Once the bright stars of the Vegas strip, illusionists Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have lost the magic that sparkled for years in their act.
Burt is more interested in seducing women that in convincing audiences what they are seeing is real. The two former best friends find their position is threatened by daredevil masochistic magician Steve Gray (an incredibly buffed Jim Carrey), so they, too attempt a dangerous trick--that fails miserably.
The two go their separate ways, Burt to a retirement home where he meets Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin), a once big-time magician, and Anton to Africa. The question is: Can Burt revive the magic with Anton and regain his place as Numero Uno?
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" is rated PG-13 and runs 100 minutes. Check Moviefone.com where it is showing near you.
Here's what the critics are saying:
As a comedy about an egoist’s rise and fall, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” seems like a script that passed through Will Ferrell’s hands before it materialized in Carell’s in-box. Whereas Ferrell is usually likable and self-mocking enough to pull a sensitive rabbit out of his hat, Carell’s character never draws us closer, so the sleight-of-hand transformation is too obviously a trick. Yet the deck is stacked with some genuine laughs, several of which are conjured by Carrey in a relatively small role. “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” may be a fake, but the way it produces new amusement from old tricks is a treat. Joe Williams, St. Louis Post Dispatch
Neatly balancing brightly sentimental comedy with slightly edgier funny business, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone pulls off the impressive trick of generating laughs on a consistent basis while spinning a clever scenario about rival magicians waging a Las Vegas turf war with a wide multi-demographic appeal. And while it may fall short of working B.O. magic when it hits theaters March 15, the pic — which played well with the opening-night crowd at the SXSW Film Festival — could wind up generating steady biz on a long-term basis rather than pulling a quick vanishing act. Joe Leydon, Movieline
A movie satirizing magicians — even rock 'n' roll hipster magicians — is only slightly more cutting edge than a movie mocking mimes or carnies. At times "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" seems as creaky as old Rance Holloway. But this is also one dark and wickedly funny comedy. Richard Roeper, Chicago Tribune
There’s also something to be said for “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” which stars arguably the most well-liked comic actor in Hollywood [Steve Carrell] and also has juicy supporting roles for Steve Buscemi and one-time comedy box-office champ Jim Carrey. Here’s what it is: This is a really lively, fun and high-spirited comedy. If you leave after half an hour. Stay a full hour, though, and you’re stuck in a death spiral of unfunniness as all the outrageous charm of the generational conflict between Carell’s Burt Wonderstone, a David Copperfield-style Vegas superstar, and Carrey’s upstart street magician Steve Gray (aka “the Brain Rapist”) gradually leaks out like the sticky red goo from a punctured cruise-ship dessert. Andrew O’hehir, Salon.com
You would think that a film about magicians would have some magic to it. And you would think that a movie boasting such artful laughmasters as Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin would have some real comedic heft. In the case of "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," you would be wrong on both counts. It is not a dreadful film. There are just enough laughs and clever moments to keep it north of the Adam Sandler line of comic ineptitude. But it is so wildly inconsistent that it always seems on the verge of completely falling apart and losing what little attachment it has to reality. Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News