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Characters: Now You See Me

Warning! This page contains huge spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

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    The Four Horsemen 

J. Daniel Atlas

The Lover

"Always be the smartest guy in the room."

Portrayed by: Jesse Eisenberg

One-fourth of the Four Horsemen, previously a street magician. He has previous ties with fellow Horseman Henley Reeves, and seems to be the somewhat leader of the group. At first glance, Atlas seems to be a Smug Snake who enjoys pissing other people off. (... and that's it).

  • Anti-Hero: Along with the rest of the Four Horsemen. They're on the run from the police, they rob banks - but they never keep a single cent for themselves.
  • Badass Boast
    • "First rule of magic — always be the smartest guy in the room."
    • "No matter what you think you might know, we will always be one step, three steps, seven steps ahead of you and just when you think you're catching up, that's when we'll be right behind you. And at no time will you be anywhere other than exactly where I want you to be, so come close. Get all over me because the closer you think you are, the less you'll actually see."
  • Batman Gambit: After boasting that he could read people as well as Merritt, he totally botches a read of Tressler, failing to get ANYTHING right-place of birth, mother's maiden name, first pet's name, anything. Tressler smirkingly corrects him. and therefore gives him the answers to the most commonly asked 'security questions' on his bank account. Indeed, the gambit goes even deeper, as he was loudly offering to demonstrate his skills on the other Horsemen, betting that Tressler would pipe up and offer to be read-thus setting himself up to be conned.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Is full of snark and cockiness when Dylan tries to interrogate him.
  • Brick Joke: Henley's weight. It's implied that she broke up with him/resigned from being his assistant because he called her fat for not being able to fit through a trapdoor, while another girl, Rebecca, could.
    • Later on, when he catches her after she falls from her bubble:
    Danny: Oh, so you have lost some weight.
  • Card Sharp: He pulls off some mean card tricks, sometimes works alone, and used his sleight-of-hand to secretly and quickly switch Dylan's phone with a replacement hacked phone.
    • However, Dylan knew the whole time.
  • Catchphrase: "The closer you think you are, the less you'll actually see."
  • Chick Magnet: Henley is attracted to him, along with that random girl that he almost had sex with. Plus, the slow but sure Estrogen Brigade fanbase that's building up.
  • Con Man: Along with the other Horsemen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As expected from Ol' Eisenberg
  • Decoy Protagonist: He's the main attraction in most of the movie posters, and Jesse Eisenberg also gets top billing, but the true main character is Dylan Rhodes, though it isn't surprising that many mistake Daniel Atlas for it.
  • Deuteragonist: Alongside the chief investigator for the Horsemen's crimes, he's the closest to a main character, being the de facto leader of the Four Horsemen.
  • Disappearing Box: One of his magic tricks with Henley in which they both make a rabbit disappear inside the box. It turned out to be a mirror placed inside the box. Comes back as a huge plot twist in the climax.though it was spoiled in the trailer..
  • Establishing Character Moment: He seems to pull off a single card trick ... and then a whole building lights up.
  • Falling Into His Arms: He caught Henley in the nick of time after the bubble she was floating in was bursted by a chandelier.
  • Four Horsemen Band: The Hero and The Leader.
  • Magic Wand: Subverted when he performs the Disappearing Box trick with Henley. He pulls out his magic wand and promptly throws it away, claiming it has no use in the trick.
  • Not Me This Time: When Henley asks him whether he was the one who set up the meeting of the Four Horsemen.
  • Pick a Card: His Establishing Character Moment has him pull a expertly-planned card trick to impress a girl.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Earlier on in the movie, both he and Henley deny that they were in a relationship when Merritt points out the obvious tension between them.
    • Even though he denies it, he sees to still have some feelings for her, depicted when he immediately gets jealous on seeing Henley laugh with Merritt.
    • He and Henley hold hands before hopping onto the carousel at the end of the movie.
  • Ship Tease: With Henley. They seem to have been involved sometime in the past, until Danny called her fat for not being able to fit through a trapdoor while Rebecca fit for a year.
    • They always seem to be paired together, like during their show in New Orleans, and during their heist to steal the transported money, in which they would have been alone lying in an enclosed space for an indefinite amount of time. Ship Tease for the fans? I think so.
    • During the show in New Orleans, one part of their act involved Henley floating above the audience in a soap bubble, until the bubble pops — and she promptly falls into whose arms? Yes, Danny's.
  • Smug Snake: Just look at that smile.
  • Stage Magician: Like all the others.
  • Tarot Motifs: His card is The Lovers.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Henley.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Henley.
    • They Do: He and Henley hold hands before jumping onto the carousel that will take them to the Eye.
      • Furthermore, they somewhat admit their feelings for each other before their last show, while Merritt says that everything was getting too sentimental for him.

