• PG, 1 hr. 27 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Sean McGinly
    In Theaters:
    Mar 20, 2009 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jul 21, 2009
  • Magnolia


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The Great Buck Howard Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Will Leitch

It's a light, weightless, mostly pointless show business homage, and you're likely to forget it about it halfway through.

Full Review Source: Deadspin | Original Score: D+

June 22, 2013
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly

It's a great greeting card, but it's not much of a movie.

Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly | Original Score: 2.5/5

June 23, 2008
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the presence of some A-list performers, The Great Buck Howard can't shake the feeling that it's more on the level of made-for-TV than something destined for theatrical greatness.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 16, 2009
Leo Goldsmith

Malkovich's titular mentalist is the primary focus of attention%u2014and sadly the source of many of the film's unique problems. In a career of strange performances, Malkovich turns in a true curiosity here%u2014and maybe it's because he is not, for once,

Full Review Source: indieWIRE

August 8, 2009
Mike Scott

The problem isn't so much in the film's clumsy, hand-holding narration, or in its forced quirkiness. Rather it's that its most interesting character -- the one they named the thing after -- isn't the main character.

Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Original Score: 2/4

July 24, 2009
Kimberly Gadette
Indie Movies Online

With minimal backbone, poor Hanks can barely stand on his own, let alone stand up to the force of the braying Malkovich. The title's all wrong. Ladies and Gents, I give you 'The Squid and the Wail.'

Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online | Original Score: 3/10

March 20, 2009
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru

Boasts a radiant comedic performance by John Malkovich and a breezy, sporadically hilarious plot that increasingly becomes a lazy, contrived and uneven satire with not enough bite.

Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru | Original Score: 5.75/10

March 21, 2009
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Watching The Great Buck Howard is like listening to 'Chopsticks' played really well. Impressive, maybe, but who cares?

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1/4

March 27, 2009
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What Malkovich really needs are actors opposite him with a few more tricks up their sleeve.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 20, 2009
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

If Great Buck Howard is formulaic and only mildly funny, however, Malkovich is nonetheless magnificent.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine

March 16, 2009
Cole Smithey

Ostensibly about nostalgia for a vaudeville breed of entertainer that was never very good to begin with, "The Great Buck Howard" doesn't know whether to mock or celebrate its tragic protagonist.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: C-

March 13, 2009
Paul Brenner

shot like it's an especially wacky episode of All My Children.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 2.5/5

March 19, 2009
Brandon Fibbs

A likeable enough actor who has shown far more personality in films far worse than this one, Hanks fails miserably as the one character with whom we are supposed to relate.

Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com | Original Score: 5/10

March 19, 2009
Dan Zak
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Under the direction of, say, Alexander Payne or David O. Russell, Malkovich might have flourished in a deeper, darker, more madcap version of the film.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 20, 2009
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the movie equivalent of handing us a business card.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

March 19, 2009
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Malkovich keeps Buck an enigma -- part fool, part unheralded genius -- and if the film moves in expected ways it also hits some subtle grace notes.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C+

March 20, 2009
Hank Sartin
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The younger Hanks is a blander version of his father, without any sense of the elder's hidden zaniness; Malkovich, unsurprisingly, is quite convincing as a man whose ego surrounds him like an enveloping fog.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/6

March 18, 2009
Hank Sartin
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

November 17, 2011
Rafer Guzman
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film feels painfully thin.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1.5/4

April 2, 2009
Tony Medley
Tolucan Times

This moderately entertaining film would have been a lot more entertaining had the charismatic, exceptionally talented Emily Blunt been given a much larger role.

Full Review Source: Tolucan Times | Original Score: 6/10

April 4, 2009

Dark Horizons
April 5, 2011
Page 1 of 5
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