The Prestige vs. The Illusionist

74 comments

24 comments

on 7/3/2009

The Prestige is a million times better than that piece of crap Illusionist movie.

on 7/6/2009

This is the kind of battle this site was made for.

on 7/7/2009

I loved both but it has go to The Prestige. Two absolutely brilliant performances by two of the most talented actors.

on 7/12/2009

I really wanted to like "The Illusionist", but it was soooo movie-of-the-week and predictable. "The Prestige" was a joy, and it was one of the few recent films that surprised me with its twists. And it had David Bowie and Nikola Tesla. 'nuff said.

on 7/12/2009

The Prestige has such a complex and satisfying plot, a great score, and some brilliant performances, The Illusionist while a solid movie just doesn't compare.

on 7/13/2009

I prefer a thousand times 'The Prestige'.

on 7/14/2009

I seriously thought The Prestige was an example of a film that leaned so hard on its ending that when the twist was weak and unbelievable, it absolutely killed it. At least I can buy The Illusionist (plus Paul Giamatti and Edward Norten is a better matchup for me than Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman).

on 7/14/2009

Wait, I'm confused. How is it that the Prestige's twist was weak and unbelievable, even though the Illusionist doesn't even both explaining it's twist? How the heckballs does the magic orange tree work? "Oh, it's a machine." Eh, just not enough of an answer for me. Prestige by a mile. Excellent acting, excellent writing, excellent direction. Instant classic.

on 7/15/2009

Prestige - no contest. Better script, cast, acting, directing...need I say more?

on 7/16/2009

This is the perfect battle, and I've been arguing over this since the two came out. For me, its an easy choice. The Prestige is better.

on 7/17/2009

Well, the orange tree wasn't the main twist. That was a side story at best. But The Prestige's ending was so soap opera-esque and over-the-top.

on 7/17/2009

like everyone said, it is the perfect battle, but i don't think it's as clear-cut. "the prestige" is a lot more ambitious, darker, moodier--but "the illusionist" is a ton of fun, less ambitious thematically, but visually intriguing, entertaining. ugh--how to pick? "the prestige," but by a nose, if that.

on 7/17/2009

like everyone said, it is the perfect battle, but i don't think it's as clear-cut. "the prestige" is a lot more ambitious, darker, moodier--but "the illusionist" is a ton of fun, less ambitious thematically, but visually intriguing, entertaining. ugh--how to pick? "the prestige," but by a nose, if that.

on 7/18/2009

Both great movies. But I think it comes down to cast. Illusionist - Norton, Giamatti, Biel. Prestige - Bale, Jackman, Johannson, Caine, Serkis, Bowie. Both are great, but Presige is the better flick.

on 7/18/2009

the prestige is a classic, a more elegant and toughtful film. but to be fair, the prestige is a ''guy'' film. the illusionist is for girls, and I don't mean that in a bad way, it's simply that one is a romantic thriller and the prestige contains themes like revenge, grudges, and the obsession for the number one spot. since Im a guy, I will always pick the prestige over the illusionist....

on 7/18/2009

Oh, by the way... the illusionist is always the same movie any time you watch it.... but the prestige changes and reveals more and more as I revisit it. That gives it more longevity and shows that there was more tought put on it. yep.. the prestige is the better film.

on 8/7/2009

I like both movies. But really, they're both very different movies that just happen to have a similar setting. "The Illusionist" is a romantic drama. "The Prestige" is a thriller. And I vastly prefer "The Prestige". I would happily watch "The Illusionist" again, but I see something new every time I watch "The Prestige". It's just so well-constructed; it's one of those few movies I loved even more the second time I watched it.

on 8/11/2009

This battle is indeed exactly the thing we had in mind for Flickchart - there are a number of films that match up well like this... For me, I felt removed from the story in The Prestige due to the casting. I felt myself realizing these were actors reading lines, playing parts throughout... never got sucked into the story. I also had issues with the ending - I had wished it stayed in the realm of the real, and not ventured into the mystical. The Illusionist on the other hand never gave me these problems. I was intrigued by the mystery, and Norton played it perfectly. A story of a magician SHOULD make you wonder how he did it. I have to against the majority here and give The Illusionist my vote as the better film.

