Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

35 Movies Like Now You See Me You Should Watch Next

"Now You See Me" is a 2013 heist film that takes the novel approach of having its main group of thieves be professional magicians. At the start of the movie, Danny Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) are illusionists who use their abilities separately to make a living. Their lives change when the four are selected by a secret society of magicians who call themselves "the Eye" to bring justice to evil businessman Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine).

What follows is an action-packed thriller as Atlas and his crew, dubbed "the Four Horsemen,"  pull off one magic-trick-that-is-secretly-a-heist after another, all while being pursued by the FBI, Tressler's men, and someone hellbent on proving that the Four Horsemen are nothing more than con artists. Fast-paced, flashy, and clever, "Now You See Me" proved a hit with audiences upon release. And if you're a fan of the film and looking for something to scratch that itch, here are some movies that will give you magic, sleight of hand, con artists, and secret societies controlling the world from the shadows.   

The Prestige

"Now You See Me" does a fantastic job showing the inner world of magicians. Of course, in between all the street magic and incredible illusions, there are more than a few plot holes. But that's not the case with 2006's "The Prestige," in which filmmaker Christopher Nolan deals with the same topic in a much more airtight manner while making the story even more fantastical.

"The Prestige" tells the tale of two magicians in the late 1800s, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). The movie follows their ascent, starting as they work as apprentices for a master magician. Tragically, the death of Angier's wife due to a mistake made by Borden leads to a falling out between the two men. 

As Angier and Borden rise through the world of stage magic at the same time, their rivalry turns increasingly bitter. A single trick that Borden uses to much acclaim gradually becomes the bane of Angier's existence as he puts his life on the line trying to duplicate the trick. "The Prestige" goes much deeper than the sleight-of-hand magic its foundation is based on to explore how obsession can ruin the life of not just a single man but everyone he comes into contact with. 

The Illusionist

"The Illusionist" had the misfortune of getting released around the same time as "The Prestige," which led to director Neil Burger's film receiving less attention than Christopher Nolan's big hit. But "The Illusionist" deserves to be recognized as a well-crafted film about stage magic in its own right rather than an also-ran.

In the late 1800s, we're introduced to Eisenheim (Edward Norton), a lowly peasant who was able to rise through the ranks of society by becoming an accomplished illusionist. But Eisenheim's good fortune comes to an end when he goes directly against the wishes of Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) for the sake of Eisenheim's childhood love, Sophie (Jessica Biel). The romance between Eisenheim and Sophie is tested by Leopold's cruel nature and his plans to overthrow his aged father to become the new king.

Unfortunately, Sophie's mysterious murder throws Eisenheim's life into turmoil. Suspicious of the prince, he becomes obsessed with the forbidden art of raising the dead and using arcane knowledge to summon Sophie's ghost and force a confession out of Leopold. With the prince's forces hot on his heels, Eisenheim needs to pull off one last daring trick against all his enemies in order to escape with his life. 

House of Games

While "Now You See Me" deals with street magicians, the real story is about the cons they pull using the tricks of their trade. Something similar happens in 1987's "House of Games." 

The whole thing is kickstarted when psychiatrist Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse) is informed about a criminal figure named Mike (Joe Mantegna) who's been preying on one of her patients. In a bid to help, Margaret goes to a pool hall named "House of Games" where she directly confronts Mike about his actions. Mike agrees to stop harassing Margaret's patient if she helps him figure out a "tell" of one of Mike's associates in a poker game. Margaret is able to figure it out, and she slowly grows intrigued by Mike's world of con artistry. 

With Margaret and Mike growing closer and the psychiatrist showing an unexpected aptitude for the con game, it should come as no surprise that things soon fall apart in spectacular fashion. What follows is a breathless string of scams and double-crosses as Margaret is forced to rise to the occasion and prove she can handle herself in this risky new profession. 


"Focus" takes an inside look at high-profile con artists who've made a seasoned business out of the art of "grifting." Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) may seem like an unsuspecting businessman, but really, he's an experienced con artist who takes fledgling scammer Jess Barrett (Margot Robbie) as an apprentice. But when Jess decides she's getting in too deep with her new mentor, she decides to part ways.

The two meet years later as Nicky is trying to pull a job on behalf of billionaire motorsport team owner Rafael Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro), who happens to be Jess' new boyfriend. Nicky and Jess are unable to hide their attraction to each other, and Nicky's con job blows a fuse as a result. With Garriga's forces closing in, the web of lies of Nicky and Jess have constructed around them begins to fall apart, threatening their lives unless they can pull off one giant final con.

