The Best Magic Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel
Finding a good Magic movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Magic movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.
1. The Thief of Bagdad
What it's about: When Prince Ahmad is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess.
Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi) & stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).
2. The Magician
What it's about: Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician (Ansiktet) is an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists. Max von Sydow stars as Dr. Vogler, a nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus. The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot in rich, gorgeously gothic black and white.
Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).
3. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
What it's about: Valerie, a Czechoslovakian teenager living with her grandmother, is blossoming into womanhood, but that transformation proves secondary to the effects she experiences when she puts on a pair of magic earrings. Now seeing the world around her in a different light, Valerie must endure her sexual awakening while attempting to discern reality from fantasy as she encounters lecherous priest Gracian, a vampire-like stranger and otherworldly carnival folk.
Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).
4. The Lady Vanishes
What it's about: On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris befriends elderly Miss Froy. When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.
Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (SnagFilms), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Starz & The Criterion Channel), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).
5. Capricious Summer
What it's about: Middle-aged Antonin and his friends, the major, now retired, and the canon, are in the river, swimming and philosophizing. Then it starts to rain. It just seems to be that sort of summer. Antonin runs the swimming bath with his portly wife Katherine... A man appears with his horse-drawn caravan. He lays a striped pole across the river and walks over. With a handstand and a magic trick, Ernie the Conjuror invites everyone to that evening's performance... Ernie is a tightrope walker of only modest skill, but with a slim and beautiful assistant, Anna. Antonin speaks to her. The two spend the night in the change room by the river, Antonin massaging her feet all night long. Katherine decides to move into the caravan with Ernie. But now the major and even the canon sense Anna's attractiveness...
Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).