Death Defying Acts
Death Defying Acts (2008)

"Death Defying Acts" is based on the life of Harry Houdini, the fictional tale of how an escapologist fell in love with an Edinburgh woman.

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: July 11, 2008
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
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Critic Score: 43% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Pretty but dull, with unconvincing turns from Zeta-Jones and Pearce. If you want a period magician movie, seek out The Prestige or The Illusionist instead.

Dave Calhoun
Time Out

All in all, it's a bit of a snore that falls back on romance when all else fails.

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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times

What the film loses in momentum as the romance takes over, it gains in sex appeal as its two attractive actors make their own kind of magic.

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Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

It's a shame that the story itself feels like smoke and mirrors with nowhere to go, wanting to have its cake and eat it too.

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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly

Director Gilliam Anderson doesn't distinguish this generic romance from a thousand other costumed bodice rippers -- is a kinky handcuff scene too much to ask?

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Dana Stevens

All a 'what if' movie needs to win me over are some lush costumes and production design, a smart casting choice or two, and a really ridiculous basic idea. Death Defying Acts obliges on all fronts.

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Matthew Turner

Death Defying Acts is a hugely enjoyable, impressively directed drama with superb performances and an emotionally engaging script. Terrific final scene too. Highly recommended.

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David Fear
Time Out

Pearce's boys-adventure take on the vaudeville legend is a hoot, though not nearly as laughable as the dialogue or Zeta-Jones's pitiful attempts at basic emoting.

Kyle Smith
New York Post

Director Gillian Armstrong is more attentive to decor than the story, which never seems in a hurry to get anyplace in particular and concludes with a thud.

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Larushka Ivan-Zadeh
Metro (UK)

Any magic is instantly dispelled by the dead hand of a tirelessly pouting Zeta-Jones, whose slap boasts more layers than her talent.

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More reviews for Death Defying Acts

Flixster Audience Score: 26% Flixster User Reviews
Luke Baldock
A fictitious account of Harold Houdini. It focuses on a love he has for a woman that claims to be psychic. Unfortunately the film is void of any real engagement… More
John Ballantine
This seemed destined for a main stream release and it has all the features of a generally popular film. For some reason, it never got that full Hollywood… More
Jake ....
Overall this really is a pleasant and enjoyable film, but it is incredibly typical. There is nothing particuarly special about it, nor does it do anything… More
Cameron Johnson
Forget Houdini, this film itself is real magic, because it made cultural distinctions disappear into thin air. As if it wasn't difficult enough to tell the… More
Jon Lantz
I was surprised that I have never head of this film before watching it. Overall, this was an entertaining movie. I enjoyed watching it, even thought there is… More
Sol C
The trailer for the film looks really good, but the film itself could have been so much better. The Prestige and The Illusionist were much better films than… More

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