Catch Me If You Can

Most con films take elaborate flights of fancy to keep audiences guessing. But "Catch Me If You Can" stays closer to the ground as it's based on the autobiography of Frank Abagnale, a real-life criminal who claims to have conned millions out of banks and businesses using nothing but his brains and a heaping helping of guts.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank, who runs away from home at a young age after witnessing his father get in trouble with the IRS and his mother having an affair. With no money or prospects, Frank turns to a life of crime, posing as a Pan Am pilot and using his forgery skills to cash checks from the airlines. His confidence growing with each con, Frank soon begins posing as a doctor and a prosecutor to build a life for himself as the son-in-law of a wealthy family. 

Frank's forgeries eventually gain the attention of the FBI, which sends agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) to find this new criminal who's been pulling off such giant cons with impunity. What follows is a breathless game of cat and mouse as Carl keeps coming close to catching Frank, only for the latter to give him the slip time and again. But how long can Frank keep running until his double and triple lives finally begin to catch up with him?

The Great Buck Howard

Buck Howard (John Malkovich) is a mentalist who was once renowned for his uncanny ability to guess the secrets of his audience members. But time has dimmed Buck's popularity, forcing him to perform at increasingly smaller venues to diminishing audiences. Buck yearns to get back on top, and he's planning a giant stunt to get the media talking about him again.

Buck's plans take a turn after Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) and Valerie Brennan (Emily Blunt) join his team to help manage his triumphant comeback. While Troy comes to enjoy the old-fashioned charm of Buck's illusions, the mentalist's abusive behavior does not sit well with Valerie. But the drama behind the scenes doesn't impede Buck's greatest trick, which is to put his entire audience to sleep at the same time and then simultaneously reawakening them. 

A series of mishaps and pure blind luck finally get Buck back on top as an entertainer, only to discover that the price of so much fame might not be something he's willing to pay. "The Great Buck Howard" opened to generally positive reviews, with Roger Ebert giving the movie three and a half stars while giving special praise to the lead star, declaring, "No one else could have played Buck better than Malkovich." 

Inside Man

What is the perfect bank robbery, and how would you pull it off? Well, that's the question "Inside Man" explores, opening with a monologue by one Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), who declares that he's managed to commit the perfect crime. We then see the robbery in action, as a bank in New York gets stormed by a group of armed men in masks and overalls, all using some variation of the name "Steve" to identify themselves. The robbers take the bank employees and customers hostage and dress them all up in similar overalls to confuse the identity of the true criminals. 

Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) is brought in to deal with the situation, while the owner of the bank also calls in established power broker Madeleine White (Jodie Foster) to secretly manage the situation. As Russell, Frazier, and White lay traps for each other through their actions, various discomfiting truths about the bank come to light, and the true purpose of staging the robbery is revealed. The result is one of Spike Lee's finest films — twisty, tense, and incredibly clever.

The Misfits

Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) is one of the most successful international thieves in the world, and he's been spotted up to his old tricks in the Middle East. Now, a group of up-and-coming grifters want to work with Pace so he can show them the tricks of the trade and how to pull off a really ambitious heist job.

But these grifters aren't your usual gang of desperadoes looking to make a quick buck. Instead, the group believes in stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Their intention behind heisting a large gold deposit is to prevent it from falling into the hands of terrorists. Of course, things get complicated when an FBI agent (Tim Roth) tries to put a stop to these modern-day Robin Hoods, who've dubbed themselves "the Misfits."

The movie ran into some problems due to its depiction of certain real-life Middle East organizations, which prevented its release in many countries. "The Misfits" was praised for its casting and action but criticized for its storyline, with reviewer Steve Prokopy making note of the "good-looking cast spouting off smarmy one-liners and a shallow screenplay that is helped, but not fixed, by well-crafted action set pieces."  

The Great Magician

Stage magic and sleight of hand has a tradition not just in the West but around the world. For example, "The Great Magician" puts the focus on Chang Hsien (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), a popular Chinese illusionist in the days after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, when various warlords held pockets of power across the land and fought each other regularly to gain more territory. 

