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The Great Buck Howard Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Not great. Just not bad. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A warm, amiable glimpse at the end of the showbiz road.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A bit of a throwback, a nostalgic, easygoing Capra-esque comedy that should appeal to both youthful and older audiences.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I firmly believe such illusions are never the result of psychic powers, but I am fascinated by them, anyway. The wisdom of this film, directed and written by Sean McGinly, is to never say.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Great Buck Howard reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Offbeat magic comedy isn't likely to get kids' attention.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this eccentric comedy is fairly tame when it comes to language and nudity, it's probably not on most kids' radar. Still, tweens and teens who are into magic might actually find it interesting, though the movie's life lesson -- love what you do -- doesn't always come across clearly. Expect a bit of drinking and kissing, as well as some loud arguments and rudeness and tantrums from the main character.

  • Families can talk about who the movie's target audience is. It's rated PG, but does that automatically mean that it's for kids?
  • Is there a good message to take away from the movie?
  • What, if anything, does Troy learn from Buck -- and vice versa?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A once-successful magician has delusions of grandeur that don't befit his humbler career. He's sometimes rude and pompous and condescending to fans. He also insults his employees and is blindingly self-important. Overall, the movie's message is to love what you do, though it doesn't always come across loud and clear.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Buck throws things around and sometimes has meltdowns. Some loud arguments.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A girl with a boyfriend hooks up with a co-worker; they kiss and presumably sleep together, but there's no graphic love scene.

  • language false1

    Language: Fairly mild: "nitwit," "stupid," "suck," "butt."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Lots of name-checking: Johnny Carson, George Takei, Sally Jessy Raphael, Jerry Springer, Jay Leno. Some clips of Buck on TRL, The Daily Show, and Live With Regis and Kelly. An issue of Entertainment Weekly figures prominently.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A girl guzzles liquor from a hotel mini-bar. Some social drinking.