Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, The Illusionist is about a magician that can do great magic. Of course, there are bad guys, and of course, there is a woman involved; when is there not? The woman is way above his social standing. And the bad guy? The Crown Prince. Throw in a police inspector, and you've got lots of drama.
I thought this movie was really well done. It kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next, and there was definitely the right amount of tension throughout. I felt tense watching the "bad guy", and in the end, was even wondering how bad he really was by the end of it. Yes, the bad guy was bad, but was he as bad as the audience was lead to believe?
I won't give you too many spoilers, but Eisenheim, the main character, played brilliantly by Edward Norton, does dupe them all. How, is something you'll have to find out by watching the movie. But there are enough twists and turns in the movie to make it interesting and will keep you guessing. Sure, the ending's cheesy, but that's love for you.
One other thing I liked about this movie is that it's not often you see a movie set in a place like Vienna, in that time period. And about a magician of all things.
9 out of 10.