The Great Buck Howard

Movie information

Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested (Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) -- Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference.
Released on:
March 20, 2009 (limited)

Production Companies:
Bristol Bay Productions, Playtone
Magnolia Pictures

Status: Released

Colin Hanks, John Malkovich, B.J. Hendricks, Emily Blunt, Tom Hanks, Griffin Dunne, Patrick Fischler

Director: Sean McGinly

Screenwriter: Sean McGinly

Genre: Comedy
About the film:
Once upon a time, Buck Howard (John Malkovich) 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 (Colin Hanks) 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 (Tom Hanks), who still assumes Troy is in law school. Nonetheless, with the aid of a fiery publicist (Emily Blunt) 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.
Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference.
Box Office: Opening weekend: $115,004 (55 theaters) | Domestic Total: $750,587
Reviews: Fresh or Rotten? See reviews for this film at

comments powered by Disqus