Bernie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bernie Reviews

May 25, 2012
"Bernie' isn't a monumental film, but it is a finely tuned character study with some nice innovations.
Full Review | Original Score: B
May 24, 2012
The question of why the law must always be upheld, regardless of consequences, gives this light, amiable movie a surprising heft and weight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 18, 2012
Bernie has chuckles, but it's hardly riotous. And this is a good thing.
May 18, 2012
Propelled by a perfectly cast trio of stars whose eccentricities shine in singular character roles, Bernie is charmer.
May 18, 2012
Black is terrific. Rather than winking at the audience, he plays Bernie as a guy who's thoroughly unaware that there's anything unconventional about his behavior.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 18, 2012
"Bernie" unfolds into many equally rich narrative strands: love story, southern Gothic slice-of-life and, finally tragedy and legal thriller...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 17, 2012
Linklater's a glider, not a pile-driver; he hangs back when other directors prefer to bore in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 17, 2012
It allows director Richard Linklater to explore his own roots while telling a remarkable real-life story, something too crazy for anyone to make up.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
May 17, 2012
It's a darkly funny, irresistible film - and one with a masterful performance at its center.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 17, 2012
The movie's bright and endearing and surprisingly lacking in a point. I wish I liked it better, but it's a start.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 17, 2012
A one-of-a-kind comedy based on the real homicide of an innocent old lady.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 17, 2012
[A] weirdly funny, inspiring film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 17, 2012
Some of the best performances come from real-life residents of Carthage as they share their recollections on camera.
May 17, 2012
A dead-solid-perfect depiction of small-town life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 17, 2012
Bernie isn't a particularly likeable guy and Black's opaque performance never lets us get beneath the surface to find a character we might actually care about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
May 11, 2012
Linklater, admirably unconcerned about how his film can be categorized, has made a comedy, a drama and most certainly a character study.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 3, 2012
Watching Bernie is a little like sitting on a shady front porch and gossiping with the town tattlers.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
May 3, 2012
I had to forget what I knew about Black. He creates this character out of thin air, it's like nothing he's done before, and it proves that an actor can be a miraculous thing in the right role.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 2, 2012
Has a little bit of an East Texas Fargo feel. Jack Black gives one of his best performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
May 1, 2012
A jovial yet gracefully told tale.
April 28, 2012
The wonder of Black's performance here is its empathy and balance: inasmuch as he can disappear into any role, he dissolves into this one with no hint of mocking remove. It's a beautiful thing to see.
April 28, 2012
A movie that may not ultimately add up to much, but which is filled with wonderfully odd details of weird Americana.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 27, 2012
Much more than a macabre true-crime tale: It's a story of thwarted love, not between two people, but between a man and a whole town.
April 27, 2012
It's a gentle, light-fingered horror story, and it rightfully leaves us as bewildered as the denizens of Carthage.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
April 27, 2012
Linklater clearly has no idea why the man did what he did. But then, Bernie probably didn't either.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
April 27, 2012
Jack Black gives the performance of his career in the title role of "Bernie"...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 26, 2012
A true-life Texas tale so perfectly told it seems more like eavesdropping than moviegoing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 26, 2012
A sordid, bleak tale about two lonely people drawn to each other like colliding planets.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
April 26, 2012
The movie itself, a partly true and cheerfully embellished account of a Texas murder case, presents a case of narrative drift.
April 26, 2012
As played by Jack Black, in an award-caliber performance, Bernie is everything you'd want in a friend. The movie is a one-of-a-kind inspiration.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 26, 2012
A true-crime story where the real mystery isn't what happened, but the bizarre context for the murder and the collective madness of a town that couldn't accept it at face value.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
April 25, 2012
You would be hard pressed to find a film that feels more true to a reporter's experience of an event. This isn't necessarily a good thing, at least not cinematically.
April 25, 2012
All those twangy, homespun observations interrupt and annotate the narrative until Black and MacLaine's scenes start to feel as trivial as reenactments on a true-crime TV show.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
April 25, 2012
Even at its most charming as a defense of small-town eccentrics and Texas-style legal process, the film plays a little slowly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 25, 2012
Throughout, there's a tension of real life and fiction, and a pervading sense that fiction has little chance of matching the real thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 25, 2012
I, for one, eagerly await the sequel to Bernie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 24, 2012
Taking its time with a flavorful middle section, the movie builds into a true-crime treat; some will think of Fargo (apt, but this movie is gentler), others, the documentaries of Werner Herzog.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
April 24, 2012
A chafing, rock-in-the-shoe kind of movie -- and I mean this as a compliment.
April 23, 2012
Linklater has made a smart movie, with a mordant satirical edge, but he almost falls victim to his own sense of authenticity.
June 17, 2011
Pitch-perfect performances by Shirley MacLaine and an unusually restrained Jack Black hold together this offbeat true-crime saga, but Linklater's keen eye for human eccentricity flowers most memorably on the periphery.
June 17, 2011
A splendid performance by Jack Black distinguishes this overly mild look at a 1990s Texas murder.