Reviewers cast ‘Believe’ as bad beyond belief

November 3rd, 2008 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Criss Angel

Photo courtesy L.A. Times

At long last, the Criss Angel-Cirque du Soleil collaboration “Believe” is open to the general public. The show held a black carpet opening on Halloween. And how are those reviews that have been so hard to come by?

Reed Johnson of the L.A. Times says “Believe” is, in a word, unbelievable. Of course, he’s a critic, so he loves to use more than one word:

“Believe” suggests less an artistic marriage made in accounting heaven than a shotgun wedding of clashing sensibilities in which the shotgun messily discharges en route to the altar. Indeed, the smeared blood and entrails are piled high and deep throughout “Believe,” the most death-obsessed show to emerge from Sin City since “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

Doug Elfman of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (who has been openly critical of the show) said it was terrrrrrible (sic):

I had heard firsthand from some people who had seen “Believe” that it was abysmal and maybe unfixable, creatively. So my expectations were rock-bottom low (although open-minded), when I saw it Friday on opening night. And yet, it was EVEN WORSE than how it was described to me.

Is anyone going to back Angel up? Heck yes. Other magicians. Jeff McBride, Steve Wyrick, Lance Burton and Penn & Teller are all on the record in support of the Mindfreak. Said McBride:

“I think Criss has a really unique vision and an incredible commitment to trying something new and I think that will inspire other magicians to push the envelopes and take risks,” McBride said. “He seemed very focused on the work and very absorbed in the exploration and execution of the new effects in his show. He seemed very happy and pleased.”

The true judge of Believe’s success will be the ticket sales, of course. Until then, it’s good to see magicians backing up one of their own.


  1. It’s reviews like the first two that really just intrigue me even more and make me WANT to check out the show!…Usually when a piece of entertainment is given a negetive review, I’ve come to believe that it’s because the critics either didn’t understand what they were seeing, or their original entertainment-processing sensebilities are ‘bass-ackwards’. In most cases I’ve also discovered that the popular, well-paid critcs are DEAD WRONG!…Have I seen the show?…No….Am I going to see it?….Probably not because I live in Kentucky….If it comes out on DVD will I buy it?…Hell yes, critics be damned!

  2. The show looks like a play. I mean come on, a magic show usually consists of a magician doing MAGIC. I think the show may be a little bit too unique.

  3. I saw the show on October 21st. i thought that the darkness of the show was great but the magic was very lack-luster. you could see the trap doors open and close and cables when criss was floating. the magic was very dissapointing.

  4. I do not and will never support Criss Angel. He is arrogant, cocky, a jackass and will never fit the profile as a magician in my eyes. I absolutely can’t stand that guy.

  5. I saw Criss Angel’s “Believe” Show on the 30th of June (2009) and it was incredible! I’m only 13 and I loved every minute of it! He is so outstanding in every way I can ever think of. I was so sad to leave Las Vegas! I hope to meet Criss Angel one on one someday. He always says, “If you have a dream, then live that dream.” My dream is to meet him and get to be closer than close friends! So please do not ever criticize him because he can do more than you can! Not to be mean or a *****, but he’s a professional magician and he tries to do the best he can for his fans! He’s wonderful! If you’re not a fan then it’s your loss to have met a great guy/magician! And a very great show and very great shows of Mindfreak!

  6. Ok so i know people must think oh Criss Angel has a BELEIVE show it must ALL be just magic! Well im not allowed 2 say wut happens in there but im JUST gana say in the begining he says somthing. So its NOT all JUST MAGIC!!!♥♥♥i love criss angel♥♥♥

  7. I didn’t see the show for Criss Angel…Wade Robson is one of the most creative and talented choreographers out there. The dancers were amazing!

  8. Note to Criss: Bad reviews are what you get when your TV magic (with its wire rigs, camera manipulation, and selectively planted stooges) can’t match what you are capable of doing in real life.

    Oh, yeah! Thanks for exposing so many trade secrets on your show that semi-pro magicians have had no choice but to quit! Douchebag.

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