After a tragic accident, two stage magicians in 1890s London engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.
In the end of the nineteenth century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough, and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death, and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.
Set in London in the 1800s, two rival magicians read each others diary containing the secrets of their magic tricks and personal life. As we go back in time when the diaries were written, both magicians become obsessed with their rivals best trick. The tricks, as shown to the audience, look the same, but neither magician can figure out how his opponent does it.