Henley Reeves

The High Priestess

"So, which one of you gentlemen is going to help us with our bags?"

Portrayed by: Isla Fisher

Second fourth of the Four Horsemen, and the only female. Was previously J. Daniel Atlas' assistant, until she quit to become a solo act. (Also because he called her fat. Once.) Other than Atlas, Henley is closest to Merritt in the group.

  • Affably Evil: She is a thief, but a sweet and charming one at that. See the image caption to the right which is during their arrest.
  • Brick Joke: Her weight.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: At least, Danny does.
  • It Has Been an Honor: With the other Horsemen near the end.
  • Just Like Robin Hood/Karmic Thief: They steal from the rich and give to the poor. Classic Robin Hood.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mostly averted.
    • Played straight in her introduction shot, which features her stripping into a glittery swimsuit for an escape act. Subverted as the act would be more effective if she was showing more skin.
  • Ship Tease: With Danny. They seem to have been involved sometime in the past, until Danny called her fat for not being able to fit through a trapdoor while Rebecca fit for a year.
    • They always seem to be paired together, like during their show in New Orleans, and during their heist to steal the transported money, in which they would have been alone lying in an enclosed space for an indefinite amount of time. Ship Tease for the fans? I think so.
    • During the show in New Orleans, one part of their act involved Henley floating above the audience in a soap bubble, until the bubble pops — and she promptly falls into whose arms? Yes, Danny's.
  • Smug Snake: Not as much as Danny but definitely there - she is very smug while robbing Tressler.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only female Horseman in a group of four, and the only main female in the movie asides from Alma.
  • Stage Magician: Like the others.
  • Tarot Motifs: Her card is The High Priestess, representing common sense, sound judgement, and a strong feminine influence.
  • Token Good Teammate: Sort of: She's the only Horseman who doesn't have a career in hustling or crime. She's pretty catty, though.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Danny.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Danny.
    • They Do: She and Danny hold hands before jumping onto the carousel that will take them to the Eye.

Merritt McKinney

The Hermit

Portrayed by: Woody Harrelson

The third Horseman; his specialty is hypnotism, and he's even called a mentalist. Enjoys making fun of Danny to no end and seems close to Henley as well.

  • Alliterative Name: Merritt McKinley.
  • Batman Gambit: His "magic" relies to an extent on people's reactions and their behaviour; his hypnotism trick in New Orleans relied wholly on the fact that Rhodes would shout "FREEZE!", despite being part of the audience and being aware of the trick he had set up.
    • Of course, Rhodes, being the Fifth Horseman, knew all about the trick and triggered it on purpose.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Loves to play with everyone's minds while he is being interrogated. Including those who aren't currently in the room.
    "The FBI has a long history of men in dresses! No Shame!"
  • Brick Joke: His victims thinking they're part of a symphony orchestra on hearing the word "bullshit".
    • "FREEZE!" "QUARTERBACK!"
  • Con Man: He hypnotizes people into revealing secrets in front of their spouses and then blackmails them in exchange for said spouse not remembering.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Right at the start of the movie, he exposes a man's extramarital affair with his wife's sister, and accepts two hundred dollars to hypnotize her to forget having known.
    "You weren't away on business, you were away on Janet!"
  • Just Like Robin Hood/Karmic Thief: They steal from the rich and give to the poor. Classic Robin Hood.
  • Living Lie Detector: Not only is he able to detect lies, he also reads people, right down to the slightest of body language, in order to "read their minds".
  • Out of Focus: Out of all the four Horsemen, he is definitely the one out of focus.
  • Self-Deprecation: The first to kick his ego to the curb, and jokingly considers himself a "never was" when referred to as a "has been". Also see under the Understatement tag.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to be one for Danny and Henley; he's always bringing up their relationship whenever they're around.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Tall, yes. Snarky, definitely. Dark — hard to tell, since he doesn't even have any hair.
  • Tarot Motifs: His card is The Hermit, associated with introspection and philosophical searches. Fitting for a man whose specialization is reading people.
  • Third Wheel: After Jack "dies", he seems to be this for Henley and Daniel
  • Trigger Phrase: The victims of his hypnotism seem to think they're members of the Philharmonic Orchestra whenever the word "bullshit" is mentioned, which happens more often than you'd think.
  • Understatement
    Merritt: Every time you see or even think of Janet, you're gonna picture me naked. And that's not a pretty sight.
    Man: Yeah.

