The Great Buck Howard - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Buck Howard Reviews

November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 8, 2009
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,
April 9, 2009
This is not a rare movie, but it does have a warm red center. It's likable, and its appeal grows as it recovers from a shaky start and finds its footing.
April 8, 2009
A pleasant enough comedy in the My Favorite Year mold.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 3, 2009
A modest snapshot of a performer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 2, 2009
The film feels painfully thin.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 27, 2009
Buck Howard is Malkovich's show. When's he's off the screen, the film sputters, but while he's on-camera, it's magical.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 23, 2009
The movie, which was written and directed by Sean McGinly, is consistently good as long as it centers on Buck and his seriocomic travails.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 21, 2009
To their credit, Malkovich and McGinly never make sentimentality easy--when Buck's career starts picking up, the first thing he does is get a facelift.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 20, 2009
Just as in Burn After Reading, the craftsman's pursuit of character, warts and vulnerability intact, is adamant. He makes it hard to pass up this Buck.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 20, 2009
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 | Original Score: C+
March 20, 2009
What Malkovich really needs are actors opposite him with a few more tricks up their sleeve.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
March 20, 2009
The film is a small-scale charmer that provides a tailor-made role for Malkovich, who is always fun to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 20, 2009
[Director] McGinly, working with a modest budget, balances the film's sense of mockery with its more somber moments and doesn't allow the story's considerable nostalgia and sentimentality to overwhelm it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 20, 2009
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.
March 20, 2009
Writer-director Sean McGinley based his title character on the Amazing Kreskin, and it provides a suitable mainstream vehicle for Malkovich's bruised aloofness.
March 20, 2009
The Great Buck Howard is an agreeable show business satire with a warm heart.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
March 20, 2009
Any synopsis of The Great Buck Howard is going to make it sound more than a little like My Favorite Year. ... But that film had a compellingly poignant center.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
March 19, 2009
Like the has-been it celebrates, this gentle comedy wears out its welcome by embracing mediocrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2009
It sidesteps ultra-saccharine territory, emerging as sweetly nostalgic and gently satiric, if lightweight, entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
March 19, 2009
When an actor finds the perfect role, a rare sort of magic happens. And you can find it onscreen right now, in The Great Buck Howard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
March 19, 2009
Malkovich, mixing the magician shtick with a dogged resiliency, a dab of pathos, and more than a bit of mystery (did he really just hypnotize 300 people?), is simply a joy to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 19, 2009
Malkovich refuses to make his arrogant, prickly has-been remotely likeable, but the movie isn't as uncompromising as his performance, which gets drowned in a sea of schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
March 19, 2009
It's the movie equivalent of handing us a business card.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2009
The Great Buck Howard is cheekily observant about celebrity self-importance while still conveying Buck's commitment to entertaining regular folks.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 19, 2009
The film is funny and perceptive in the way it shows the humiliations for a man with Buck's tender vanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
March 19, 2009
No one does raging unlovability quite like John Malkovich, who's a total gas when he drops the bombast that often bogs down his more serious roles.
March 18, 2009
The Great Buck Howard is in love with kitsch, the backwaters of showbiz, and true magic. It's 
a wee charmer that left me enchanted.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
March 16, 2009
The cast is speckled with lively souls like Steve Zahn and Griffin Dunne, but the only person who wakes the movie from its slumbers is Emily Blunt.
March 16, 2009
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 9, 2009
I really enjoyed this film.
March 9, 2009
A sweet, tender, slightly satirical slice of the showbiz life.
January 22, 2008
Pic succeeds to an impressive degree.