on 8/18/2009

Easy choice here. The Prestige had a great twist at the end and The Illusionist was comparatively boring.

on 9/2/2009

This seems to be an either/or movie. I'm for 'The Illusionist' seeing as its in my Top 10. Eisenheim FTW!

on 9/2/2009

easy, the prestige. the illusionist had one simple, predictable twist, whil the prestige had twist upon twist built on a compelling character study.

on 9/4/2009

I thought both films were great in their own right. But I saw the twist of the prestige coming about an hour into the movie, which made it a little more difficult for me to take seriously. The Illusionist was compelling enough for me to completely believe it. Actor performances in both films were fantastic, so it's hard to discriminate there as well

on 9/5/2009

The Prestige...easy. Both movies have great cinematography and music, but The Illusionist is chock full of awful performances.

on 9/10/2009

Illusionist sucked. Prestige was fantastic. This one isn't even close.

on 9/12/2009

who the hell is going to pick The Prestige over The Illusionist? Me! The only good thing about the Illusionist was Eddie Norton, but other than that it was meh. The Prestige was brilliant, and had several great actors (many of whom can be see in The Dark Knight). Another thing that bugged me about The Illusionist was how every one in Italy had a freaking American Accent (I can get over this pretty easliy, but I really enjoyed the realism of the characters in The Prestige in this corner), and the orientalizing bugged me. Also, fucking David Bowie.

on 9/18/2009

Though I am not as down on The Illusionist as most, is this really a question? The Prestige, with one hell of a prestige revealed at the end, against The Illusionist, a rather passable film by a great actor. The Prestige wins every time.

on 10/5/2009

The Illusionist is a nice movie, but it can't stand up against The Prestige. Very few movies can. The only fault I can find with The Prestige is Johansson.

on 10/14/2009

Going to go with The Prestige. It's hard not to love any movie with Paul Giamanni and Ed Norton, but The Prestige is a far better story--plus it has Dave Bowie as Tesla, that just makes the movie win no matter what.

on 10/26/2009

Everyone is on a high from Christopher Nolan. People want their blockbusters to be darker, more violent and pointlessly intense. Gone are the days when Double Indemnity would be considered edgy, now if a movie isn't dark its begging to be noticed by kids, or not at all. Nolan proves himself both scary and exciting in Prestige by providing audiences with a lot of action and hype, but the underlying elements of film are never truly present. Upon second and third watchings the pizzaz of Prestige falls apart like smoke and mirrors leaving a satisfying thriller, but not a great movie by any means. While Bale and Jackman are decent (and Caine fantastic) they can't compete with the simple artistry of a good story, deeper, more romantic characters (well played by Norton, and Sewell) and a more mysterious, powerful magic.

on 11/15/2009

The movies are similar, but the Prestige wins hands down. Christopher Nolan knows how to make an intense movie.

on 12/1/2009

I have to go with the Prestige. I love the whole concept and I love the fact that I still can't figure out the ending. It makes me want to watch more times.

on 12/5/2009

prestige hands down

on 12/6/2009

Both are really good, but if forced to choose I'd have to say the Prestige.

on 12/7/2009

Prestige ftw, it's not even a contest!

on 12/8/2009

Both are brilliant but The Prestige is just a little better, IMO.

on 12/8/2009

The Illisionist is good but The Prestige is great. At first blush the twist ending is merely that, however rare is the film that leans heavily on a twist that, well ... twisty, that also raises existensial questions. The performances are brilliant and the relationships real. Many commnet on the darkness or edginess of Nolan's direction, however I'm surprised and won by the warmth he creates. I really cared about the characters which made their peril far more intense and the film more satisying.

on 12/9/2009

Easy choice. The Prestige.

on 12/11/2009

Ofourse both movies have the same setting but both are very different. I liked the setting of the illusionist better but the story in the prestige was better...imagine what you would get if you'd mix them..

on 12/16/2009

The Illusionist is a skillfully told story full of oldtime movie magic and showmanship, while The Prestige is (as its characters learn) a series of cheap tricks. I first went to The Illusionist actually thinking it was The Prestige by mistake. I'm very happy I saw it instead.

on 12/17/2009

For starters let me state that I'm a huge fan of Edward Norton. And if I were to end this comment now I would state... 'The Prestige' is a better cinematic adventure. Disappointed in 'The Illusionist,' for reasons that entirely deal with the story.

