Chuck & Buck


Top 40% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2000 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Mike White, Chris Weitz, Lupe Ontiveros, Beth Colt, Paul Weitz

Non-Cast Credits

Miguel Arteta, Matthew Greenfield, Scott Cort, Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Mike White, Chuy Chavez, Jeff Betancourt, Pam Martin, Renee Davenport, Joey Waronker, Tony Maxwell


Chuck and Buck were once "best friends", a relationship that means so much to children but fades once the innocence that formed it is gone. For Buck this innocence has never gone away. His interests are infantile, his pursuits are childish. He is twenty-seven years old but still lives with his mother. When she dies, reality crashes in on him. Stubbornly resistant to change and incredibly immature, he cannot cope.

Chuck reappears in Buck's life when he shows up at the funeral. Buck fixates on him, so much so that he follows Chuck to Los Angeles, where he has established a successful life. A fast-rising executive in the music industry and engaged, he is living the American Dream. Buck's insistence on things being the way they were quickly erodes their relationship to the point where Chuck must confront and reckon with his past.

The ambiguities relating to how, where, and why lines are crossed are what make the film so richly complex. Chuck & Buck challenges viewers to face their own prejudices and need to comply with society. Creating characters who fail to meet the expectations of either the protagonist or antagonist, Chuck & Buck is an unsettling examination of what happens when innocence is lost and when it is unreasonably retained.

Director Miguel Arteta returns to Sundance (his film Star Maps also played in the 1997 Festival) with a completely different, yet equally remarkable, film. Chuck & Buck solidifies his reputation as a unique voice creating fresh and sometimes disturbing portraits that strike chords of self-examination, wonder and dismay.


Trevor Groth (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.