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Review: Buck

By TOM MEEK  |  June 24, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Ostensibly, Cindy Meehl's documentary may focus on the exploits of horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, but it also relates a tale of perseverance. Brannaman is a horseman in every sense of the word — he's got the name, chaps, a ten-gallon hat, and a Sam Elliot drawl. He spends most of the year putting on clinics across the country to enlighten others about his practice, which is to not to "break" a horse per se, but to communicate with it on its own terms. His fame inspired the novel The Horse Whisperer, and he served as a consultant on the film as well. A rangy Robert Redford even checks in to testify to Brannaman's skill, but the film's most moving moments recount Brannaman's abusive father and the murderous stud (a neglected animal that attacks humans) he pacifies. Brannaman's methods impress, and his humanity more so.


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