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Now You See Me (film)

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Now You See Me
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLouis Leterrier
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Boaz Yakin
  • Edward Ricourt
Produced by
Edited by
Music byBrian Tyler
Distributed byLionsgate[1]
Release dates
  • May 21, 2013 (2013-05-21) (New York City)
  • May 31, 2013 (2013-05-31) (United States)
Running time
124 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[3][1]
Box office$351.7 million[1]

Now You See Me is a 2013 American heist film[4] directed by Louis Leterrier from a screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, and Edward Ricourt and a story by Yakin and Ricourt. It is the first installment in the Now You See Me series. The film features an ensemble cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Common, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman. The plot follows an FBI agent and an Interpol detective who track and attempt to bring to justice a team of magicians who pull off bank heists and robberies during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

The film premiered in New York City on May 21, 2013 before its official release in the United States on May 31, 2013, by Summit Entertainment. The film received mixed reviews with criticism being focused on the ending, but became a box office success, grossing $351.7 million worldwide against a budget of $75 million. The film won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Thriller Movie and also received nominations for the Empire Award for Best Thriller and the Saturn Award for Best Thriller Film and Best Music.

A sequel, Now You See Me 2, was released on June 10, 2016.


Magicians J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves, and Jack Wilder each receive a tarot card leading them to a New York City apartment, where they discover hologram technology with instructions from an unknown benefactor. A year later, at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, they perform as "The Four Horsemen" in a show funded by insurance magnate Arthur Tressler. Their final trick appears to transport an audience member inside the vault of the Crédit Républicain bank in Paris. Stacks of euros are drawn into the vault's air vents and showered on the Las Vegas crowd; the trick is shown to have actually happened as the Paris vault is found empty of its recent shipment of euros, leaving behind a ticket and a playing card with the audience member's signature, which he placed within the money under orders from the Horsemen.

FBI agent Dylan Rhodes and French Interpol agent Alma Dray seize and interrogate the Horsemen about the robbery, but release them due to lack of evidence. They turn to Thaddeus Bradley, a former magician turned magic debunker. Thirty years ago, Lionel Shrike, a magician exposed by Thaddeus, attempted to relaunch his career, but died inside a safe during a failed escape trick. Thaddeus demonstrates how the Horsemen used a mock vault under the Las Vegas stage and explains that they stole the money before it arrived at the bank, replacing it with flash paper designed to look like the money, which ignited when the vents were activated without creating any smoke or residue. He also reveals that they manipulated the audience participant (who was intentionally selected beforehand and is also the bank's owner) to attend the show, where he was hypnotized into helping to perform the final trick; he was actually dropped into the duplicate vault containing the money below the stage. His signature on the card in the real vault was forged using his credit card by the Horsemen.

Thaddeus and the FBI follow the Horsemen to their next show in New Orleans, where the Horsemen transfer more than $140 million from Tressler's private accounts to certain members in the audience, composed of people whose insurance claims were denied by Tressler's company in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Rhodes attempts to capture the magicians, but members of the audience who were hypnotized tackle him when he says a certain word, allowing the magicians to escape, and a vengeful Tressler hires Thaddeus to expose them for robbing him. Alma suspects the Horsemen are connected to "the Eye", a Freemason-like, elite group of magicians so skilled that many think they have access to real magic, who steal from the rich to give to the poor. Alma also suspects that there may be someone helping the Horsemen.

Discovering that the Horsemen replaced Dylan's cell phone with a bugged clone, allowing them to remain ahead of the investigation, the FBI track Dylan's real phone to the New York apartment, where three of the Horsemen escape while Jack stays back to destroy their documents. Pursued by the authorities, he loses control of his car in a fiery crash on the Queensboro Bridge. Unable to save Jack, Dylan recovers papers pointing to the Horsemen's next crime: stealing millions in cash from the Elkhorn Company's safe. After answering a call from Thaddeus, Dylan suspects that Alma may be helping the Horsemen, which she denies. The FBI head to the Elkhorn Company, but find the safe missing (having been loaded on a truck under orders of one of the FBI agents, who was also hypnotized) and intercept it, deciding to follow it in hopes of capturing the Horsemen. Upon arrival, Thaddeus appears and convinces them to open the safe, only to discover that it is a decoy full of balloon animals. They converge on the Horsemen's final show at 5 Pointz, where the Horsemen appear with a farewell message to the crowd. As they leap off the roof, Alma disrupts Dylan's attempt to shoot them; the Horsemen disappear in a shower of counterfeit money.

