As kids, we’ve all been fascinated by magic tricks and magicians themselves. But as adults, we only believe magic when we watch it happening on screen as fiction.
So without further ado, here are 10 of the best movies about magic, ranked and reviewed based on both overall critic consensus and audience reception.
Read until the end to see which of your bets made it onto our list of best magic movies of all time. We bet you can’t guess which film nabbed the number one spot.
Top 10 Best Movies About Magic
Practical Magic (1998)
If you want to forget about Nicole Kidman’s awful performance in that doomed adaptation of Bewitched, watch Practical Magic.
In the film, she plays a troubled witch who accidentally killed her abusive lover while he attempted to kill her. Together with her sister, played by Sandra Bullock, they hatch a plan to bury the body in the backyard of their house.
Despite its pretty dark premise, the film makes for a great romantic and drama story with great performances from its leads and supporting cast.
Lord of Illusions (1995)
Clive Barker, better known for the films Hellraiser and Nightbreed, directs Lord of Illusions (1995) a dark magic film about a detective investigating the mysterious murder of a psychic.
As to be expected from any Barker production, the film features amazing makeup and other visual effects which sprang from the director’s own imagination.
A warning though, the film isn’t recommended for the faint-hearted (or in this case, faint of stomach).
Hocus Pocus (1993)
In this beloved cult classic Halloween film, we see Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play a coven of witches whose dreaming to be their old young and pretty selves once again.
With its characteristically Halloweeny look, the film is the perfect movie to watch every year on Hallow’s Eve. If you enjoyed Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Halloweentown, you should definitely watch Hocus Pocus (1993).
Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s beloved fantasy novel of the same name, Stardust (2007) tells the story of a man who goes on a quest to retrieve a star for his beloved. However, what he finds is an actual woman, star personified Yvaine with whom he eventually falls in love with.
The film’s plot involves more plot points and interesting characters which we’ll leave for you to discover when you watch the film yourself.
The Craft (1996)
This film is every teenage girl’s dream come true.
In The Craft (1996), we follow the story of a coven of witches, Sarah, Nancy, Rochelle, and Bonnie, who are also high school students at a Catholic school in California. Their lives are turned around after they successfully get the blessing of a powerful spirit Manon which heightens their powers.
But a dark turn of events ensues when coven leader Nancy decides to ‘invoke the spirit’ and goes a little bit cuckoo after getting more powerful.
The Craft was a considerable box office hit and an instant cult classic upon its release which makes us wonder why there never was a sequel to it.
Veteran actor Edward Norton stars as Eisenheim, the titular illusionist, who goes through every means in order to finally be with his great love Sophie, played by Jessica Biel.
Their love hindered by their differing social status with Eisenheim being a mere peasant and Sophie a duchess who is set to marry a prince. Using powers of illusion, Eisenheim hatches a plan to free his beloved and 19th century Vienna from the grasps of the evil Prince Leopold.
Here’s proof that David Bowie can do anything. At the height of his avant-garde music career, he decided to expand his unique artistic expression by taking on the role of goblin king Jareth in Jim Henson’s fantasy film Labyrinth (1986).
The film, which also stars Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams, follows Jareth’s attempts at keeping Sarah forever in his realm as she tries to save her brother who Jareth kidnaps at the beginning of the film.
Aside from Bowie’s performance, Labyrinth is most notable for its artistic blending of live action actors with puppets and animatronics to construct the fantastic characters that live in the world of Labyrinth.
Spirited Away (2001)
Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki gifted the world with Spirited Away (2001). A film that’s part fantasy part metaphor, it follows the story of a young girl, Chihiro, forced to work in a bathhouse filled with ghosts and demons in order to free her parents from a spell which turned them into pigs.
Despite this gloomy premise, the film is a magical and poignant story of a kid’s discovery of the complex adult world as she herself makes the transition from child to young adult.
Harry Potter film series (2001-2011)
Of course, how could we forget the magical film series that a whole generation of kids grew up watching?
Since we can’t place every Harry Potter film here individually, we decided to put it on our list as a whole instead.
Does this film series even need an explanation? Harry Potter has managed to capture the minds and hearts of people of all ages. Heck, the series’ legacy is still felt today with a new set of Harry Potter spin-off films with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The Prestige (2006)
Shot in between Batman films, Christopher Nolan sure did make an excellent film about opposing magicians in Edwardian London.
In The Prestige (2006), we Hugh Jackman play a magician, who’s famous for an act that fascinates and baffles his fellow magicians. The film is notorious for its complex and sometimes confusing story. It also heavily features the director’s signature non-linear narrative storytelling taking us on wild a ride of sharp twists and turns that finally leads us to an unexpected end.
What is your favorite movie about magic? Did you find it on our list? Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments below!