The Great Buck Howard (2008)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  10 April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 11,464 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The way Buck Howard finds his check at the end of his show is not the way The Amazing Kreskin (on whose career the movie is loosely based) used and still uses. The method was depicted differently probably for dramatic purposes. 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 »


Troy Gable: Dad, what are you doing here?
Mr. Gable: I was gonna ask you the same question.
See more »


References The Matrix (1999) See more »


Tonite Show with Jay Leno
Written and Performed by Branford Marsalis
Courtesy of NBC Studios, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable story about "B" celebs
8 March 2009 | by (Tacoma, WA) – See all my reviews

This could be the story about so many "B" level celebrities, and is based on the life story of the "Amazing Kresken," The Great Buck Howard tells us that once you enter the field of entertainment, you might do anything to stay on top.

Buck Howard (played wonderfully cheesy by John Malkovich) is a "mentalist" who was popular on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," appearing 61 times. He is a classic 70s Vegas magician, doing fascinating tricks and metal feats of amazement. In all, he is a relic of decades past, entertainment without special effects and he still seems to think he is on top of the entertainment world.

Howard's career has has hit near the bottom, performing in such hotbeds as Bakersfield, CA and Akron, OH in front of partially filled small auditoriums. Still, he see's himself as a big time entertainer that is just not getting the break he needs to get back on top (much of which he blames on Jay Leno), in many ways he is a sad individual and does not get that the only people who enjoy him are almost as sad as him.

The story is told through the eyes of his traveling secretary, played by Colin Hanks, who is, himself, struggling with issues. He is battling his desires to become famous with his fathers (played by his real dad Tom Hanks)wish he become a lawyer. since he has no real talent (other than writing)he is breaking into entertainment the only way he sees possible.

This is a charming film, not something for those looking for action, a major love story (a minor one occurs between Colin and the beautiful Emily Blunt (best known as the 1st assistant in The Devil Wears Prada), or some major personal victory, although in the end, Howard does find what makes him happy.

This is a movie that likely describes the life of many "B" entertainers that are seeking to stay in a limelight that has moved away from them. it is simple and enjoyable.

41 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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