on 12/24/2009

Yes, The Prestige was definitely better - better plot, better acting, better writing. But at least the Illusionist is fun, and revels in the whole movie magic parallel. I'm more impressed by The Prestige, and I'll rewatch both, but if I don't want to feel like killing myself afterward, I'll stick in The Illusionist.

on 12/28/2009

No one cares about the other film in the match-up, the film that disappears...

on 3/3/2010

The Prestige was slightly better.

on 3/6/2010

LOL, l'eterna sfida... onore a The Illusionist, ma The Prestige รจ un capolavoro.

on 4/11/2010

I think both movies are great but The Prestige is the better piece of work and overall more fulfilling.

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on 4/14/2010

The Prestige is compelling throughout and what was the other one?

on 4/18/2010

Both are decent movies. I guess I just prefer that the Prestige showed me how the "magic" worked, even if it was implausible science. Illusionist made peoples' "ghosts" appear but never bothered to explain it.

on 4/27/2010

Ha... the two magician movies of 2006! The Prestige takes it easily. Sorry, Edward Norton. I love you, but you're no match for Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and, most of all, Christopher Nolan.

on 5/10/2010

I'm going severely against the grain here, and will go on record as stating that The Prestige sucked! It was boring, and that comes down to 2 crucial factors- Hugh Jackman's heinous and god awful and very wooden acting, every line he says was laughably bad and unbelievable. Second, Nolan, whom is generally a solid director, never evokes any sort of emotion into the proceedings, until the last five minutes, with the music and such, finally invested me in to something, but by that point, I didn't care. The Illusionist on the other hand left me rapt. I was extremely intrigued, the mystery was very engulfing, and it all made sense. Norton and Biel had great chemistry. Giamatti was excellent, and Sewell proved how devious he can be. To the person above that was talking about the orange tree trick- THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF THE MOVIE, so why does it matter that they chose to end that (very small) subplot in that fashion?

on 5/13/2010

The Illusionist sucks. Nolan rocks. XD Seriously, don't like The Illusionist ending at all, the guy laughing at the station... Sorry, just can't stand it.

on 6/9/2010

I like Giamatti and Norton (although he's been sliding downhill here recently) more than Bale, but The Prestige is miles ahead of The Illusionist.

on 9/8/2010

To me, while The Illusionist was a fine movie, the twist in it was fairly predictable. Also, as has been pointed out, the path it takes is more along the lines of a romantic drama, whereas The Prestige is a thriller, much more my style of film. I thought the performances in both movies were rather well done, but Bale, Caine and Jackman will almost always trump Norton, Giamatti and Sewell for me.

on 10/30/2010

Loved both of these movies. I agree with previous comments that the Illusionist was much more predictable than the Prestige..the prestige was more of a thriller and Bale and Jackman really deliver

on 11/17/2010

FlickChart actually went there. A difficult choice.

on 11/21/2010

The Illusionist was very hard for me to get through. It is boring, uninteresting, slow paced, and you can tell it is a bad movie because the great Ed NNorton couldnt even pull out 20% of his ability to act out this movie. Prestiege on the other hand is not only a great movie but one of the greatest of all time. This is Chris Nolan's finest movie.

on 12/10/2010

Not even close. One movie that deals with magic and one that deals with improbable science. But then again I have a disdain for plot twist; I find something soothing in logical predictability. And the twist in Nolan's movie just seems to be there for its own sake.

on 12/15/2010

I was wondering when this was going to come up... :|

on 1/3/2011

I just saw The Illusionist for the first time a few days ago and was disappointed by it. I had heard that it was comparable to The Prestige but it really isn't. Nolan ftw

on 1/23/2011

Jessica Biel is hot, and the Illusionist is more fun, but The Prestige (just like any Nolan movie) is much more rewatchable. Prestige it is for me

on 2/16/2011

The Prestige is the coolest.

on 2/28/2011

Prestige was more intense, Illusionist more enjoyable. Both very good. Flip a coin? I will have to watch the Prestige again to be sure. Normally I'd go for Nolan, but not sure right now.

on 4/1/2011

Aren't they almost the same movie (granted different stories with similar subject) ....both had the same feeling....and period... and delivery of lines.... both trying to con us....

