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Soundtrack review: Now you see me (Brian Tyler – 2013)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Now you see me (Brian Tyler – 2013)


“Now You See Me” is a 2013 American heist adventure film directed by Louis Leterrier. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Four magicians each answer a mysterious summons to an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they are the Four Horsemen, big time stage illusionists who climax their sold out Las Vegas show with a bank apparently robbed for real. What follows is a bizarre investigation where nothing is what it seems with illusions, dark secrets and hidden agendas galore as all involved are reminded of a great truth in this puzzle: the closer you look, the less you see. The cast was spectacular, the movie was smart and fun and the score was written by one of my favorite composers, Brian Tyler. The surprise for me was that when the movie came out I didn’t enjoy the score that much. I am revisiting the score now in preparation for the sequel.

I should get out of my head the image of Brian Tyler action god and remember that this movie is a cool heist flick. Now as I listen to the main theme I get that. The composer doesn’t go all in with it and leaves a bit of mystery or a bit of place so the listener knows that this is supposed to be about fun and deception. I love the main theme and I can’t believe I discarded it the first time around. Same with “The team”; it’s spectacular with a big brass section to show us the magnitude of the illusion and with a sudden disappearance at the end.

The main them actually drives the score. The album is some 70 minutes long but in my opinion it didn’t need to be. Brian Tyler usually fills his CDs to the brim and in “Now you see me” he spends quite some time exploring and experiencing with that main theme. There’s the usual heist jazz you would expect from a score like this and it’s quite fun. Nothing extremely original or memorable but it functions well in the context of the movie. “Now you see me” is all about the plot and visual dazzle while the music should only support and maybe enhance what’s going on on screen. Music is another prop in the magician’s show and Brian Tyler fits quite well in that team.

My favorite moments are the big revelations ones like “Times square”. I am not a big fan of the filler cues like “Bridge pursuit”. Cues like this work nice in the movie but don’t do much for me as a standalone listen. Other moments are also a bit too light for my taste. I know that’s the mood of the movie and I know they are supposed to be fun but I can’t really connect with them.

Time didn’t really change my opinion of “Now you see me”. It’s a nice and cool heist score but except that main theme there isn’t much for me here. I hope the sequel will be a bit more exciting.

Cue rating: 79 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 82

Album excellence: 15%


1.Now You See Me

2.The Team

3.Opus NYSM


9.Times Square


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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