An interesting film, and people's reactions to it are as interesting as the film itself. I thought it felt like it could have been a Hammer Horror film from the early 70's with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing--the story is amusing since magic, teleportation, and evil twins are fundamentally ridiculous yet delightful to my inner child.
I know an ex-stage magician who absolutely hated it because it misrepresents some crucial elements of stage magic. For example, the whole thing about the pledge, the turn, etc. is totally made up and he found the presentation and emphasis of those things very irritating. It's also a quite serious and long-held tenet of stage magic that no animals be harmed in a show. (Penn Jilette has a hilarious story about that and the industry-wide importance of it in one of his books called "The Greatest Magic Show I've Ever Seen." I can't hope to describe it and do it justice but I'll just say it involves an inept young stage magician who's using fire in his act and a dove).
Nolan is good with his actors, but the self-indulgence of this film, with its unnecessary non-chronological storytelling, its de rigeur twist at the end, its glossy appearance and nerd-crush actors, is simply distracting. If Nolan had something to say here, I couldn't hear it. Maybe in 20 years I'll look back at this cynicism and slap myself, but for now I feel like this one is fun but soap opera-y and weightless.
About a hundred times better than The Illusionist though. <shudder>