One such warlord is Lei Bully (Lau Ching-wan), who has nefarious designs upon the beautiful Liu Yin (Zhou Xun), a woman he wants to make his seventh wife. However, a group of rebels plan to kidnap Lei, and they enlist the help of Chang to carry out the plot at one of his shows. But Chang has his own plans, as he and Liu were lovers in the past, back when Chang studied magic under the apprenticeship of Liu's father.

As Lei and Chang vie for Liu's affection, matters are complicated by the rumblings of an incoming attack by foreign forces working with those seeking to re-establish the Qing Dynasty across China. As the lies and deceptions begin to unravel, Chang must rely on his wits and his bag of tricks to put an end to the invasion and foil Lei's designs upon Liu, all while also avenging his former master.  


While technically a sci-fi movie, Christopher Nolan's "Inception" feels in many ways like a follow-up to his ode to magic in 2006's "The Prestige." Both movies feature desperate but gifted men making use of forbidden technology to push past the limits of the human mind for the sake of their loved ones, almost destroying themselves in the process.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a gifted "dream thief," who can enter the minds of his targets to extract information from their unconscious. But one day, Dom is approached by a businessman with the offer of a job ... which requires Dom to plant an idea in a business rival's head. In return, Dom will have his record cleared, and he'll get to go home to his country and finally reunite with his children.

With some reluctance, Dom takes the job and sets about building a team of thieves and con artists to help him carry out the mission. Matters are complicated by Dom's mind being haunted by the memory of his dead wife, as well as the fact that the target's unconscious has been trained to seek out and eliminate outsiders. With time running out, Dom and his crew have no choice but to fall deeper and deeper in their target's subconscious in hopes of completing the mission before their own minds are lost forever to the waking world.


Martin Scorsese isn't the kind of filmmaker you normally associate with magic or flights of fancy. But that's what the filmmaker's 2011's offering, "Hugo," brings to the table. The story is set in 1931 in Paris, where 14-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives with his clockmaker father. But when his dad passes away, Hugo finds himself living at a railway station, maintaining clocks and trying to piece together an automaton that he and his dad were working on.

While pilfering spare parts from a toy store, Hugo is caught by its owner, George (Ben Kingsley). But in lieu of handing him over to the police, Hugo begins working at the toy store under George, where he becomes fast friends with the old man's goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz). Together, Hugo and Isabella embark on an adventure to discover George's secret past life and his mysterious connection to the automaton that Hugo has been trying to repair. "Hugo" presents a rare opportunity to witness a filmmaker of Scorsese's caliber telling a story about the world of children and their hopes and dreams.  


Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) is a small-time illusionist living in Las Vegas, where he makes money on the side with some judicious gambling on a minor scale. The reason Cris is so good at winning against the casino is because of his secret ability to see into the future two minutes in advance. 

However, the NSA figures out why Cris is such an effective gambler, and the organization plans to use his future-seeing ability to prevent the detonation of a nuclear warhead on American soil by Russian terrorists. Meanwhile, the terrorists are also on Cris' track, as they recognize the threat he poses to their operation. Using his special power, Cris is able to foil the attempts by the two groups to catch him.

He also seeks out a woman named Liz Cooper (Jessica Biel), who for some reason is able to extend the limits of Cris' powers so he can see much further into the future than two minutes. With time running out, Cris must decide between his priorities of finding out the truth about Liz and his connection to her or working with the NSA to stop the terrorists before they blow up the city.

The Escape Artist

While there are multiple high-profile films about kids with magical abilities, from "Harry Potter" to "The Golden Compass," it's harder to find a movie where a kid protagonist performs street magic and sleight-of-hand tricks. But 1982's "The Escape Artist" is that rare film that features a 14-year-old protagonist who's also an expert illusionist.

Danny Masters (Griffin O'Neal) is the hero of the story, a teen orphan who's learned to rely on his wits and his deft hands to survive. Danny also carries a secret burden, a desire to clear his late father's name of an unjust criminal charge so the world once again remembers his dad as a great magician and the greatest escape artist since the days of Harry Houdini.

After Danny leaves his grandmother's house to join his uncle and aunt in their magical act, he becomes embroiled in a controversy regarding a spoiled son of the local mayor. This sets off a chain of events leading Danny from one adventure to the next as he works to punish the criminal mayor and his kid, while also uncovering the true circumstances surrounding the death of his father. Echoes of this plot were reflected in "Now You See Me" and its 2016 sequel, "Now You See Me 2." 