The real money from the Elkhorn safe is found in Thaddeus's car and he is arrested, presumed to be an accomplice with the Horsemen. Dylan visits him in jail, where Thaddeus deduces that the Horsemen duped the FBI into following the duplicate safe, allowing Jack, who faked his death using a decoy car and a cadaver stolen from a morgue with the assistance of the other Horsemen, to break into the real safe (which was in fact hidden behind a giant mirror to trick the FBI into thinking that it was missing) and frame Thaddeus with the stolen money. Thaddeus realizes that Dylan is the mastermind behind the Horsemen's plots, proving Alma's suspicions correct. At the Central Park Carousel, Daniel, Merritt, Henley, and Jack are welcomed by Dylan as the newest members of the Eye.

Meeting Alma in Paris at the Pont des Arts, Dylan explains that he is Shrike's son and masterminded the Horsemen tricks as retribution for his father's death: the Elkhorn Company's faulty safe led to the accident, Thaddeus destroyed his father's career, and the Crédit Républicain and Tressler's insurance company denied his father's life insurance. Alma, having fallen in love with Dylan, agrees to keep his secret.


  • Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas: An arrogant illusionist and street magician, and the ostensible leader of the Four Horsemen.
  • Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney: A hypnotist, mentalist, and a self-proclaimed psychic. Originally more famous in his youth, his manager brother absconded with all his money, leaving McKinney with a long hard trek back to his former glory. Middle-aged, McKinney is the oldest of the Four Horsemen.
  • Isla Fisher as Henley Reeves: An escapist and stage magician. She is also Danny's former assistant and ex-lover.
  • Dave Franco as Jack Wilder: A sleight of hand illusionist, street magician, and a talented impressionist of other people's voices. Additionally, he is a pickpocket, and is able to pick locks. In his early twenties, Jack is the youngest of the Four Horsemen.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Dylan Rhodes: an FBI agent struggling to capture and bring the Four Horsemen to justice for their unique heist agenda.
  • Mélanie Laurent as Alma Dray, a French Interpol agent who is partnered up with Dylan to investigate the Four Horsemen.
  • Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, a former magician who, for thirty years, has profited by revealing the secrets behind other magicians' tricks.
  • Jessica C. Lindsey as Hermia, Thaddeus Bradley's assistant.
  • Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler, an insurance magnate and the Four Horsemen's sponsor.
  • David Warshofsky as Cowan, an FBI agent.
  • Michael Kelly as Agent Fuller, an FBI agent who serves as Dylan's sidekick.
  • Common as Agent Evans, Dylan's supervisor at the FBI.
  • José Garcia as Étienne Forcier, the account holder at the Crédit Républicain de Paris.
  • Caitriona Balfe as Jasmine Tressler, Arthur Tressler's young wife.
  • Conan O'Brien as himself

Elias Koteas appears, uncredited,[citation needed] as Lionel Shrike, a magician who drowned while performing an escape trick thirty years earlier.


On October 25, 2011, Summit Entertainment announced the release date for Now You See Me for July 18, 2013.[5] On November 3, 2011, the company revealed the film's first synopsis and teaser poster.[6]

On January 16, 2012, shooting began in New Orleans, Louisiana, which lasted until March 26, 2012.[7] Additional filming took place in New York City on February 13[8] and in Las Vegas from April 9, 2012 to the following day.[9]

Isla Fisher "nearly drowned" while filming the water tank scene. "My chain got stuck. I had to really swim to the bottom; I couldn't get up. Everyone thought I was acting fabulously. I was actually drowning," she said during an interview on Chelsea Lately. "No one realized I was actually struggling." A stuntman standing nearby used a quick-release switch to save her.[10]


Now You See Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMay 28, 2013
LabelGlassnote Records
ProducerBrian Tyler
Brian Tyler soundtrack chronology
Iron Man 3
Now You See Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Standing Up
Singles from Now You See Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  1. "Entertainment"
    Released: 19 February 2013

The official soundtrack, titled Now You See Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), for the film was composed by Brian Tyler and was released by Glassnote Records on May 28, 2013 for physical purchase and digital download.[11] The film's soundtrack song "Entertainment", performed by French rock band Phoenix, was featured in the film's end credits.