on 4/1/2011

I was going to say I'm stunned at these results but then I remembered the rabid fanbase of the mighty Nolan. He could film a toilet flush and certain fans would storm sites praising it with as many names and accounts as possible. Nolanites own IMDB and sites like this one. It's not that Prestige is a bad film by any means but The Illusionist is simply better.

on 4/23/2011

I really need to watch Illusionist again, but it never grabbed me the way Prestige did. And the fact that, per Rotten Tomatoes, Prestige is Nolan's worst movie only tells you how great a director Nolan is (haters be damned)

on 8/5/2011

The Prestige had me more engaged due to the fact that the rivalry storyline was more intriguing than the Illusionist's "Poor boy falls for rich girl" plot, which was done to death by this point.

on 8/10/2011

The only good thing about the Illusionist was Edward Norton's Masterful Performance, But there's a lot more of those in The Prestige.

on 8/11/2011

I know this is Nolan country judging by how silly high his films are ranked here but I'm going to say it anyway... The Illusionist is ten times the better film. I may have to duck and cover less the Nolan Nation hunts me down but it's true.

on 8/12/2011

I enjoy The Illusionist more, but The Prestige is the superior film.

on 8/15/2011

Nolan's films top anything that Edward Norton has ever been in (Sorry Marvel fans, TIH is extremely overrated).

on 8/15/2011

@SquareMaster316 While I agree with your decision in this matchup, I disagree with the statement (Not the Incredible Hulk part). Fight Club > Insomnia

on 8/15/2011

hay squaremaster norton was in fight club the greatest movie ever made u cant compare batman or inception or anything nolan has done to fight club its the greatest movie of all time and one of the reasons its so great and there are manny is the incredible acting of norton dont ever diss norton he is the man and im no marvel fan

on 8/15/2011

hay squaremaster norton was in fight club the greatest movie ever made u cant compare batman or inception or anything nolan has done to fight club its the greatest movie of all time and one of the reasons its so great and there are manny is the incredible acting of norton dont ever diss norton he is the man and im no marvel fan

on 9/3/2011

If The Prestige in my opinion can beat Cast Away then The Illusionist is no match. Don't get me wrong Norton is an amazing actor, but The Prestige as Nolan, Christian, and Hugh.

on 9/16/2011

Equally brilliant in there own way but so similar in a way there both kinda dark and damp film style with a twist at the end of both movies and funny part is they both use a magic time setting one is more rivalry and the other is a romantic both have a good way of ending and both have very good actors/actresses in it. Its hard to say what one is better but very good Vs Line up. ( Will watch over both to vote)

on 10/7/2011

I was personally bored with the Illusionist outside of the magic tricks. The storyline of the poor boy socializing with a girl above his social standard and being kept apart by her family is overused in films. Rufus basically played a cliche rich, aristocrat dick akin to Billy Zane in Titanic or Roxburgh in Moulin Rough. Not to mention that you could see a swerve coming way too early when Biel's character was "killed" off screen. While the framing took me by surprise, the fact that she was alive at the end did not. Prestige was more of a thriller, and was a far more layered film as both main characters had aspects of protagonist and antagonist at various times.

on 12/13/2011

I've only seen The Illusionist once but I enjoyed it. Norton and Giamatti were fantastic but The Prestige completely blew me away. I pick up something new everytime I see it.

on 12/17/2011

I thought they were both very good, but The Prestige is the better film

on 12/17/2011

The prestige was Captivating while the illusionist I thought dragged a bit

on 1/23/2012

Whoa, David Bowie is in The Prestige? How could I have forgotten that?...right, then, that makes the decision easier. The Prestige it is.

on 3/30/2012

I like them both, but The Prestige is simply amazing. Nolan ftw!

on 3/30/2012

The Prestige is a lot better imo.

on 3/31/2012

It's a draw for me.Both movies were similar and were released mere months apart.In fact when the two movies come up I gotta stop and think "Ok which one was the Prestige,which one was the Illusionist?"

on 4/8/2012

Only by ten ranks, Prestige wins by a flick of the wrist. I loved the Illusionist with a passion, but Christopher Nolan never ceases to impress me.

on 6/2/2012

The Illusionist is completely forgettable, the Prestige is one of the most intelligent movies ever made.

