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Steve Carell
Steve Buscemi
Olivia Wilde
Alan Arkin
James Gandolfini
Jim Carrey
Don Scardino.
Jonathan M. Goldstein
John Francis Daley.
Running Time
100 minutes

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Not magic

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Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) are successful Las Vegas magicians. When Anton is injured in a performance, Burt is left vulnerable to competition. That competition comes in the form of street magician Steve Gray (Carrey).

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
There’s a lot to like in this tale of duelling magicians and Vegas intrigue; the problem is that Steve Carell’s ego monster Burt Wonderstone is pulled in all directions by an unfocused script. Had it dwelt on his rivalry with Jim Carrey’s edgy street magician or his friendship with Steve Buscemi or his relationship with Alan Arkin’s retired legend or his sparring with Olivia Wilde’s wannabe magician, we might have been on to something. Moreover, the tone veers from gently indie to broad farce, undermining Carell’s efforts to show us Burt’s rise and fall and rise again.

The inconsistencies in tone - is it an Anchorman-style farce or something more serious? - distract from likeable turns from the leads.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Empire Star Rating

No direction.

Had the potential to be so much better. Steve Carell's Burt is annoying. Why stick around to watch a film when you don't like the lead character? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TroyPutland at 19:54, 01 March 2015 | Report This Post

Not that bad empire

Im not too concerned about inconsistencies in tone when Im watching a movie with Carell and Carrey dressed as vegas muscicians. Sure it had its painful moments, but its funny enought to tip the scales enought to enjoy it. Two stars is too harsh. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Samurai7 at 11:29, 10 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Sexist and boring, Burt Wonderstone is a waste of time

Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) Has Jim Carrey has had his big moment in the limelight? he's taking on ensemble roles lately, no pivotal lead star vehicles anymore?. As for Carell this could be his best film to date, a sweet sincere performance which is a change from his usual tomfoolery in various naff wasted projects. This film is a mixture of two things really, on one hand we have yet another film about magic, this time a light hearted comedy. On the other hand, at times, it does e... More

Posted by Phubbs at 05:27, 19 April 2013 | Report This Post

RE: What's in there? Only what you take with you...

My friend walked out after 40 mins. Yet he still voted RENT on my site. Go ahead and vote what you think. I still sort of liked it. I'm the other person who voted RENT. ... More

Posted by filmigos at 18:32, 24 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: What's in there? Only what you take with you...

It was ok. I kind of wish they'd really performed the magic tricks just for that added thrill, rather than cgi saltshakers and doves for example. It feels like "Let's make a comedy about magicians," rather than "I love magic, let's make a comedy about it!" But it is very funny at times, Jim Carrey especially. ... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 23:44, 21 March 2013 | Report This Post

What's in there? Only what you take with you...

When it works, it's chucklesome at best. When it doesn't, it's painful. Burt Wonderstone almost shrugs its shoulders and asks "…well, what were you expecting?" And it has a point. This crudely applied slapstick of torn-trousers and drillbits-to-the-head is exactly what I expected. In its own sub-par way, it delivers. I mean, it doesn't deliver much, but it never promised it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 00:05, 20 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

This film was ok funny, but not laugh out loud However I agreed with this review In regards to Jim Carrey - He has really kind of taken a nose dive to his leading man comedy status in films and would be nice to see him take on a more leading role than a supporting role ... More

Posted by SarahBanks195 at 11:34, 19 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: but it has laughs!

Ya know, it turned out to be funnier than I thought. Sure, it was typical Steve Carell and Jim Carrey, but they made it work. Right now it has 2 RENTAL votes over at ... More

Posted by filmigos at 23:51, 18 March 2013 | Report This Post

but it has laughs!

I laughed more often than both those terrible adam sandler movies last year - one of which was given three stars!? - so by that paradigm this gets: ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 17:54, 17 March 2013 | Report This Post

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

I didn't have time to notice inconsistencies in tone because I was laughing too much. As far as I'm concerned, as a comedy, it works a treat. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 15:50, 17 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Did we watch the same film?

Hear hear @sunflies ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by eddieryan at 14:54, 17 March 2013 | Report This Post

Did we watch the same film?

I don't think the tone is inconsistent, and I think it does a fine job of spinning the various plates in terms of Burt's relationships with/to the other characters. It's not a world-beating classic, but it's a good solid bit if entertainment that keeps you interested for its running time. It's not particularly quotable like Anchorman or even Blades of Glory, but as a movie in that sort of vein, it's a 3.5. Pushed, it'll have to make do with a 3. At least the biggest laughs are saved for the f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sunflies at 23:53, 16 March 2013 | Report This Post

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