All music is composed by Brian Tyler, except where noted

1."Now You See Me"Brian Tyler5:26
2."The Four Horsemen"Brian Tyler3:34
3."Now You See Me (Reprise)"Brian Tyler1:49
4."Sun" (Jesse Marco Remix)Two Door Cinema Club4:45
5."Now You Don't"Brian Tyler4:21
7."Sleight of the Mind"Brian Tyler4:45
8."Now You See Me" (Robert DeLong Remix)Brian Tyler3:40
9."Welcome to the Eye"Brian Tyler5:49
11."Cineramascope" (featuring Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry)Galactic3:14
12."Now You See Me" (Spellbound Remix)Brian Tyler4:19
Total length:51:21


The film premiered in New York City on May 21, 2013 before its official release in the United States on May 31, 2013 by Summit Entertainment.[citation needed]

Now You See Me was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 3, 2013 through Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The Blu-ray release contains an extended version of the film featuring ten additional minutes.[12] It also contains two featurettes: a behind-the-scenes and a "History of Magic", plus 30 minutes of deleted scenes.[13]


Box office[edit]

By the end of its box office run, Now You See Me had grossed $117.7 million in the U.S. and Canada and $234 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $351.7 million, against a budget of $75 million.[1]

The film had a successful box office run, placing second behind Fast & Furious 6 and taking $29,350,389 on its opening weekend from 2,925 theaters. By the end of June, it had grossed double its production budget.[1] The film stayed in the top 10 of the North American box office for six weeks after release.[14]

The biggest markets in other territories were France, China, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom and Australia where the film grossed $25.7 million, $22.9 million, $21.2 million, $17.1 million, $16.8 million and $16.1 million, respectively.[15]

Critical response[edit]

Now You See Me received mixed reviews from critics. The most common criticism is that various plot points were insufficiently resolved at the film's conclusion, leaving some questions unanswered or answered unclearly (although some suggested that this was intentional, leaving room for a sequel).[16] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 50% based on 173 reviews, with an average rating of 5.80/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Now You See Me's thinly sketched characters and scattered plot rely on sleight of hand from the director to distract audiences."[17] On Metacritic , the film has a score of 50 out of 100, based on reviews from 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18] Audience polls conducted by CinemaScore give the film a grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[19]

Peter Hammond from Movieline wrote, "Pure summer movie magic—literally. More fun than Ocean's 11, 12, and 13 combined. You won't believe your eyes—and that's the point."[20]

The film was criticized for its twist ending, with several critics citing it as too farfetched and illogical. Critic Lee Cassanell claimed the creators "ran out of top hats and rabbits and decided to saw their audiences' brains in half."[21] Eric D. Snider was more positive towards the rest of the film, but felt that "the story moves jauntily toward its destination; the destination, unfortunately, is a disappointing wreck."[22] Kent Garrison was far more critical, claiming the film to rely on "one of the worst, if not the worst twist in cinema history, and literally erases everything that it builds up to."[23]


List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient Result Ref.
People's Choice Awards January 8, 2014 Favorite Thriller Movie Now You See Me Won [24]
Empire Awards 30 March 2014 Best Thriller Now You See Me Nominated
Saturn Awards June 26, 2014 Best Thriller Film Now You See Me Nominated
Best Music Brian Tyler Nominated [25]