"Sleight" is like the gritty, modern version of 1982's "The Escape Artist," as it features a teen magician using his tricks to try to get out of a life of low-level crime before time runs out. 

Bo Wolfe (Jacob Latimore) has spent years honing his illusionist tricks on the streets of Los Angeles while also taking care of his little sister, Tina (Storm Reid), after the death of their parents. The secret of Bo's tricks is a small electromagnet contraption he has installed in his arm that allows him to levitate and control metal objects in front of impressed onlookers. Bo also has a job on the side as a drug hustler, and it's this second job that complicates his life after a rival drug dealer moves into town selling drugs at a cheaper rate. 

Bo is forced by his dealer boss (Dulé Hill) to find out the identity and location of the new drug kingpin, Maurice (Mane Rich Andrew). Things escalate quickly after Bo confronts Maurice, which puts a target on our hero's back. Soon, Tina is kidnapped to gain leverage over Bo, and the magician must now use his wits and his tricks to rescue his sister and take them both far away from the city and its quagmire of crime and violence.  


A young man named David Rice (Hayden Christensen) leads an unreasonably extravagant life despite not appearing to have any jobs or financial prospects. How, you might ask? Well, David's secret is that he has the ability to "jump," i.e. teleport over short and long distances using a secret power he's wielded since childhood. Thanks to this ability, David lives a carefree life, taking what he wants from behind closed doors and leaving no trace of his presence for authorities to track him down.

However, his cushy existence is threatened by the machinations of a secret religious cult called the "Paladins," who've dedicated their resources to eliminating "jumpers" like David since they believe his ability to be an affront to God. With the Paladins on his trail, David finds his loved ones are in danger. His top priority is to save his girlfriend Millie (Rachel Bilson), and to that end, David enlists the help of a fellow jumper named Griffin (Jamie Bell). With the Paladins closing in on them, David must unearth the secret behind his superpower, how it connects to his missing mother, and how he can save both Millie and Griffin before time runs out for all three of them.  

The Game

Nicholas van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a wealthy investment banker who's devoted his entire life to work. As a result, his personal life is in shambles, with an ex-wife who wants nothing to do with him and a fast-approaching 48th birthday that's only a grim reminder that Nicholas' father committed suicide at the same age. 

To shake things up, Nicholas is presented with a gift voucher for a special "game" by his brother, Conrad (Sean Penn), one developed by a company called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). After hearing good things about the game from some friends, Nicholas decides to enroll in the program. This sets him on a strange path of discovery as the folks at CRS play constant mind games with Nicholas.

Soon, he starts questioning the truth of everything around him and his own sanity, especially as the game becomes more and more dangerous. As events snowball, Nicholas loses his money, his house, and begins to suspect himself at the center of a sinister conspiracy orchestrated by his loved ones. Filmmaker David Fincher, who directed "The Game," described his movie as a "postmodern version of 'A Christmas Carol,'" where the main character embarks on a journey of self-discovery through adverse events that force him to take stock of the decisions that led him up to this moment in life.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Oz the Great and Powerful

Possibly the most famous fictional illusionist is the title character of "The Wizard of Oz." Granted, the original film focuses on Dorothy and her adventures, but it's the looming presence of the mythical wizard that drives the main plot. Of course, as "Oz" fans know, he's eventually revealed to be an ordinary man using tricks and illusions to project the appearance of a powerful being.

Interestingly, the character got a revamp in Sam Raimi's "Oz the Great and Powerful." In the early 1900s, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is an illusionist and con man who's forced to escape in a hot air balloon to avoid the wrath of a circus strongman. Encountering a freak tornado, Oscar eventually finds himself in the land of Oz, complete with magical animals, scheming witches, and a prophesy foretelling the arrival of the new king of Oz who will defeat the Wicked Witch to become the ruler of the Emerald City.

Trapped in difficult circumstances, Oscar hits upon the idea of using grand illusions and trickery to make himself appear as the prophesied great wizard destined to bring about the fall of the Wicked Witch. But will Oscar's illusions be enough to save the day? And is there any hope of redemption for the good witch Theodora (Mila Kunis), who's in love with Oscar but has fallen prey to her wicked sister's lies about his intentions?

The Mad Magician

Much like "The Prestige," "The Mad Magician" is a rumination on people who create illusions for a living and the downward spiral that accompanies an unquenchable thirst for greatness at the expense of your morality. 

