The Great Buck Howard (2008)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  10 April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 11,471 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 43 user | 81 critic | 25 from

A young man, much to the chagrin of his father, becomes the new assistant to an illusionist in decline.



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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Darricarrere ...
Restaurant Manager
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When a law school dropout answers an advertisement to be a personal assistant he unknowingly signs on to work for a belligerent has-been magician struggling to resurrect his career. This leads to a journey across the country staging the comeback of a lifetime. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Greatness is a state of mind. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mente que Mente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$115,004 (USA) (20 March 2009)


$748,363 (USA) (3 July 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Real-life father and son Tom Hanks and Colin Hanks also play father and son in the movie. See more »


While Buck and Troy are being driven around Cincinnati, you can see palm trees out the back and side windows of the limo. See more »


Buck Howard: That's distilled water. I'm not an iron.
See more »


References The John Davidson Show (1980) See more »


What the World Needs Now
Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Performed by John Malkovich
See more »

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User Reviews

I Loved This Movie!!!!
26 March 2009 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

This was a very good comedy, well written and acted. The dialog was witty, the plot kept the pace going, and the character development was very good. Buck Howard (John Malkovich) is an "Amazing Kreskin" type magician who hires an assistant named Troy (Colin Hanks)to help him out while on the road, playing small venues in small towns. Troy is a law school dropout who decides to pursue a career in show business, against the wishes of his father (played by Tom Hanks in a brief role). Buck Howard had been a bigger star in the past, playing on Johnny Carson 61 times, but recently had been down on his luck.

Troy tells the story (Nick Carraway like) of Howard's life on the road, his unlikely comeback, and his fall back to earth. Along the way, we are introduced to Valerie, a publicity agent, excellently portrayed by Emily Blunt. Troy and Valerie become romantically involved, which makes Buck jealous, of whom specifically is unclear. Everyone in the movie seems curious as to Buck's sexual orientation: is he gay or not? Nobody knows for sure.

There were numerous cameo appearances by notable celebrities throughout the movie and Steve Zahn put in a hilarious performance as one of Buck's devoted fans.

This was a very funny movie, and I enjoyed it a lot. I'd recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good comedy.

37 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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