The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

Critics Consensus

Sci-fi parodies like these usually struggle to work, but Buckaroo Banzai succeeds through total devotion to its own lunacy.



Total Count: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,053
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Movie Info

Neurosurgeon, nuclear scientist, and rock 'n' roller, the multi-talented Buckaroo Banzai is called upon save the world from a hostile extraterrestrial invasion in this offbeat science-fiction comedy. The rather loose plot serves as backdrop for a series of bizarrely humorous set pieces, parodying both classic and contemporary sci-fi films.


Peter Weller
as Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow
as Dr. Emilio Lizardo, Lord John Whorfin
Ellen Barkin
as Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum
as New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd
as John Bigboote
Robert Ito
as Hikita
Pepe Serna
as Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey
as President Widmark
Matt Clark
as Secretary of Defense
Clancy Brown
as Rawhide
William Traylor
as Gen. Catburd
Carl Lumbly
as John Parker
Vincent Schiavelli
as John O'Connor
Dan Hedaya
as John Gomez
Mariclare Costello
as Sen. Cunningham
Bill Henderson
as Casper Lindley
Damon Hines
as Scooter Lindley
Billy Vera
as Pinky Carruthers
Laura Harrington
as Mrs. Johnson
Michael Santoro
as Billy Travers
Kent Perkins
as Mission Control
Jonathan Banks
as Lizardo Hospital Guard
Gary Bisig
as Second Radar Blaze
Ken Magee
as Duck Hunter Burt
James Keane
as Duck Hunter Bubba
John Ashton
as Highway Patrolman
Yakov Smirnoff
as National Security Advisor
Leonard Gaines
as Artie Duncan
James Saito
as Dr. Masado Banzai
Jamie Lee Curtis
as Dr. Sandra Banzai
Francine Lembi
as TV Anchorwoman
John Walter Davis
as Star Surgeon
James Rosin
as John Yaya
Radford Polinsky
as Marine Lieutenant
Sam Minsky
as Kolodny Brother
Robert Hummer
as Kolodny Brother
Greg Mires
as Young Buckaroo
Matthew Mires
as Young Buckaroo
Raye Birk
as Reporter
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News & Interviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

Critic Reviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (12)

  • A state-of-the-art spaceship flying at the speed of light without narrative coordinates, Buckaroo Banzai is the very oddest good movie in many a full moon.

    Aug 20, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Richter's comic genre hybrid comes complete with its own mythology, and team of established superheroes, and is curiously appealing.

    Aug 16, 2007 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It violates every rule of storytelling and narrative structure in creating a self-contained world of its own.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Buckaroo Banzai may well turn out to be a pilot film for other theatrical features, though this one would be hard to top for pure, nutty fun.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • This is a chaotic, notably unfunny science-fiction spoof.

    Jan 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Just how much one will be able to jibe with Buckaroo Banzai will hinge on whether or not you're willing to buy into the movie's unabashed lunacy.

    Feb 28, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

  • May 10, 2015
    crazy high concept film that died a horrible death at the box office thanks to some mishandling by the studio when it came to marketing. I really enjoyed the film and would've loved to have seen the sequel had the film done well enough. The cast is impressive and just how this film was made is really impressive. I had to hunt this film down and was extremely happy when the credits arrived, just watching that title credits alone is worth the watch. Peter Weller you have always been one of my favourite actors, criminally underrated.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2012
    Cult movies are called that because they appeal a small niche of viewers whose adoration borders on obsession. The <i>Buckaroo Banzai</i> cultists have to be among the most inscrutable; I have kept an open mind for brainwashing three times and have deflected each attempt, never managing to complete a single indoctrination. I haven't ruled out a fourth salvo yet though.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2012
    I hate to give anything a negative review that features the likes of Peter Weller and John Lithgow so prominently, but this film is kind of a disaster. I'm not opposed to camp, but it should actually be funny instead of just awkward.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2012
    Insane Dr. Lizado and his alien allies try to steal the secret of eighth dimensional travel from neurosurgeon/secret agent Buckaroo Banzai and his band of rock and roll scientists. It's pleasantly campy and crazy and features some great throwaway lines; the one problem is that star Peter Weller is far too reserved to play the larger-than-life Buckaroo. Jeff Goldblum is underutilized as a New Jersey cowboy sidekick; if the casting department had switched Weller and Glodblum's roles they could have made a masterpiece.
    Greg S Super Reviewer

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