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An aging societal outcast and a motherless duck set out to find shelter and meaning in a future where people are separated by as many degrees as they are connected. The year is 2009, and the last public park in Los Angeles has been closed to the public. The city is a desert, and dispossessed widower Arthur Pratt (Philip Baker Hall) has outlived his usefulness. A retired history professor who spent all of his savings caring for his beloved late wife, Arthur sets out to the park where his son and dearly departed are buried to pay his final respects before ending his own life. Arthur's grim… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"We weren't particularly affected by Arthur's encounters with various strangers along the way. We think we know why: For the most part, we found ourselves watching a grown actor pretend to have a special connection. With a duck."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"There isn't much to it, but this odd little road movie from writer-director Nic Bettauer does boast a sincere charm, and fine performances from its two leading actors."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"...a thoughtful look at who we might be and what we can be, with just a little tenderness that remains embedded in the heart for a long time after."
‑ Rory L. Aronsky, Film Threat
"Whimsical, quirky, strangely endearing road movie - and certainly unique!"
‑ Susan Granger,
"Philip Baker Hall throws himself into the role ever so convincingly opposite his anthropomorphized companion in a manner reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart with his imaginary 6-foot tall rabbit in Harvey, and Tom Hanks with Wilson the volleyball in Cast Away."
‑ Kam Williams, Denver Urban Spectrum
"Writer-director Nic Bettauer can't decide whether to play Duck for tears or laughs."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"There are precedents for this kind of old-coot-and-adorable-pet cinema, but the director, a USC film grad, demonstrates little in the way of keenness or even sentimentality."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"Hosts a promising premise and some pretty interesting dialogue in spurts. But as the tail waddles across Los Angeles the originally agile storytelling suffers some bumps."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"The movie is about as interesting as a duck would be as a pet."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"Buried somewhere in this messy, strange and occasionally affecting film is an interesting idea -- perhaps even a good one. But what's on screen in DUCK also veers into territory that is precious and even boring."
‑ Ted Murphy, Murphy's Movie Reviews
"Much of the journey becomes redundant, and the film likely would have been more effective as a 20-minute short."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"The filmmaker is good with actors, and in Hall, she has a lead with such innate authority that you can't take your eyes off him, even when he's manhandling flapping waterfowl."
‑ Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly
"A series of stagy vignettes that never builds to a point."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"Possessed of one of the most hangdog faces in Hollywood, Hall meshes expertly with the movie's hopeful sadness. That we watch him toting a live duck around without once losing his dignity -- or breaking out in laughter -- has to count for something."
‑ Evan Henerson, Los Angeles Daily News
"The strangest movie to reach theaters in many moons, at least the strangest since Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Duck on Rotten Tomatoes