Jack Wilder

Death

"Nothing's ever locked."

Portrayed by: Dave Franco

The fourth and youngest horseman, as well as the one with the least experience at the time of their recruitment. Treated like a Tagalong Kid by the other Horsemen, his forte is throwing cards, picking pockets, and imitating the voices of others.

  • Adorkable: Is a self-proclaimed "big fan" of J. Daniel Atlas.
  • Badass: He successfully beats up two FBI agents with weaponized magic. See Improbable Weapon User
  • Chase Scene: While on the run from the FBI.
  • Con Man: He's a pickpocket and uses his magic tricks to distract them.
  • Disney Death: His car exploding is played like a real death, and we see the other Horsemen's "reactions" to it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the beginning, he promises a hundred dollars to anybody who can tell him how his trick works. Someone uncovers his secret, and he promptly pickpockets that guy, proceeding to pay the guy in his own money. Then, he makes a break for it.
  • Faking the Dead: While being pursued by the FBI, the Horsemen switch the car he was in with an identical model containing a cadaver. The replacement car blows up, leading everyone else to believe that Jack was dead while he went to retrieve the safe.
  • Five-Finger Discount: He pickpockets a guy at the very beginning in his Establishing Character Moment.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Lampshaded by Rhodes, when Jack pulls out handfuls of playing cards during their fight.
    Jack: -holds out playing cards like a weapon-
    Rhodes: Really?
    Jack: Yep.
  • Improvised Weapon: In that same fight, he also utilizes a wet wash rag, a garbage disposal, a belt (stolen off the other agent), flash paper, and a set of curtains.
  • Just Like Robin Hood/Karmic Thief: They steal from the rich and give to the poor. Classic Robin Hood.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Jack feels this way when he realizes that their actions could get them thrown in jail. Also, when trying to protect the secret documents led to his Disney Death, it doesn't sound like fun anymore.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: He's at the very least a good street magician/ thief before receiving his card. He fanboyed pretty hard over Danny on their first meeting.
  • Master of Unlocking
    "Nothing's ever locked."
  • New Meat: Seems to be the youngest and least experienced of the Horsemen.
  • Nice Guy: He may be a thief and a liar, but he's reasonably nicer than the rest of the male leads.
  • Tarot Motifs: His card is, well... Death.

    Law Enforcement 

Dylan Rhodes

"I can maintain my resolve much longer than you can maintain that phony arrogance."
Portrayed by: Mark Ruffalo

A FBI agent focused on capturing the Horsemen. For more of his character tropes, go to the Fifth Horseman section.

  • Agent Scully: To Alma’s Mulder. Subverted, as he is the Fifth Horseman and his attitude towards magic is part of his facade.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Horsemen.
  • Butt Monkey: The smartest guy in the room, he is not. Except he actually is.
  • By-the-Book Cop: To crippling levels. He continuously approaches the Horsemen with standard procedural actions, despite their being ineffectual against stage magicians.
  • Daddy Issues: According to Merritt, he has these. He's right.
  • The Determinator: Say whatever you want about him, but his dedication to capturing the Horsemen is admirable.
  • Good Is Dumb: The "good" part is debatable, but he is part of the law enforcement.
  • Lawful Stupid: Emphasis on the "stupid".
    I was tracking myself!
  • Kavorka Man: Why else successful, independent and French Alma would be obviously interested in him?
  • Police Are Useless: He is from FBI, actually, but he fits. Actually invoked since he's the Fifth Horseman and keeps leading the authorities in the wrong direction.
  • Ship Tease: With Alma.
  • Straw Misogynist: At first towards Alma, but he grows out of it.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: To the Horsemen. He's a law enforcer who tries his best to capture despite them being one step ahead of him all the time.

