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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Once upon a time, Buck Howard spent his days in the limelight. His mind-boggling feats as a mentalist extraordinaire – not to be confused with those of a mere magician - earned him a marquee act in Vegas and 61 appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. In his own humble opinion, his talents go far beyond simple sleight of hand – he can read minds and hypnotize not just a single soul but an entire room of people! But nowadays, it’s clear to everyone but Buck that his act has lost its luster; he performs in faded community centers and hasn’t sold out a theater in years. Yet, with a hearty handshake and a trademark “I love this town!,” Buck Howard perseveres, confident in his own celebrity, convinced his comeback is imminent. He just needs a new road manager and personal assistant. As it turns out, recent law school drop-out and unemployed, would-be writer Troy Gable needs a job and a purpose. Working for the pompous, has-been mentalist fills the former requirement, but how it satisfies the latter is questionable, especially to his father, who still assumes Troy is in law school. Nonetheless, with the aid of a fiery publicist and a bold stroke of fate, Buck surprisingly lands back into the American consciousness, taking Troy along for the ride of his life. As the coveted spotlight again shines on the great Buck Howard, Buck becomes the unlikeliest of teachers as Troy learns a few tricks he couldn’t possibly have picked up in law school. (Magnolia Pictures) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Patrick Parker
    88
    You might not bust a gut laughing, but Malkovich’s performance alone is worth the 90-minutes required to watch it.
  3. Doesn't allow the story's considerable nostalgia and sentimentality to overwhelm it.
  4. 67
    The story is slight and somewhat less than engaging, despite nice supporting turns from Emily Blunt and Ricky Jay.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    60
    An affectionate though flawed comedy.
  6. 50
    A suitable mainstream vehicle for Malkovich's bruised aloofness.
  7. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    50
    Laughs? Schmaltz? Life lessons? They're all there in Sean McGinly's pleasantly lackadaisical script, but not in such abundance that they seem reason enough to see the film.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Sep 6, 2010
    7
    The InstaFlicka Index 3.5/5 ----- The InstaFlicka Podcast Doing our part to help you by watching the NetFlix Instant Queue until our eyes bleed.
    http://instaflicka.squarespace.com/
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