“Magic Men” is a documentary film that follows two young men on a 3-year odyssey, through small triumphs and big set-backs, as they train to become professional magicians – the unconventional career they hope will lift them past poverty and old mistakes – and make them rich and famous.
The main characters are: Miles Thorn, whose mental health issues both inspire and hinder his magic; and Devonte Rosero, a former gang member. They make a living doing magic at kid’s parties, and their idols are David Copperfield and David Blaine (who appears in the documentary in one of the film’s most beautiful scenes). Their practical mentors are the older men who hang out at Rogue’s, a magic shop on Queen’s Boulevard, where neighborhood kids have found a second home and look for tricks to change their lives. Rogue and other mentors shepherd their protégés to prestigious magic competitions in Reno and Nashville and to less glorious gigs in back street clubs. Ultimately, Miles and Devonte increasingly use magic to express pain and joy, and work into their magic acts compelling stories about real life in the communities that made them.
Magic Men is a universal story about ambition, redemption, coming-of-age, and the courage to face one’s pain and identity in the quest for success and escape.