Buster's Mal Heart (2017) Rami Malek

Buster’s Mal Heart

2016 ‧ Mystery/Drama film ‧ 1h 36m
An eccentric mountain man is haunted by a recurring dream of being lost at sea. He discovers that the dream is real and that he is, in fact, one man in two bodies.

In the first few minutes of the film, we watch Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) running across a snow-covered landscape, chased into a cave by armed authorities. This fellow on the lam is Buster, a reclusive mountain man who has become somewhat of an urban myth while evading the law for many years.

We then go back ten days to watch a far more haggard Buster—a less recognizable Malek with long hair and beard, looking more like a member of grunge band Soundgarden—as he’s settling into one of the abandoned vacation homes he uses for shelter. We also see Buster in a similar state sitting in a boat in the middle of a body of water, clearly starving. We’ll get back to that.

We then witness another version of this man as he works the night shift at a desolate motel in the middle of nowhere. This is Jonah, a family man with a beautiful wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) and an adorable young daughter (Sukha Belle Potter). Money is tight, and Jonah needs to put up with the late-night hours and his annoying boss, although he’d much rather spend time with his family. One night, a mysterious man, played by DJ Qualls, shows up at the motel looking for a place to crash. The two of them start plotting a way to make money by robbing the motel’s other tenants, even though it’s obvious Jonah can’t trust him.


Grim psychological thriller crossed with dark indie comedy, wrapped in arthouse speculative fiction.


In one of three tenuously connected parallel storylines, a mountain man named Buster (Malek) survives by breaking into empty vacation homes while ranting about Y2K to radio shows and phone-sex operators.

Release date: April 28, 2017 (USA)

Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Screenplay: Sarah Adina Smith
Production companies: Gamechanger Films, Snowfort Pictures
Producers: Travis Stevens, Jonako Donley


Rami Malek
Kate Lyn Sheil
DJ Qualls
Teresa Yenque
Bruce Bundy
Ranger Meg

Buster’s Mal Heart, Reviews

2016 film

Buster’s Mal Heart (2017) – Rotten Tomatoes

Rating: 63% – ‎16 reviews

Full Review… Edward Douglas. Film Journal International. Buster’s Mal Heart is magical realist and arthouse conventional in a lot of ways, but it …

Buster’s Mal Heart Movie Review (2017) | Roger Ebert

Rating: 3/4 – ‎Review by Glenn Kenny

A genuinely noteworthy picture that deserves an audience.

Review: Rami Malek as a Drifter With a Past in ‘Buster’s Mal Heart …

A version of this review appears in print on April 28, 2017, on Page C9 of the New York edition with the headline: Buster’s Mal Heart.

Buster’s Mal Heart is three short stories with one mind-bending twist …

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special-event releases. Buster’s Mal Heart …

‘Buster’s Mal Heart’ Review: Rami Malek’s Surreal Thriller | Variety

An unusual movie like “Buster’s Mal Heart” demands an unusual star, and Rami Malek proves an ideal fit for Sarah Adina Smith’s sophomore …

Buster’s Mal Heart · Film Review Before Mr. Robot, Rami Malek signed …

Buster’s Mal Heart is indie sci-fi at its most abstract, taking elements of more populist, influential films like Fight Club and The Matrix and filtering …

‘Buster’s Mal Heart’ Review | Hollywood Reporter

‘Mr. Robot’s’ Rami Malek plays multiple roles (sort of) in ‘Buster’s Mal Heart,’ Sarah Adina Smith’s study of paranoia and loss.

Review: ‘Buster’s Mal Heart’ Is A Strangely Charming Headscratcher

Buster’s Mal Heart premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival where thisreview was written. There are generally two kinds of …

Buster’s Mal Heart Reviews – Metacritic

Rating: 61% – ‎10 votes

Buster’s Mal Heart movie reviews & Metacritic score: Buster (Rami Malek) was once Jonah, a hard-working husband and father whose job as the night-shift conci .

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