Film » Film Capsules

The Great Buck Howard

by

comment
As a down-on-his-luck, Kreskin-style mentalist reduced to performing his “effects” for easily impressed old biddies in nondescript hick towns, John Malkovich delivers a bravura comic performance that’s richer and funnier than the material deserves. Written and directed by Sean McGinly, the film putters along amiably without ever quite delivering on its solid-gold premise. Yet Malkovich is such an irrepressible force of nature — he commands the screen like nobody’s business and makes Buck’s prima-donna act strangely endearing — that it’s easy to cut it some slack. Providing charming back-up support to Malkovich’s tour de force are Colin Hanks and The Devil Wears Prada scene-stealer Emily Blunt as, respectively, Buck’s wet-behind-the-ears assistant and his no-nonsense publicist. As Hanks’ dad, co-producer Tom Hanks turns up briefly for two killer scenes that hint at the more fully realized movie this might have been if McGinly had given his script an additional polish. Cedar Lee Theatre. HHH

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.