Alma Dray

Portrayed by: Mélanie Laurent

An Interpol agent sent to work with the FBI after The Four Horsemen rob from a French bank.

Agent Fuller

Portrayed by: Michael Kelly

A bald FBI agent that serves as Rhodes' sidekick.

  • Inspector Javert: Relentlessly pursues the Horsemen, believing them to be criminals. He's right, of course.

Agent Evans

Portrayed by: Common

Rhodes' supervisor in the FBI.

  • Hypno Fool: Merritt uses his hypnosis skills on Evans to get access to a safe.
  • Inspector Javert: Relentlessly pursues the Horsemen, believing them to be criminals. He's right, of course.

    Other Characters 

Thaddeus Bradley

Portrayed by: Morgan Freeman

A former magician that came to the conclusion that it is more profitable to reveal the secrets behind magic to a curious audience. He works together with the FBI in order to explain how the Four Horsemen committed their capers.

  • Break the Haughty: He makes a living out of exposing magician's secrets, partially for the money and partial for the ego boost. He's exceedingly arrogant about it and it comes back to bite him.
  • Doing in the Wizard : His shtick is spoiling magicians' secrets on television.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Debatable. While he may be a jerk, he most certainly didn't deserve to be framed for the Horsemen's crimes
  • Only in It for the Money: Part of the reason for doing what he does; he gets a big paycheck for it and a bigger paycheck is enough to buy him off.

Étienne Forcier

Portrayed by: José Garcia

The audience member from the first caper that is "teleported" to his bank, the "Crédit Républicain de Paris"

  • Hypno Fool: He was hypnotised in order to help the Four Horsemen steal money from his bank.

Arthur Tressler

Portrayed by: Michael Caine

The financial backer of the Four Horsemen by the time they perform at Las Vegas.

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Is quite happy to bribe and intimidate to get his way; as the head of an insurance firm he's also allowed them to refuse handouts to Katrina victims, and Dylan Rhodes' family on the death of his father.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: During their second show, the Horsemen hijack one of his bank accounts and distribute the money to struggling audience members. He's understandably upset about this.

Lionel Shrike

A magician mentioned occasionally during the film, who vanished after a comeback attempt went horribly wrong.

  • Posthumous Character: He died by drowning after the safe he was in wouldn't open long before the film starts.

    Spoiler Character 

The Fifth Horseman aka Dylan Rhodes

The person responsible for gathering the other Four Horsemen together at the beginning.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: Rhodes ruined a Bradley's life and stole millions of dollars from Tressler in revenge for his father's dead which they had nothing to do with.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Dylan's fight with Jack comes across as this, since they were on the same team the whole time.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is a member of The Eye, though this depends on your interpretation of 'real magic.'
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Four Horsemen were the Big Bads at first, but in the end, after The Reveal, we learn that Dylan was actually the true Big Bad who was controlling the Four Horsemen the entire time.
  • The Mole: The secret '5th horseman'.
  • Never My Fault: By proxy. His father put his own life in danger and got himself killed for his own mistakes, but Rhodes blames Bradley for revealing his secrets and the makers of the safe he locked himself in for not making a safe that's easy to open (because it's not like the entire point of safes is to be hard to open or anything) and the insurance company for not paying out on a borderline suicide.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Pretended to not know what was going on when in actuality he was controlling whole thing from the start.
  • Revenge: Frames Bradley for exposing his father's tricks.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The entire movie is him performing one of these, taking revenge on the ones he believes are responsible for his father's death and cheating his family out of his life insurance.
  • Secret Character: Obviously.
  • Stealth Mentor: To the Horsemen. He was the one who came up with the entire plot; they merely executed it.
  • Tarot Motifs: The Fool. King of Spades/Swords.
  • Visionary Villain: He definitely thought of his plans way ahead of time!
  • Walking Spoiler: Again, obviously.
  • You Killed My Father: His main motivation for setting the Four Horsemen to help him take revenge on those whom he believed wronged his father.


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