On July 3, 2013, after the box office success of the film, Lionsgate's CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that there would be a sequel to the film with production beginning in 2014 for an unspecified release date.[26] Louis Leterrier stated that he would return to direct the sequel;[27] however, in September 2014, it was confirmed that Jon M. Chu would replace Leterrier as director. Eisenberg, Ruffalo, Harrelson, Franco, Caine and Freeman were set to reprise their roles for the sequel. Fisher was unable to participate because of her third pregnancy and was replaced by Lizzy Caplan. The film was released on June 10, 2016, titled Now You See Me 2.[28] On October 2, 2014, Michael Caine said in an interview that Daniel Radcliffe would be playing his son in the film.[29] Filming began in late November.[30]

On May 22, 2015, Lionsgate revealed the details about the development of the sequel, when CEO Jon Feltheimer announced that they had "already begun early planning for Now You See Me 3."[31]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Now You See Me (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  2. ^ "NOW YOU SEE ME (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Amy (May 30, 2013). "'Fast & Furious 6' to speed past 'After Earth' at the box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013. "Now You See Me" cost roughly $75 million
  4. ^ "Now You See Me (2013)". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Lussier, Germain (October 25, 2011). "'Ender's Game' Has A Release Date, So Does 'Red 2,' 'Now You See Me' And Others". Slashfilm.
  6. ^ Chitwood, Adam (November 3, 2011). "First Synopsis and Promo Poster for NOW YOU SEE ME Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson". Collider.
  7. ^ On Location Vacations (December 21, 2011). "Be on the lookout for Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Evans, Tom Hanks, Jesse Eisenberg & more celebs filming in Louisianadate=December 21, 2011".
  8. ^ "'Now You See Me' filming in NYC tomorrow". On Location Vacations. February 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "'Now You See Me', starring Jesse Eisenberg & Woody Harrelson, is filming in Las Vegas next week". On Location Vacations. April 6, 2012.
  10. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (May 30, 2013). "Isla Fisher Almost Drowned While Filming 'Now You See Me': 'No One Realized I Was Actually Struggling'". HuffPost.com. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  11. ^ "Various Artists – Now You See Me [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". Allmusic. allmusic.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  12. ^ "Now You See Me Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 3". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  13. ^ Now You See Me Deleted Scenes, retrieved October 4, 2022
  14. ^ "Now You See Me". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Judge – International Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  16. ^ "Review: 'Now You See Me' Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher & Mark Ruffalo | The Playlist". Blogs.indiewire.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  17. ^ Now You See Me at Rotten Tomatoes
  18. ^ "Now You See Me". Metacritic. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  19. ^ Stewart, Andrew (June 2, 2013). "'Now You See Me' Pulls $28 Mil-Plus Rabbit, Beating 'After Earth' With $27 Mil". Variety. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  20. ^ Now You See Me – Movie Review. Youtube.com/user/MovielineNetwork. Retrieved May 30, 2013 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Cassanell, Lee (July 3, 2013). "Film Review: 'Now You See Me'". Cine Vue. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  22. ^ Snider, Eric D. (May 30, 2013). "Review: NOW YOU SEE ME Is Incredible, Not in the Good Way". ScreenAnarchy. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  23. ^ Garrison, Kent (June 5, 2013). "Now You See Me" (Podcast). Mad About Movies. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  24. ^ "Now You See Me (I) (2013) Awards". imdb.com. IMDb. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  25. ^ Johns, Nikara (February 26, 2014). "'Gravity,' 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Lead Saturn Awards Noms". Variety.
  26. ^ Brew, Simon (August 13, 2013). "'Now You See Me' to get sequel". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  27. ^ Douglas, Edward (August 28, 2013). "'Exclusive: Louis Leterrier Back for Now You See Me Sequel". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  28. ^ "Lionsgate Sets Dates for Now You See Me 2 and Dirty Grandpa". ComingSoon.net. September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  29. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe to Play Michael Caine's Son in NOW YOU SEE ME 2". GeekTyrant.com. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  30. ^ Mark Ruffalo. "And so it begins... Now You See Me...again". Mark Ruffalo Facebook. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  31. ^ McNary, Dave (May 22, 2015). "'Now You See Me 3′ in the Works at Lionsgate". variety.com. Retrieved May 22, 2015.

External links[edit]