunity. Even its terrific A-list cast can't make much of the lame plot. And director Leterrier is so enamoured with magic that he packs the film with whizzy digital trickery. Which completely misses the point.
At the centre are four illusionists: card trickster Daniel (Eisenberg), hypnotist Merrit (Harrelson), escapologist Henley (Fisher) and street magician Jack (Franco). They're summoned by a mysterious figure to team up for a series of elaborate performances funded by a wealthy benefactor (Caine). First up is a Las Vegas show that involves stealing millions of euros from a Paris bank and raining them down on the audience. This attracts the attention of FBI Agent Rhodes (Ruffalo) and Interpol's Dray (Laurent), who follow them to their next shows in New Orleans and New York. As does a notorious debunker (Freeman) determined to expose their secrets.
The film never quite gets the balance right, as we're not sure if we should root for these flashy young magicians or the people they're leading on a wild goose chase. But there's plenty of eye candy to keep us happy, as each whizzy stunt goes over-the-top to make us wonder what's really happening here. Everything this quartet does has an anarchist slant, stealing from the wealthy to help the needy, which adds a tinge of topicality. Although the gratuitous action scenes and ludicrous effects leave the film about as realistic as a Road Runner cartoon.
Continue reading: Now You See Me Review
Mystery crime thriller receives varied reviews from critics as it hits movie theatres today.
Magical mystery thriller Now You See Me receives a flood of favourable and not so favourable reviews as it is released in US movie theatres today (May 31st 2013).
With a star-studded ensemble cast led by Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freemanand Michael Caine, it's no wonder 'Now You See Me' has turned out to be a massive hit with many critics. Living up to its expectations, this Louis Leterrier directed movie has been described as 'A grandiose, far-fetched, somewhat tongue-in-cheek caper thriller' by Vulture and Television Without Pity said 'the tricks were really fantastic' and 'overall, it was an enjoyable time'.
On the other hand, many were unimpressed, with Complex stating rather bluntly, 'the illusion of its awesomeness vanishes to reveal its greatest trick yet: stealing your money' and CTV's Canada AM suggesting that one should 'wrap it in cellophane, lock it in a box and hide it under the bed'. Either way, if you like glamour, mystery and mischief then it's a great film to go and see and with such an excellent cast, just how bad can it possibly be?
Continue reading: 'Now You See Me' Receives Mixed Reviews From Critics On US Release
Michael Atlas is the leader of the most formidable magician group ever seen, The Four Horsemen, alongside Merritt Osbourne, Henley and Jack. Being able to pull off some of the most baffling illusions ever seen, they decide to use their talent to outwit the highest authorities of the country and give something back to their loyal audience. They announce, at one show, that they will rob a bank in Paris and subsequently shower their fans with cash while using their ability to expose the white collar crimes that have been going on in the underground financial world. While the FBI flounder around trying to work out how the trick is done, magic genius Thaddeus Bradley remains the only person who seems to have an idea on how it was worked though he is equally as reluctant as the perpetrators to reveal the secrets.
Continue: Now You See Me - Alternative Trailer
Michael Atlas is an extremely accomplished illusionist and the leader of his own remarkable band of magicians known as The Four Horsemen which his henchmen, Merritt Osbourne, Henley and Jack, are a part of. Knowing that their abilities astonish and confound audiences everywhere, they decided to use it to their advantage and set out on a path to commit flawless crimes. During a performance, the quartet announce that their next trick is to rob a bank in Paris which they successfully do while exposing the crimes of a white-collar businessman and transporting his large fortune into the bank accounts of all the members of the audience. It isn't long before they are taken into custody by the FBI with Special Agent Dylan Hobbs resolute on finding out how the trick was done and preventing another major crime at the hands of the performers. In order to do so, he finds himself partnering with Interpol detective Alma Vargas against his better judgement and even seeking advice from the renowned Thaddeus Bradley who is well-known for his skill on working out how tricks are done. Dylan must find out if the solution lies with the idea of an outside party being involved, or just a case of master trickery at work.
As well as an all-star cast, this mystery thriller has been directed by action movie connoisseur Louis Leterrier ('The Transporter', 'The Incredible Hulk') and written by Ed Solomon ('Men in Black', 'Charlie's Angels'), Boaz Yakin ('Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time', 'Safe') and Edward Ricourt in his screenwriting debut. It is set for release on June 21st 2013.
Director: Louis Leterrier
Continue: Now You See Me Trailer
Oliver remembers the time, in 2003, when his father Hal, came out to him at the age of 75, soon after the death of Oliver's mother Georgia. Hal was wearing a robe and not a purple sweater, as Oliver had previously thought. This came as a shock to him, having thought that his dad was perfectly happy with his mother. But Hal always knew he was gay; though he had thought that by marrying Georgia he would turn straight. Although Oliver maintains that he is fine with his father coming out, Hal's much younger, handsome boyfriend, Andy, doesn't seem so sure.
Continue: Beginners Trailer