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Buck (2011)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 4,449

My Rating

Movie Info

"Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will." So says Buck Brannaman, a true American cowboy and sage on horseback who travels the country for nine grueling months a year helping horses with people problems. BUCK, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real life "horse-whisperer", he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches


Documentary, Special Interest

Oct 4, 2011


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Latest News on Buck

June 17, 2011:
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All Critics (98) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (11)

If you have even a passing interest in horses, you may find yourself smitten with this meditative doc.

April 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cynics beware: Darned tootin', we're home on the range here, where seldom is heard a discouraging word and don't nobody be yappin' that Buck is too good to be true.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Interviews with horse people, Brannaman's very funny, elderly stepmother and director Robert Redford help round out the doc, but all we really need is time with Brannaman, and Meehl doesn't disappoint.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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The result is a portrait that expertly mirrors its subject: Buck is shaped with the same economy, restraint, and unfussiness as the man, to unexpectedly inspiring effect.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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One of the most valuable things a film can do is to take you to a place or introduce you to a character you haven't encountered before.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's well and good to hear Buck and others tell his story, but the film wouldn't come to much if you didn't feel the connection between his present and past in every frame.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Meehl roots this redemption tale in carefully observed demonstrations at his clinics, even as the gorgeously shot landscape reminds us why stories like this are Hollywood's very lifeblood

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Picturesque scenery of Montana needs no smoke and mirrors to look as stunning as it does here, though they're juxtaposed occasionally with the tough plight that landowners in this area of the country face...

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

Essentially a long instructional "horse whispering" video beefed up with Redford hype, underscored with a sad biography...

January 4, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

As enjoyable a documentary as I've seen this past couple of years...

April 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Real life trumps 'reel life' in this fantastic, sweet, personal, human story about this true eccentric character.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

There's a whole heap of Americana to wallow in here, but it's testimony to the director and subject that Buck still trots along at such a lick.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

An unforgettable film about an extraordinary man.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A straightforward film but one in which Brannaman's gift and modesty shine through.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Singular in style and impressively reflective of its protagonist's nature. Universal in theme, but may struggle to find a wide audience.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Entertaining and emotionally engaging documentary with a powerful, important message delivered by an immensely likeable central character.

April 25, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

A touching, if occasionally overwrought look at the inspiration behind Robert Redford's Horse Whisperer.

April 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Breaking the cycle of abuse, Buck's deep-rooted respect for these dignified animals is truly inspiring.

April 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

It would be a very hard-hearted person indeed who would not warm to the gentle charms of ... this low-key, fondly personal look at one of life's gifted but hardly world-famous personages.

March 5, 2012 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

Imagine the Dude from The Big Lebowski if he had been raised on a dude ranch.

February 17, 2012 Full Review Source: The Mercury
The Mercury

The great pleasure of this film is that we meet Buck the man as well as Buck the horseman; it's a rounded and balanced doco, a rich, complex, miniature biopic of Buck who bucked his fate

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

I was entranced and intensely moved by this marvellous and unforgettable documentary

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Meehl seems entirely smitten by her subject matter...and her blind adoration is a double-edged sword, imbuing her film with tremendous warmth but also nullifying any hint of objectivity.

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source:

As we see in Cindy Meehl's terrific documentary Buck, the rugged, plain-spoken Brannaman comes by his knowledge the hard way.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

Audience Reviews for Buck

Sometimes people's stories are just leaps and bounds better than anything Hollywood could produce. This doc is a mesmerizing and heart-warming look at a good and gentle man who took the pain of his childhood and turned it into grace. It may sound cliche and boring, but I'll be damned it you can watch it and not be moved.
January 2, 2012
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

This documentary reveals the power of firm tenderness and trust -- not just with horses, but with people too.
October 8, 2011
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

Documentary glibly but accurately described as profiling "a real-life horse whisperer." The story here is how a gifted young cowboy overcame childhood abuse and applied the lessons he learned to training horses. It's an inspirational movie, with all the lack of conflict or subtlety that word implies, but it holds your interest and is definitely worth a watch if you're interested in either horse training or child abuse.
July 7, 2011
Greg S

Super Reviewer

While not exactly the most substantial of documentaries, "Buck" still has plenty to say about the human condition, through horses, no less. As Buck Brannaman says in the clinics he conducts all over the country nine months out of the year, it is not the humans with a horse problem he is trying to help but horses with a human problem.

Growing up, he and his brother were severely phyiscally abused by their father. With luck and the help of caring foster parents, Buck turned out okay and sensitive to the concerns of others and the odd episode of Oprah.(I had to check out the deleted scenes on the DVD to find out how Buck's brother turned out.) As a parent, Buck feels it is okay to discipline one's children but only in an encouraging, not discouraging way. As alone as he is a lot on the road, he looks forward to returning home to his family, with his eldest daughter, Reata, now joining him for the summer.
November 23, 2012
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Buck, Himself: Nobody's here to hurt you.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Buck, Himself: Rather than helping people with horse problems, I'm helping horses with people problems.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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  • Buck - Der wahre Pferdeflüsterer (DE)
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