• Released
  • May 13, 2011
  • (Limited 5/13)
  • NR , 1 hr 28 min
  • Art House/Foreign
    Documentary
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
A charming documentary about the finalists in the Teenage Magician Contest at the annual World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Neil Genzlinger
The buildup to the actual competition is perfectly paced, with the film never tipping its hand as to the winner. And the championship has all the drama of a high-stakes sporting event: failure under pressure, unexpected triumph, gracious losers and winners both.
Full Review
70

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
These talented, dedicated kids aren't making believe about anything - they're making art out of shimmering illusion, intricate manipulation and blithe misdirection. (In magic, as distinct from filmmaking, misdirection is a good thing.)
Full Review
70

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
The various sleights of hand are impressive even if we're afforded little insight into their actual execution. Still, it's fun stuff.
Full Review
70

Variety

A charming, affectionate and often elegantly executed study of teenage magicians, their craft and the social shadows they step out of when they do their stuff.
Full Review
60

Boxoffice Magazine

By Mark Keizer
Watching even the most tossed-off gag is worth whatever shortcomings Make Believe has, including its lack of real drama.
Full Review
50

Chicago Reader

The movie owes more to reality TV than feature filmmaking, subordinating the various story lines to the simple question of who'll win the contest.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Structurally, this becomes a little monotonous because there's just no denying that some kids are more interesting than others.
Full Review
50

Village Voice

The drama is merely serviceable until the last moment, when the winner makes the competition disappear.
Full Review
40

Time Out New York

By Eric Hynes
First-time director J. Clay Tweel oversells the importance of both the Vegas event and of magic in general-you'd think he were filming a spiritual movement rather than hidden-ball tricks. His wide-eyed subjects do make magic happen-but that has less to do with illusion than innocence.
Full Review
59 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.