Duck (2005)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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An aging societal outcast and a motherless duck set out to find shelter and meaning in a future where people are separated by as many degrees as they are connected. The year is 2009, and the last public park in Los Angeles has been closed to the public. The city is a desert, and dispossessed widower Arthur Pratt (Philip Baker Hall) has outlived his usefulness. A retired history professor who spent all of his savings caring for his beloved late wife, Arthur sets out to the park where his son and dearly departed are buried to pay his final respects before ending his own life. Arthur's grim westward march hits an unexpected hitch, however, when an orphaned duckling that has recently cheated death adopts the homeless septuagenarian as a surrogate mother figure. Once again displaced when their park becomes a landfill and their pond is drained, the unlikely pair embarks on a Sisyphean journey to find shelter and meaning in a world where their lives seem to have little value.
PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
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Written By:
In Theaters:

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Amy Hill
as Linh
Bill Brochtrup
as Leopold
French Stewart
as Jeffery
Bill Cobbs
as Norman
Larry Cedar
as Mr. Janney
Starletta DuPois
as Social Worker
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Critic Reviews for Duck

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (7)

We weren't particularly affected by Arthur's encounters with various strangers along the way. We think we know why: For the most part, we found ourselves watching a grown actor pretend to have a special connection. With a duck.

Full Review… | August 30, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Writer-director Nic Bettauer can't decide whether to play Duck for tears or laughs.

Full Review… | August 24, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Much of the journey becomes redundant, and the film likely would have been more effective as a 20-minute short.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

There isn't much to it, but this odd little road movie from writer-director Nic Bettauer does boast a sincere charm, and fine performances from its two leading actors.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

There are precedents for this kind of old-coot-and-adorable-pet cinema, but the director, a USC film grad, demonstrates little in the way of keenness or even sentimentality.

Full Review… | May 10, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

The filmmaker is good with actors, and in Hall, she has a lead with such innate authority that you can't take your eyes off him, even when he's manhandling flapping waterfowl.

Full Review… | May 10, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Duck


Great concept, but incredibly boring. The script isn't good, although Philip Baker Hall does great with a horrible role. The duck is a pretty good actor. There is no reason for so much of the movie to be in red. It isn't often when you can point out bad editing, but here the editing is really off.

James Jackson
James Jackson

I loved the simplicity and pacing of the film. Well acted, sensitively directed and pleasant cinematography. It can be a bit slow moving, but overall it works.

James Higgins
James Higgins

My hubby thought I was a bit crazy to rent this, but it is just a simple, well done story. No swearing, no gore, no violence, just a sweet hrsart felt movie. That Karl did end up enjoying. I thought it well done and bit sad at times, but o enjoyed it quite a bit.


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