26 user 39 critic

Buster's Mal Heart (2016)

Unrated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 23 May 2017 (USA)
2:12 | Trailer

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A family man's chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter leaves him on the run from the police and an impending event known as The Inversion.


3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sukha Belle Potter ...
Deputy Winston
Ranger Meg
Mrs. Bowery
Mr. Bowery
R.J. Burns ...
Ryan (as RJ Burns)
Gabriel Clark ...
Bill Western
Morning Shift Concierge


The film follows a mountain man on the run from authorities who survives the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes. He's haunted by a recurring dream of being lost at sea and constantly has flashbacks of his former life of a family man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Inversion is Coming


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 May 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buster két élete  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,137, 28 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$72,622, 7 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Described by director Sarah Adina Smith as a mix of "Donnie Darko" and "Bad Santa" See more »


Jonah tells the stranger that all the hotel's rooms are non-smoking, and that he has to have a credit card to book a room. In the mid-1990s, when the film is set, most hotels (especially in small towns) still had both smoking and non-smoking rooms. Also at that time, most smaller hotels would accept cash without a credit card. See more »

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User Reviews

Well made, but it left things just a little too unexplained for my tastes.
23 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

'BUSTER'S MAL HEART': Four Stars (Out of Five)

An indie mystery about a mentally unstable mountain man, and former family man, who now survives by breaking into empty vacation homes, while he constantly warns others (on talk radio) about an upcoming 'Inversion' at the change of the millennium. It was written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, and it stars Rami Malek (in his first starring film role), Toby Huss, Kate Lyn Sheil and DJ Qualls. The movie had it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it's received mostly positive reviews from critics. I found it to be bizarrely interesting, and for the most part pretty well made, but it also left things just a little too unexplained for my tastes.

The film opens with a mountain man, Buster (Malek), desperately trying to escape the authorities that are chasing him. He makes it to the top of a mountain, where the film then flashes back to his past as a family man, with a wife (Sheil) and daughter (Sukha Belle Potter). He also recollects on his time breaking into empty vacation homes, and calling into radio shows ranting about an upcoming 'Inversion' (at the turn of the millennium). Buster also has multiple visions of being lost at sea. As a viewer we have to interpret what's real, what isn't, and when and where it's all taking place.

The film is definitely bizarre and interesting, and I was always curious of where it was leading to. I think the acting is good in the film (especially Malek in the lead) and Smith is obviously a very talented filmmaker. I was just hoping for a little more from the conclusion. I don't need everything explained to me in a film, but I don't like everything to be left a question mark either. I'm sure some viewers will think they understand it, but I think most of the film is entirely left up to individual interpretation. If you like that type of movie you'll probably love it, I'm not a huge fan of the genre though.

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