In "The Mad Magician," Don Gallico (Vincent Price) is an inventor of stage magic devices in the late 19th century. Despite being a reputed inventor of illusions, Gallico dreams of achieving much greater fame as a master stage magician. His biggest obstacle is the Great Rinaldi (John Emery), a fellow magician who's already achieved great repute in his field. Gallico believes he's found a way to upstage Rinaldi with the invention of a daring new illusion that would give the impression of severing an assistant's head.

Gallico's dreams are split asunder when Ross Ormond (Donald Randolph), the man whose resources he used to create the illusion, claims that the patent for the "severed head" illusion belong to him. Seeing his hopes crashing around him, Gallico goes on an unhinged rampage as he started eliminating his enemies one by one using his inventions. With plenty of old-fashioned magic tricks, double-crosses, and a spirited cast, "The Mad Magician" is a charming throwback to old-school Hollywood genre filmmaking that wears its unabashedly melodramatic heart on its sleeve. 


Not all heists involve magic tricks or flashy action scenes. "21" presents a more cerebral approach to the genre, helped along by the fact that it's based on real-life events that lend an air of authenticity to the proceedings. 

The story starts with Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a math major at MIT who dreams of going to Harvard Medical School. But Ben's dreams are hobbled by the fact that he can't afford the tuition at Harvard, and he finds it difficult to procure a scholarship in the face of stiff competition. However, Ben's priorities take a sudden turn after his mathematical prowess brings him to the attention of professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), who offers Ben the chance to join his covert blackjack team made up of several other gifted students. The goal of the team is to use illegal card-counting techniques and secret signaling to trick casinos out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

At first, the plan is a huge success. But gradually, jealousies and infighting bring down the effectiveness of Micky's team while also bringing them to the notice of the head of casino security, Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne). With his present as well as his future at stake — and with Micky turning on his former pupils — Ben has to decide how deep he wants to go in his pursuit of money at the risk of losing everything else that matters in his life.


In a distant land filled with real magic and otherworldly power, Willow (Warwick Davis) is a farmer belonging to a tribe of little people called Nelwyns. Willow dreams of becoming a genuine sorcerer one day, but he makes do in the meantime with performing sleight-of-hand tricks. However, Willow finds his life derailed when he comes across a solitary raft drifting along the river, carrying inside a little baby with a special birthmark.

As the child is being hunted by fearsome forces, Willow and his people struggle to keep the baby safe and return her to her village. As the dangers mount, Willow comes to learn the true nature of the child, who's been prophesied to be the Chosen One who will once and for all put an end to the reign of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). 

Willow is helped along in his quest to get the baby to safety by a host of unexpected characters and a magic wand that he receives without being fully trained in its use. Part "Lord of the Rings," part "Star Wars," "Willow" has long been considered a fantasy classic buoyed by strong performances — notably a fun Val Kilmer — and excellent (for its time) special effects that help tell a heart-warming story about the triumph of good over evil.

Ocean's Eleven

"Ocean's Eleven" is the most influential heist movie of the past two decades, credited with revitalizing the genre and having its style aped by most heist films that have come after it, including "Now You See Me." Starring a rare A-list lineup of actors, a smart script, and deft direction at the hands of Steven Soderbergh, "Ocean's Eleven" gets many things right about the genre and pulls off its tricks in front of the audience with style. 

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a career criminal who's looking to bring his life back on track after a long stint in jail. His method of doing so is pulling off a new heist with his long-time friend and partner, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), and a gang of criminals well-versed in various heist artforms. The plan is to rob three Las Vegas casinos all in the same night to get away with a loot of around $150 million. 

The rest of the movie follows Danny's steps towards realizing the heist, from approaching the men he wants on his team for the operation to scoping out the casinos and taking stock of the dangers involved in pulling off such a daring criminal act. "Ocean's Eleven" kickstarted a franchise as well as a reboot, but the first in the series is still considered the best of the bunch, with David Ansen from Newsweek noting the film "bounces along with finger-snapping high spirits."

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are childhood friends who embarked together on a life of illusions and magic tricks from a young age. A few good years into their careers, Burt and Anton are a successful headlining act in Las Vegas, drawing impressive crowds every night.

But eventually, the magic of their act begins to pall. Things are further complicated by Burt's diva-esque attitude, which has resulted in a quick succession of assistants for their magic show quitting one after the other. To make matters worse, a hot new magician named Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) has started drawing all the eyeballs as an endurance artist who delights in putting his body through the wringer on television.

