Magic in the Moonlight 2.0 stars

Magic in the Moonlight movie poster

A magician (Simon McBurney) asks a lifelong friend and arrogant rival illusionist (Colin Firth) to help debunk a captivating young spiritualist (a regrettably miscast Emma Stone). Set in 1928, there’s bewitchment in production designer Anne Seibel’s ritzy period recreation and Darius Khondji buffed ‘Scope cinematography, but Woody Allen doesn’t have enough rabbits up his sleeve to pad what had the makings of a dynamite third of a trilogy to feature-length proportions. Allen has always displayed a fascination with the romantically transformative power of magic, but not even Houdini’s sleight of hand could have done much to beguile audiences with this talky, half-conjured chicanery. It might have worked had Woody been able to spark the illusion of romance between Firth and Stone, but together they make chemistry disappear and simply deliver the expository dialog as directed. With Hamish Linklater, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jacki Weaver. 2014.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770

Monday, September 22

12:15pm, 6:20pm

Tuesday, September 23

12:10pm, 6:20pm

Wednesday, September 24

12:15pm, 6:20pm

Paloma

471 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, 760-436-7469

Monday, September 22

5:15pm

Tuesday, September 23

5:15pm

Wednesday, September 24

5:15pm

Thursday, September 25

5:15pm

Reading Gaslamp

701 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 800-326-3264

Sunday, September 21

10:30pm

Monday, September 22

3:35pm, 5:50pm, 8:10pm, 10:30pm

Tuesday, September 23

3:35pm, 5:50pm, 8:10pm, 10:30pm

Wednesday, September 24

3:35pm, 5:50pm, 8:10pm, 10:30pm

Thursday, September 25

3:35pm, 5:50pm, 8:10pm, 10:30pm

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