Uncle Buck (1989) Movie Review

Uncle Buck (1989)

Movie Review by Debbie Winkler


Starring: John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Macaulay Culkin, Amy Madigan
Director: John Hughes
Release Date: 16 August 1989
Language: English
Length: 100 minutes
Movie Rating: PG
View Format: TV
My Rating: 4/5 stars


“Comedy acting legend John Candy turns in a signature performance in this effort from director John Hughes as a notoriously irresponsible uncle left to care for his brother’s kids during a family crisis. Packed with a host of noteworthy supporting performances, the heartwarming family comedy also features Macaulay Culkin in an early career role shortly before his breakout turn in the Home Alone franchise.” — Netflix.com


I don’t know why I like this movie, but I have a fun time watching it every time it comes on TV.  John Candy is perfectly cast as the bumbling bachelor uncle who has a good heart, but just can’t quite get his life on track.  He kind of coasts through life until he ends up watching his brother’s children for a few weeks while they are out of town.  Buck meets his match in his precocious niece (Jean Louisa Kelly), though, who really challenges him to realize what is truly important in his life.  I thought that their battle of wits was really entertaining and, while Buck definitely embarrassed her more than she embarrassed him, both of them them had their moments.  I also loved Buck’s relationship with the two younger children (Gaby Hoffmann & Macaulay Culkin) who were just thrilled to have someone spend time with them and really pay attention to what they wanted to for once. While this movie is pretty funny, it also shows that children don’t really need the perfect parent, they just need someone who will listen to them and care for them to the best of their ability.

This movie is well cast and everyone does a good job.  The three kids do a great job acting in this film, especially the younger actors.  They are just so cute!  With some fun and entertaining music cues, an old car with a personality all its own, and a loser boyfriend thrown into the mix, this movie is a fun choice for family night.  There is something for children of all ages and adults will have a fun time watching this one too!  Take the time to catch it on TV or rent it in the older section at your local store.


This movie features some crude humor, drunk clowns, a lecherous boyfriend trying to go all the way with his girlfriend, betting on horse races, trying to get out of work, underage drinking, and silly situations.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Filed under Comedy Movies

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