Gray's success and his own inability to beat him at his own game causes a lot of bitterness within Burt, which also estranges him from his friend and partner, Anton. Kicked out of his headlining act and forced to perform as an entertainer at an assisted-living facility, Burt eventually comes to a realization that makes him determined to recapture his lost love for the work of an illusionist. A magical talent competition then becomes the stage for one final showdown between Burt, his allies, and their nemesis Steve Gray.  

The Crow

"Now You See Me" walks a fine line between flashy heist movie and grounded superhero flick. A similar vibe is pulled off by "The Crow," helped partly by the fact that it's based on a superhero comic series about a vengeful reincarnated spirit/rock musician.

Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) is a musician who dreams of marrying his true love, Shelley Webster (Sofia Shinas), on Halloween. Tragically, the young couple's plans are ripped apart when a gang of criminals abuse and kill them both. A year after the incident, a mysterious crow taps on Eric's gravestone, summoning his tortured spirit back from the dead and forcing Eric to relive the day he and Shelley died. Guided by the crow, the resurrected Eric embarks on a quest for vengeance. 

He begins tracking down each member of the gang responsible for his demise and dispatching them in brutal fashion. Eric's rampage is complicated once the leader of the gang realizes the nature of the man after them, as he wishes to obtain Eric's supernatural power. Gothic, haunting, and action-packed, "The Crow" was a success at the box office and has in later years come to be seen as a cult classic of the superhero genre.   

The Usual Suspects

Heist movies would be incomplete without a surprising twist or two in the narrative, and films don't get any twistier than "The Usual Suspects."

Caught up in a criminal operation, small-time crook Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey) sits in an LAPD office telling a U.S. Customs agent how he came to be involved in the criminal affair. Six weeks earlier in New York, a group of suspects were lined up in a police room on suspicion of having carried out a truck hijacking. The suspects feel they have been unfairly targeted by the NYPD and hatch a plot to get revenge against the force.

But what starts out as a diamond robbery to expose dirty cops leads to something much scarier once they find themselves crossing paths with a mythical super-criminal named Keyser Soze. As our crooked protagonists fall deeper and deeper into Soze's schemes, the story zigs and zags until it finally leads to one of cinema's all-time endings

Doctor Strange

While "Now You See Me" often depicts its protagonists as superheroes, they're still only illusionists at the end of the day who can't perform actual magic. 2016's "Doctor Strange" takes the idea one step further with the introduction of the MCU's most famous sorcerer, a man who uses his legitimate magical powers to save the world from evil.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an accomplished and arrogant neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in a car crash. Embittered, Strange travels far and wide seeking a way to cure his body. He finds the answer in a secret location where the powerful Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) runs a school for sorcerers where they can master the mystic arts. 

At first a hardened skeptic, Strange soon learns that magic really does exist, and he becomes a committed devotee to the Ancient One's cause. This involves not just learning spellcasting but also taking an active part in protecting Earth from all manners of dangers like other-dimensional beings who want to consume the world. Doctor Strange works well both as a standalone hero and as a part of the larger MCU puzzle, whether he's battling Thanos, swinging around with Spider-Man, or dealing with the multiverse.

Lord of Illusions

Despite the world of magic and illusions offering plenty of scope for horror, filmmakers rarely go down that path within the genre. But when celebrated horror writer Clive Barker conceives of a story like "Lord of Illusions" involving a mass-hypnotized death cult, you know the movie is going to go deep into horror territory, particularly since Barker also directed the project. 

William Nix (Daniel von Bargen), a charismatic madman who's gathered a cult of followers and dubbed himself "the Puritan," plans to sacrifice a girl to gain power over the world. Nix's plan is stopped by some of his ex-followers, who rescue the girl and bind Nix's malevolent spirit to the headquarters of his cult as his followers scatter. A few decades later, private eye Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula) finds himself investigating a case with ties to Nix and the circumstances of his "death."

As Harry seeks answers in relation to the case, he unearths the facts behind Nix's cult, many of whose members still believe in their fallen leader and are working towards his resurrection. Harry teams up with the grown-up woman Nix once intended to sacrifice, and they make their way through a world of illusions and actual dark magic. It all culminates in a final showdown between Harry and Nix with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.  

