The rivalry between two magicians becomes more exacerbated by their attempt to perform the ultimate illusion.
Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are London-based magicians of the highest order, both blessed with spectacular powers of deception and both cursed with unrelenting envy for one another's skills. When Alfred performs an awe-inspiring trick for which there seems no logical explanation, the friendly competition shared between the pair turns to deadly rivalry as the enraged Rupert determines to uncover his rival's deepest secrets. In the world of illusion, however, nothing is ever quite as it seems, and the rules of the physical world simply don't apply. Now, as bitter competition quickly begins to consume the souls of both performers, the firestorm birthed by their anger threatens to consume all who surround them.
"Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"."
"- Do you have anything to say?
"You would drink, too, if you knew the world half as well as I do."
"A real magician tries to invent something new, that other magicians are gonna scratch their heads over."
"Society tolerates only one change at a time."