MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 280 this week

Howard the Duck (1986)

4.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.5/10 from 27,028 users  
Reviews: 248 user | 60 critic

A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invader.

Director:

Writers:

(Marvel comics character: Howard the Duck), , 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 25 Oct 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 29 Dec 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Howard the Duck (1986)

Howard the Duck (1986) on IMDb 4.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Howard the Duck.

User Polls

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Cocoon (1985)
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn
Men in Black (1997)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A streetwise NYPD detective joins a secret organization that polices extraterrestrial affairs on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino
Innerspace (1987)
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Michael and Ellie break into a military junkyard to find a science project for Michael's class, and discover a strange glowing orb which absorbs electricity. When the orb begins to blend ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan R. Betuel
Stars: John Stockwell, Danielle von Zerneck, Fisher Stevens
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Forever Young (1992)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel McCormick wants to be frozen for a year so that he doesn't have to watch his love lying... See full summary »

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The alumni cast of a cult space TV show have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.

Director: Dean Parisot
Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Turtles and the Shredder battle once again, this time for the last cannister of the ooze that created the Turtles, which Shredder wants to create an army of new mutants.

Director: Michael Pressman
Stars: Paige Turco, David Warner, Michelan Sisti
Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985... without interfering with his first trip.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension.

Director: W.D. Richter
Stars: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Howard T. Duck (voice)
Tim Rose ...
Steve Sleap ...
Peter Baird ...
Mary Wells ...
Lisa Sturz ...
...
...
Liz Sagal ...
Ronette, Cherry Bomb
...
Cal, Cherry Bomb
...
K.C., Cherry Bomb (as Holly Robinson)
Edit

Storyline

A scientific experiment unknowingly brings extraterrestrial life forms to the Earth through a laser beam. First is the cigar smoking drake Howard from the duck's planet. A few kids try to keep him from the greedy scientists and help him back to his planet. But then a much less friendly being arrives through the beam... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

laser | duck | singer | planet | alien | See more »

Taglines:

Trapped in a world he never made. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard the Duck  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$16,295,774 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to reports at the time of the movie's release, George Lucas was heavily in debt (having just built the $50-million Skywalker Ranch complex) and was counting on this film to get him back in the black. When it bombed, he was forced to start selling off assets to stay afloat. His friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer, offered to help by buying Lucasfilm's newly-launched CGI animation division for a price well above market value, and Lucas, in desperate straits and thankful for the assistance, agreed. That division eventually become Pixar Animation Studios. See more »

Goofs

Too many errors about nuclear reactors to list. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jenning: [setting fire to the diner] If you can't take the heat, get out of that kitchen!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Designing Women: Howard the Date (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Anxiety Montage
(uncredited)
Written by Carl Stalling and Raymond Scott
Performed by the Carl Stalling Project
Original recording produced by Leon Schlesinger and Chuck Jones
1986 mix produced by Hal Willner for Deep Creek Productions and Greg Ford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I'm going to be kind reviewing this one.
12 February 2003 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

HOWARD THE DUCK is one of those movies you have to see to believe.

A whopping boondoggle of sheer notoriety that replaced HEAVEN'S GATE as The Most Embarrassing Miscalculation In Hollywood History, this flick immediately humanized George Lucas; it proved that even he could make a bomb. And that's one of the things that makes it so fascinating--you just sit there, wondering what on earth the man was thinking.

I'm not going to write this with any intent of sarcastically ripping it to shreds, though. I'm going to attempt to both be fair and to express my opinion of it at the same time, mainly because I know that there *are* some folks out there who enjoy it for various reasons.

I'll be honest with you, the moment I heard Lucas was doing this film months in advance (and even then I was convinced the guy telling me was kidding until I saw an article for it in the paper), I rolled my eyes with disgust and didn't see it in the theatres. I saw it when a friend later rented it out of curiosity after it was rushed to video.

So what was it that suddenly possessed me to watch it? Well, I found out that my cousin was in it. You see, my cousin's name is Debbie Carrington (a.k.a. Debbie Lee Carrington), who was an Ewok in RETURN OF THE JEDI as well as a slew of other things, including but not limited to MEN IN BLACK, CAPTAIN EO, TOTAL RECALL (where she got to get on a table in a blonde wig and blast people with a machine gun) and on THE DREW CAREY SHOW ("Mini-Mimi"). So, naturally, I wanted to see this one because I learned of her involvement in it after the fact.

Most people loathe this film, but some like it simply because it's *so* weird in its badness while others genuinely love it for whatever reason. And that's okay. Actually, I kind of got a kick out of it and all its silliness the first time I saw it. We tried to watch it a second time, though, and were bored by it half the way through.

I just now saw it again for the first time since then.

One of the most bizarre things about this movie is how cheap it looks. For all the gobs of cash wasted on it (a record sum), HOWARD THE DUCK looks terrible. And no, I'm not talking about just the duck costume; I'm talking about the overall film, which looks exactly like a low-budget special made for television. Seriously, that's exactly how it looks, and I have no clue as to where the budget went to. I once wondered if it was used to desperately convince the stars involved to be in it, but I doubt it.

And meanwhile... speaking of the stars, I've got to hand it to Lea Thompson. Despite all the oddness here and all the stuff she is asked to do, she handles it all like a real trooper. In fact, this may be the bravest performance she's ever done, especially the bed scene. It also apparently didn't kill her career, thank God. Even though her character isn't at all fitting for a Big City Punkette, critics have nevertheless pointed out that she's still appealing here in her role as Beverly, and I agree. Meanwhile, Jeffery Jones gives quite possibly the strangest performance he's ever done, which is also an oddly effective one.

The biggest problem with the film is its mechanically coy, self-conscious script that has commercialized to death all of the original comic's appeal out of the final result (so what ELSE is new, Hollywood? ;) ). The movie can't decide whether it wants to follow the original concept or sweeten it up to supposedly appeal to a wider audience, and it is badly confused as a result. The movie desperately wants to protect its investment, so much so that the life has been choked out of it. Also, it has a *huge* amount of blah, unimaginatively generic lines ("No more Mr. Nice Duck", "You'll never get away with this", etc.).

But these days, it does have a ridiculous kind of flaky charm, partially because it's such an unbelievable anti-achievement and because it's so incredibly Eighties that it serves as a strong time capsule. And for those reasons and more, HOWARD THE DUCK has earned a place in twentieth century culture.


98 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So bad, it's bad gavbrown01
Never understood the hate.. shadys_dreams-953-80708
Pack Mentality thomas_e_clarke69
So bad it's good? kristinjohnston04
This would have been better as an animated film Coolindude
25th Anniversary! Where's the Blu-Ray?! aRealCoolGuy
Discuss Howard the Duck (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?