The Craft

"The Craft" takes a more grounded and intimate look at regular people who dabble in the forbidden arts for the sake of personal gratification. This time, the focus is on four young women who all suffer from similar feelings of alienation and the desire to take revenge against a world that mocks and dismisses them.

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) moves to L.A. and starts attending a new school where she meets a group of girls who are considered outcasts for one reason or another. Bonnie Harper (Neve Campbell), Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), and Rochelle Zimmerman (Rachel True) all suffer from bullying at the hands of their classmates. They find comfort in each other and in the worship of a pagan deity they call "Manon."

When the three girls discover Sarah also possesses secret powers, they convince her to join their group as the fourth member of their coven. Together, the witches start dabbling in more powerful forms of magic that give them their hearts' desires ... but it also takes a hefty toll. When Nancy starts acting out and becoming even more power-hungry, Sarah feels compelled to go against her former coven to put a stop to their dangerous antics once and for all.

The Greatest Showman

Today's street magicians and mentalists are the descendants of the stage magicians and showmen of yesteryear. And as the name suggests, "The Greatest Showman" looks at the legacy of such entertainers by making a musical out of the life of historical personality P.T. Barnum and the performances he put on in the late 1800s that earned him the "Greatest Showman" moniker.

Hugh Jackman stars as Barnum, a man with a family and a steady job but who dreams of achieving something greater. He opens a museum full of wax figures, and in an effort to boost sales, Barnum then adds living novelties to his museum such as a bearded lady (Keala Settle) and a tattooed man (Shannon Holtzapffel). 

Renaming his group "Barnum's Circus," Barnum takes his living exhibits on the road. Even as the group's numbers swell, they encounter a great deal of hostility from the outside world while Barnum becomes drunk on his own success and starts neglecting his family and company. A series of rousing song-and-dance numbers remind Barnum and his allies about the important things in life as they learn to work together and become a family in the truest sense of the word.


Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) works a dead-end job and lives a dead-end life where his only diversions are being yelled at by his boss and being cheated on by his girlfriend. But one day, Wesley finds himself in the middle of a deadly shootout where he's saved by a woman named Fox (Angelina Jolie), who informs Wesley that he's the son of the most dangerous assassin in the world, who'd died shortly before. 

As Fox takes Wesley deeper into her universe, he discovers a secret society of assassins called the "Fraternity," dedicated to keeping the balance of power around the world by eliminating key figures of influence from time to time. Wesley gets inducted into the Fraternity, and they teach him to become a formidable assassin in his own right by learning to bend bullets with pinpoint accuracy.

While Wesley yearns to use his new skills to take revenge for the death of his father, he discovers that all is not as it seems with the story he's been told about his past. Forced to go on the run from the Fraternity, Wesley must now race against time to uncover the true motives of the people he once thought of as his friends. "Wanted" often moves with the energy and dynamism of "Now You See Me" on steroids, and it's buoyed along by a star-making lead performance by McAvoy and an excellent supporting cast that includes Jolie and Morgan Freeman.

Dhoom 3

As the title suggests, "Dhoom 3" is the third installment in a series of films about charismatic thieves being chased around the globe by the buddy cop duo of Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali (Uday Chopra). This time the villain is played by Indian megastar Aamir Khan while the action takes place on the not-so-mean streets of Chicago as seen through a Bollywood lens

Several branches of the "Western Bank of Chicago" have been robbed by an assailant who pulls off his heists with the help of magic tricks while leaving cryptic messages in Hindi. Jai and Ali are brought in to provide their expertise while investigating the case. Their information leads the duo to an establishment called "The Great Indian Circus," owned by the charismatic Sahir (Khan).

While Jai is convinced Sahir is behind the robberies, the latter always has an airtight alibi for the moments when the crimes are being committed. As the bank starts hemorrhaging money due to the robberies, a game of cat and mouse ensues between Jai and Sahir, only to be punctuated at regular intervals by the mandatory Bollywood song-and-dance numbers (including the dazzling "Malang"). 

David Blaine: Street Magic

Most of the other entries on this list deal with fictional depictions of illusionists and street magicians. But "David Blaine: Street Magic" is the real deal, in the sense that it follows the real-life illusionist at the earliest stage of his career, dedicated to moving magic away from the stage and onto city streets.

The made-for-TV movie was the first time Blaine's performances were given regular airtime on television, and the result was electric. Audiences watched with bated breath as Blaine, in his signature laid-back manner, pulled off one impossible trick after another, from making coins disappear and reappear at will to marking cards with the names of random audience members. 

