The Best magic movies of all time

We often publish best of lists on this site, but this one is different — this one is more special to me. Ever since I was a little child, I’ve always been fascinated with magic and illusions. After seeing David Copperfield‘s television specials as a kid I was gifted a magic set produced by Fisher Price (which was awesome by the way) and became obsessed with the art form. While I wouldn’t consider myself a serious magician, I do perform a few magic tricks every once in a while for family and friends.

And what initially pulled me into film geekdom is not what you might expect: the old movie magic specials that used to play on television. Those TV shows would show how Hollywood created illusions using, for the most part, practical effects, make-up and miniatures. Not that I didn’t watch movies like every other child, but it was the art of making the impossible possible that is responsible for sucking me deep into the world of cinema.

So come with me as I count down my favorite movies involving magicians in the best magic movies of all time.

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make believe

As a magic fanatic, I consider the Seth Gordon-produced Make Believe to be one of my favorite documentaries of the last decade. The film followed six of the world’s best young magicians own their road to the Teen World Championship in Las Vegas. If you haven’t seen the film, you should (here is the trailer).

One of the many things that is interesting about documentaries is that the stories continue even after the credits end. And I often wonder what happened to the subjects of some of my favorite documentaries. In the case of Make Believe, did these teen magicians ever make it to the big time? Last night I saw the star of Make Believe on national network television and thought it was worth sharing, alongside some brief details about where the other subjects of the documentary have ended up.
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Sure, Harry Potter can drive away Dementors or summon his broomstick with a wave of a wand — but he only exists in fantasies. The kids in Make Believe are the real deal. The film, which won Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year, follows six teenagers as they journey to Las Vegas in order to attend the World Magic Seminar and compete for the title of Teen World Champion. Okay, so they’re teen magicians, not teen wizards, but their tricks are all the more impressive for being the result of hard-earned finesse and not visual effects magic. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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