"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 people to communicate with horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses - and people - with his understanding, compassion and respect. In this film, the animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life. A truly American story about an unsung hero, Buck is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds. -- (C) IFC Films … More
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Critic Reviews for Buck
If you have even a passing interest in horses, you may find yourself smitten with this meditative doc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
Essentially a long instructional "horse whispering" video beefed up with Redford hype, underscored with a sad biography...
Real life trumps 'reel life' in this fantastic, sweet, personal, human story about this true eccentric character.
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.
A straightforward film but one in which Brannaman's gift and modesty shine through.
Singular in style and impressively reflective of its protagonist's nature. Universal in theme, but may struggle to find a wide audience.
Entertaining and emotionally engaging documentary with a powerful, important message delivered by an immensely likeable central character.
A touching, if occasionally overwrought look at the inspiration behind Robert Redford's Horse Whisperer.
Breaking the cycle of abuse, Buck's deep-rooted respect for these dignified animals is truly inspiring.
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.
Imagine the Dude from The Big Lebowski if he had been raised on a dude ranch.
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
I was entranced and intensely moved by this marvellous and unforgettable documentary
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.
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.More
This documentary reveals the power of firm tenderness and trust -- not just with horses, but with people too.More
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.More
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.
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