The feature was considered something of a pathbreaker in the portrayal of street magic on television, even including a special segment where Leonardo DiCaprio interviewed Blaine about his artform. "That first special, 'Street Magic,' is the best TV magic special ever done," opined Penn Jillette of the famous magician duo Penn and Teller, "and [the special] really, really does break new ground." Thanks to "Street Magic," audiences were primed and ready for other practitioners of street magic to take the art form to new levels on a global scale in the following decades. 

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

A long, long time ago, the powerful wizard Merlin had three apprentices named Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), Veronica Gorloisen (Monica Bellucci), and Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). After Horvath turned on Merlin and began working for his arch-enemy, Morgana le Fay (Alice Krige), a battle erupted during which Merlin died and Morgana, Veronica, and Horvath were imprisoned using a magical spell. As for Balthazar, he was given a dragon figurine by Merlin that would help identify his descendant who would come to possess his magical power and stop Morgana once and for all. 

Centuries pass, until Balthazar's search for Merlin's descendant is ended when he meets 10-year-old Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) in New York. While trying to explain his legacy to Dave, Balthazar gets trapped in a Chinese enchantment along with Horvath for 10 years. The enchantment is lifted after a decade, and both Balthazar and Horvath are freed together. While the latter looks for new ways to resurrect Morgana, Balthazar sets about training Dave, who's now a college student, in the ways of magic. Time is running out as Horvath's actions place the entire world in danger while Dave struggles to realize his destiny as the new supreme magician. 

The Matrix

"Now You See Me" is a modern Hollywood blockbuster about individuals with special talents fighting shadowy organizations on the city streets, aided with flashy moves and dazzling action choreography. But long before the 2013 flick, 1999's "The Matrix" pretty much wrote the book on how a movie like this is done.

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a nondescript computer programmer who's secretly a master hacker known online as Neo. One day an enigmatic outlaw named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) contacts Neo and informs him his life is in danger, just as mysterious government officials led by the sinister Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) instruct him to help them capture Morpheus, who's described as a dangerous criminal.

Torn between the conflicting stories, Neo eventually has an epiphany as he comes to realize that sentient machines have taken over the world and placed all of humanity in suspended animation, dreaming a collective dream of normal life inside a vast system known as the Matrix. Armed with this new knowledge and being told he's been prophesied to free humanity from the control of the machines, Neo must choose between staying asleep or realizing his destiny.


Like the Four Horsemen in "Now You See Me," the lead character in "Kick-Ass," Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), is fueled by a desire to use his special abilities to help the world — punishing the powerful men who prey on regular people. The only problem is Dave has no special abilities to fall back on for his crusade. 

Instead, what Dave has is a sizeable comics collection and an overactive imagination. Thanks to this potent combination, he assumes a costumed identity he calls "Kick-Ass" and roam the streets of his city, meting out justice to the criminal elements. Almost immediately, Dave gets stabbed and brutally smashed by a car, but he decides to soldier on after recovering from his injuries.

As the legend of Kick-Ass grows, Dave begins to gather fans and allies, while also catching the attention of actual mafia bosses. Things get even more complicated after the entry of real superheroes, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz). As Dave gets pulled deeper into the world of big-time crime, he realizes he's in way over his head, resulting in a superhero story that's equally hilarious and horrifying, bloody and badass. 


John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) would be the first guy to tell you he's not a magician, a hero, or someone you should expect to deliver mankind from evil. But despite his cynical and world-weary attitude, Constantine remains an unlikely bulwark against the forces of supernatural evil that threaten to overrun the world on a daily basis. 

Based on the DC character of the same name, "Constantine" follows its titular lead character on a mission to prevent the arrival of the Antichrist. After discovering that the treaty between Heaven and Hell that prevents dammed souls from coming back to Earth has somehow been broken, Constantine realizes Satan's (Peter Stormare) son, Mammon, has concocted a way to go against his father's wishes and conquer the world.   

Racing against time, Constantine's top priority is preventing police detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) from becoming the new unwilling host for Mammon's entry into the world of the living, while tracking down the identity of the person who's been helping the forces of Hell manifest on Earth. Despite getting an underwhelming response at the time of its release, "Constantine" has since gone on to develop a cult following. After all, it's like "John Wick" meets "The Exorcist," which means it's an absolute blast.