So much for story. The Great is essentially a character study with a peek at old time, small time theater entertainment, an indie sheep in studio clothing. John Malkovich makes Buck Howard believable, but not enjoyable. His commitment to playing Howard as a petty egomaniac may actually kill the picture. It just doesn't seem all that important when Buck responds to Troy's doubt with yet another successful demonstration of his signature effect, a performance that amazes Troy along with the small town audience and shows that Buck is right where he belongs. Colin Hanks is unobjectionable, but he just doesn't add enough to make the picture go. Watson shines in a role that's less than pivotal.
Stay home. Rent only if you are committed to viewing the entire Malkovich cannon.