Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: 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 their 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. (Sundance Selects) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 6, 2011
    Buck is a movie to be revisited again and again, like passages from a satisfying self-help book. Riding experience isn't necessary to realize how extraordinary this man and his calling are.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 18, 2011
    The riders who appear in Buck seem almost uniformly exalted by their contact with Brannaman and his methods.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 16, 2011
    In some sense it was beauty that saved Mr. Brannaman, that of his conscience and that of horses, which, having been tied to humans long ago, became companions, workers and for some, as this lovely movie shows, saviors.
  4. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jun 16, 2011
    Soft-spoken and stoical, Brannaman is a firm but sensitive presence in front of the camera and facing down a spooked horse.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 22, 2011
    What I was left with was the goodness of Buck Brannaman as a man. He was dealt a hand that might have destroyed him. He overcame his start and is now a wise and influential role model. He does unto horses as he wishes his father had done onto him.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Jun 14, 2011
    Meehl finds the real story in Brannaman's fractured past as a child celebrity trick-roper who, along with his older brother, Smokie, was systematically abused by his alcoholic father.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jun 13, 2011
    Life lessons abound in Buck, most of them tied to endlessly reiterated comparisons between man and horse.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jul 17, 2011
    Truly this is great movie for all ages. It has a unique style of a movie with a critical look at the side of the animal as part of our lives. The acting is a real pleasure to watch with the reality of both living and helping others to help themselves and their animals fit together in our lives. The family aspect was vital in making and location filming adds so much to its poignancy. Each member of the family with Buck work together and become a important force for each family and animal they help. Outstanding filming and narration from friends, coworkers, put this movie into the top 10 of the year for me. Hope it can get vital distribution throughout the country. A screen gem ! 5 out 5 for me Expand
  2. Jul 2, 2011
    A good documentary is entertaining, educational, informative and usually makes you leave the theater thinking long after the movie has ended. While many documentaries have a political or moral stance, it is the rare documentary that fulfills all of the criteria for a good documentary, yet really has no purpose other than to enlighten. "Buck," is the documentary of real-life horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, his path to the life he chose, the lessons he learned as a child and how he took the right path as an adult in spite of his past.

    "Buck" was timely for me as it represented what is in my heart at the moment. Wanting to enjoy each moment as they come. Not dwell on the past. Turn the negative things that have happened to me into positive things for the future. While the documentary did serve to tell Buck's story, as well as give insight into the amazing work he does as a horse trainer, it did much more. It displayed immense insight into fatherhood, parenting, patience and living for the positive things in our short lives.

    While watching, I frequently thought of my estranged father-in-law, whom I believe would love this movie. Not only as a father, but also as a love for the roots of what makes a good cowboy.

    "Buck" is a beautifully shot film with a captivating, heartwarming, as well as heartbreaking, story. I couldn't encourage seeing it more.
  3. Jul 24, 2011
    I thought the movie was very real. Because it was real, it said a lot about the frailties of humans, even the frailties of Buck.
    horses, great characters, good cinematography. Expand
  4. Jun 26, 2013
    A truly inspiring emotional movie about a fascinating individual. Pulls at the heartstrings without pandering and is a nice little piece of Americana as well. Expand
  5. Aug 16, 2011
    Buck is someone we all should learn from, and a remarkable man. This movie doesn't quite do him justice. Unfortunately, this movie could have been culled down into an hour tv documentary and probably have been just as good. The producers may have borrowed from Buck a little too much and failed to plum the depths of the man, instead merely letting us hear a whisper of him. Expand