Howard the Duck

1986

Howard the Duck

Critics Consensus

While it has its moments, Howard the Duck suffers from an uneven tone and mediocre performances.

15%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 48

38%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,488
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Howard the Duck Photos

Movie Info

Director and co-screenwriter Willard Huyck has taken Steve Garber's abrasive, beer-drinking and cigar-smoking comic-book character and castrated him, turning him into a wide-eyed cutesy-pie available for the toy shelves. Huyck's Howard the Duck is a being from outer space, blown into Cleveland by an errant laser beam. After a few minutes on Earth, Howard runs into rock singer Beverly Switzler (Lea Thompson), and they become fast friends after Howard protects her from a couple of nasty punkers. The film then degenerates into an extended chase, as Howard and Beverly are pursued by government agents who want to capture Howard before he can be beamed back into space.

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Cast

Lea Thompson
as Beverly Switzler
Jeffrey Jones
as Dr. Walter Jenning
Tim Robbins
as Phil Blumburtt
Ed Gale
as Howard T. Duck
Chip Zien
as Howard T. Duck
Liz Sagal
as Ronette
Tim Rose
as Howard T. Duck
Steve Sleap
as Howard T. Duck
Tommy Swerdlow
as Ginger Moss
Peter Baird
as Howard T. Duck
Mary Wells
as Howard T. Duck
Lisa Sturz
as Howard T. Duck
Jordan Prentice
as Howard T. Duck
Jorli McClain
as Waitress
Sheldon Feldner
as Hot-Tub-Spa Owner
Lee Anthony
as Grossbach
Paul Comi
as Dr. Chapin
James Lashly
as State Trooper
Felix Silla
as Stunt Duck
Tom Parker
as TV Reporter
Debbie Lee Carrington
as Additional Ducks
Ed Holmes
as TV Duck Hunter
David Paymer
as Larry Scientist
Denny Delk
as Sergeant
Miguel Sandoval
as Cab Driver
Tom Rayhall
as Trucker
Thomas Dolby
as Bartender in Rock Club
John Fleck
as Pimples
William McCoy
as Skin Head
Steve Kravitz
as Lover Boy
Anne Tofflemire
as Lover Girl
Marcia Banks
as Mama Biker
Nancy Fish
as Bag Lady
Monty Hoffman
as Club Bouncer
Ted Kurtz
as Kirby
James Brady
as Tour Guide
Carol McElheney
as Screaming Woman
Richard Kiley
as the Cosmos
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News & Interviews for Howard the Duck

Critic Reviews for Howard the Duck

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12)

Audience Reviews for Howard the Duck

  • May 25, 2014
    Goofy film (oh, sorry - he was a dog)
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 09, 2013
    From George Lucas comes the atrociously awful comic book film Howard the Duck. Seemingly lacking in plot and direction, the film is essentially a mishmash of a duck-out-of-water story and an alien invasion story. Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins lead the cast, but with a script this bad there's nothing that they can do to make it work. Additionally, the duck suit for Howard looks extremely fake, and the voice work does nothing to bring the character to life. The comedy also fails, consisting mostly of lame puns and crass jokes. A truly appalling film, Howard the Duck is so incredibly stupid, it's unbelievable.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Due to the plot and nostalgic visual style, it was always going to be a misfire if it's primary intention was to become a summer blockbuster and unsurprisingly the film was a box office disaster. Not only that, but it's famous for being cited as one of the worst films ever made and even had to be cut because censors reacted badly to the jokes about ducks and condoms but even the most uneven and messy films like Howard the Duck have the power to inspire a fandom. I think the choice to use live action as opposed to animation was a good idea. Howard in animatronics isn't as unconvincing as everyone says, the dialogue matches his facial movements and he looks attractive and stylishly art house. However the people in the film are dull, boring and underdeveloped and are portrayed awfully with even worse performances than the horrible cast of Transformers. I'm certain that the film is likely to dissappoint it's target audience more than any kids movie i've seen in my viewing life. It has quite a few scenes with smoking, swearing and some that I suspect are somehow promoting beastiality to people. But I embraced it for all it's weirdness and art house style of storytelling. I believe it's a surreal, strangely likable and sometimes witty failed picture and it appealed to me. I dont think there's any reasons to loathe it. I had a smile on my face all the way through, I think its a very strange, subversive, funny film. I unlike most most unfair critics actually looked at the positives of the film. So sue me. I enjoyed Howard the Duck.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2011
    If you're looking for some gripping Hollywood drama in "HOWARD THE DUCK", then you should just go pluck yourself. This isn't your movie... Get over it and go away... While the duck suit used for the titular character is an embarrassing disaster, the comedic talents of Lea Thompson, Tim Robbins, Chip Zien, Ed Gale, and Jeffery Jones pull off the impossible: They make "HOWARD THE DUCK" a charming and laugh-out-loud movie that is hated simply because it is misunderstood. Maybe I'm biased because I like the comic-book character, but to me this movie is just good old fashioned fun from start to finish. It's not particularly for kids, but I think that kids would understand this movie better than most adults: "HOWARD THE DUCK" is a screwball comedy for the ages that mocks itself incessantly and dares its audience to accept its outrageous premise without going out of its way to achieve that reaction. The spirit of the movie is literally this: "Isn't this ridiculous? We're gonna push the 'ridiculous-factor' as far as it will go and it's gonna be hilarious! Screw you if you don't agree, we're gonna have some fun!" Take it or leave it, this is the movie for everyone out there with a self-discerning mind and self-deprecating sense of humor. It's "HOWARD THE DUCK". Deal with it...
    Michael R Super Reviewer

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