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Movies Blog

The Hack Stamp: THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE

by Scott Renshaw
- Posted // 2013-03-15 - As they plod through lazy, obvious references in reviews of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, watch these critics make their credibility disappear!

You didn't have to look up your sleeve to find the word "magic" used in a whole bunch of reviews:

“ … you may walk away not feeling any of the magic.” – Amy Curtis, We Got This Covered

“Though not exactly magic, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is certainly no cinematic disappearing act either.” – Katerina Sakkas, FILMLINK (Australia)

“Not particularly magical.” – Joanna Langfield, The Movie Minute

“… not exactly magical, but it does have enough tricks up its sleeve to make it worth the price of admission.” – Matthew DeKinder, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“What this movie is missing is -- magic.” – Nell Minow, Beliefnet

“Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey find that magic touch. … Yes, it’s silly and goofy, but it does the trick if you’re looking for a laugh.” – Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles Movie Files

“You would think that a film about magicians would have some magic to it … if you are looking for something truly magical, you will come away disappointed.” – Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News

A few more at least reached for a more specific reference than mere "magic":

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone works hard to create the illusion that it’s hilarious.” – Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

“Perhaps it’s a magical disappearing-humor act that afflicts this throwaway.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today

“I wish I could make it disappear. Forever.” – Drew Taylor, The Playlist

For many, the obvious choice was poking at the title's choice of adjectives:

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t incredible …” – Tom Long, Detroit News

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone just isn’t.” – Gary Wolcott, Tri-City Herald

But special congratulations to those who went for the "magic" gag and the "incredible" gag:

“…leans on its stars to conjure laughs out of thin air …[E]nough comic haymakers land to make Burt Wonderstone credible, if not exactly ‘incredible.’” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“There’s not much cinematic magic in this tale. … It may be more The Merely Okay Burt Wonderstone…” – Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion

“For my first trick, allow me to write off an entire picture by merely affixing to the title a one-word contraction: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t.” – Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“The only incredible thing about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is that way it makes Steve Carell so thoroughly and irreparably unlikable. … And after it's over, poof! You'll forget you ever watched it in the first place.” – Christy Lemire, Associated Press

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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