on 6/4/2012

illusionist was more believable... i think prestige sucks...

on 6/17/2012

Was going to write something interesting but the several pro Illusionist comments above have already stated how I feel. The Illusionist is more enjoyable and a better example of good film making. Give me interesting characters that I can emotionally invest in over cheap thrills any day.

on 7/5/2012

I really like both of these films, but the Prestige wins by a hair. The main reason why is that while I had figured both of the twists by the end of the films, the Illusionist leans way to heavily on the Usual Suspects idea of twists. The ending is a carbon copy of the US. I thought the Illusionist was a tighter, more focused movie, but the ending hurt the movie a lot for me. Additionally, the acting overall was a bit better in the Prestige overall. Plus it has the David Bowie factor.

on 7/11/2012

The Prestige by a landslide...nuff said

on 8/8/2012

The Prestige is much better, in my opinion Nolan's second best movie behind Dark Knight.

on 8/27/2012

The Illusionist is the better, SMARTER film. No doubt about it.

on 8/28/2012

The Prestige is a vastly intelligent, extraordinarily well acted film with a rich, complex plot and fascinating leads. The Illusionist is a bland, paint-by-numbers love story that comes off as hilariously convoluted by the end. Nolan's ending presents one that is happy for some, bittersweet for others, giving us multi-layered characters. Illusionist has so many stock, cliche characters and dialogue that it just reeks of laziness. The Prestige easily tops the illusionist and anything else Burger has ever done.

on 9/29/2012

Illusionist fans are wordy little mfer's aren't they. Yeah I bought both DVD's I've watched one a dozen times and failed to unwrap the other. Prestige is just a modern classic, Illusionist is just a tight 19th century noir that's good but doesn't elevate itself to classic level.

on 9/30/2012

The Prestige is better in many ways for example: the cast, direction, plot twist...

on 3/22/2013

Prestige was more technically sound, but can I be completely honest??? I enjoyed Illusionist more. And this is coming from a huge Nolan fan. I love Prestige, but there's just a certain mystic to Illusionist that I can't quite put my finger on. The movie just instantly grabbed me from the opening scene and refused to let me go until the conclusion. Granted, I predicted the outcome mid-way in, but it didn't really lessen the grip it had on me. Guess I'm just a sucker for traditional happy endings.

on 8/28/2013

The Prestige wins in every way. Left, right. Up, down. And everywhere in the middle.

on 10/9/2013

Two absolutely terrific films about the power of magic. Illusionist focus is the price of love and the worth of love. Prestige is about revenge, jealousy and pain. Ultimately, Illusionist is the better magician story because of it's passion, perseverance and heart. Prestige ultimately shows us the loneliness of being the best and the isolation of obsession.

on 10/10/2013

I really liked The Illusionist, but The Prestige is an absolute masterpiece.

on 1/22/2014

The Prestige is a Nolan-masterpiece. Much more clever than the Illusionist.

on 4/4/2014

the prestige is a masterpiece it had complex and smart plot .it was a movie about magicians which wasn't all about the film about obsession a behavior that every human being has and this film explores that masterfully. The prestige is thriller this was one of those rare occasions where plot twist worked . the illusionist on other hand lacked depth in it and the ending did not surprise me.

on 8/5/2014

I never remember which movie is each one. I think the one I like more is the Prestige.

on 8/5/2014

Okay..I'm about to embarrass myself , but I like the fact that there's a love story in the Illusionist. The Illusionist wins.

on 8/5/2014

Okay..I'm about to embarrass myself , but I like the fact that there's a love story in the Illusionist. The Illusionist wins.

on 11/2/2014

The Illusionist is simply the better and smarter movie.

on 7/13/2015

The Illusionist is great but the Prestige is simply spectacular in ever aspect.

on 11/21/2016

The Illusionist without even thinking. The Prestige was a bad movie, but not horrible. Overblown dialogue, preposterous story, overlong, bullshit science, terrible twist.. if Shyamalan would have made this you would have all hated it. Only got good reviews because it was directed by Chris Nolan's tired horseshit.

on 4/17/2017

Oh come on.

on 7/22/2017

I enjoyed The Illusionist, but The Prestige has more "ooh, that's cool" moments.