Bernie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bernie Reviews

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½ October 14, 2016
Jack Black in a unique and surprising interesting role.
October 10, 2016
Gripping story, hilarious characters, never a dull moment. Jack Black is class. Bernie is brilliant.
½ October 4, 2016
A darkly charming hilarious film.
September 20, 2016
When looking good beyond the grave is as important as looking good for your funeral. When looking good doesn't matter when we enjoy so much looking good in our community whom we serve funerals for. When looking good doesn't matter as much when we have a voice of an angel.
September 12, 2016
Its humor is sly, but the film studders about halfway, the scene in the airplane in particular. We don't get to see the personality change and although we're shown the reasons, Bernie goes from generous to a dependent, shockingly quick.
August 21, 2016
Great movie very funny and anyone that lives within 100 miles of Carthage Texas can tell you exactly which of the people interviewed are actually for Carthage
August 13, 2016
amazing story, felt kind of too long when it was only 50 minutes in but i loved it, definitely better than any other movie about morticians turned into convicted murderers by killing an elderly woman names marjorie
½ August 7, 2016
Dark and funny. I think this movie is a little underrated
July 31, 2016
Bernie is a quiet, uncommonly engaging character study that benefits from Richard Linklater's authentic storytelling and an excellent performance by Jack Black.
July 22, 2016
Not an overly exciting or dramatic film. In fact, reading about the actual Bernie Tiede ended up being much more fascinating, even if this movie did seem to be an accurate story telling.
July 17, 2016
A very realistic portrayal of small town living combined with a strangely compelling dark comedy with a masterful and serious performance from Jack Black.
July 11, 2016
By far his [Jack Black] best performance.
½ July 4, 2016
Linklater's Bernie succeds thanks to Jack Black and a good narrative, but the story is not that good, or I feel that because its not told in the best of ways.
June 3, 2016
From a life-long Texan: They nailed small town Texas, specifically East Texas. They mentioned in some lines about how Texas could be 5 different states, which is factually correct as a condition of them joining the U.S. However, they correctly identify the differences in the regions. This important to the accuracy of portraying characters. In this manner, I feel they were quite good.
May 20, 2016
Great movie! Jack Blacks performance was amazing. Great film that is based on a true story. This movie does not fall short of being great. A movie that I will watch over and over again.
May 19, 2016
He was a backshooter.
May 16, 2016
A truly bizarre story, Jack Black does a good job portraying Bernie. I found myself lacking interest in the plot at points.
½ April 29, 2016
This is an interesting mix of documentary and biopic, to the point where they really blur the lines between the two. You start to lose touch with what is real and what is scripted. The reason is that it includes interviews with people who actually knew Bernie, but also shows the events that happened to him with people like Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles. I enjoyed the feel of this movie because it was so realistic, and Jack Black really disappears into the character of Bernie. You instantly can see why everyone in this small Texas town fell in love with Bernie, and I genuinely feel sorry for him. There was only one moment when the mask was pulled away and I said to myself "Oh, that's right, this is just Jack Black" and that is when Bernie finally breaks down in tears. That scene should have been somewhat stronger, but it came across as artificial and too similar to acting tricks I've seen from Jack Black in other films. Otherwise it was a really good performance. The story is structured in such a way that you can laugh at some parts, feel a thrilling tension in other parts, and potentially feel regret or sorrow. It's one of those movies based on real life where the true story almost seems perfectly built for a movie, because they keep you guessing "What will happen next?" The thing that I found weird is that the film was so small in scope that, at times I felt like I was just watching an episode of Unsolved Mysteries or some other TV true-crime show. But the structure is unique, and the story is interesting, therefore I would probably recommend it.
April 27, 2016
Really fun and fresh movie.
An interesting and thought-provoking plot.
Funny, entertaining, and educational.
Based on a true story.
April 24, 2016
While Jack Black finally came out of his closet (if one can call it that), Matthew McConaughey seems to be going for a record in playing an attorney's character. To make an entertaining movie about an elderly women's murder that does not have any criminal history or thriller elements associated with it is challenging, so the director Richard Linklater took a smart approach on his screenplay by establishing the characters and emotions around the event as testimonials by the citizens of the town which worked very well. Jack Black as always the one who steals the show only this time he wasn't himself, but as an actual another person.

Follows a true crime story involving Bernie Tiede (played by Jack Black) a mortician who is friendly and liked by the entire town, is very good at his job and the town is divided about his sexual orientation. Bernie meets Mrs Nugent (Shirley MacLaine) at her husband's funeral and as he always does tries to be friendly by visiting and bringing in gifts after the funeral. Mrs. Nugent who is very rich, lonely and hated by the entire community looks at him as a potential companion. Bernie being outgoing and friendly with everyone, Mrs. Nugent restricts his activities and metaphorically imprisons him to act upon her whims in her house. In one desperate moment, Bernie picks up a gun and shoots her in the back.
Bernie preserves her body in a freezer and keeps spending Mrs. Nugent's money for the church, school and anyone who needed anything while the suspicions keep arising from her financial manager. While everyone in town had no shred of doubt about Bernie's capability or intentions, the town's DA Danny Buck (Matthew McConaughey) thinks otherwise.

I felt the movie told a biased story towards Bernie (though the real man is serving his time and this is not going to do any good). It is very difficult to perceive that the old lady did not have anyone say one nice thing about her. However mean one person might be, after death that too in such circumstances, I believe it may not be like that in real life as shown in the movie.
A landmark role for Jack Black since he hasn't done anything like this before. Actually he hasn't done anything like anything else before other than being himself in all his movies. Especially some mannerisms using his hands or the way he walks is hilarious and incredible. Matthew McConaughey is neither new to play an attorney nor using a Texan accent, but there was some weird makeup and it took me sometime to make sure that was him. The tone of the movie was never depressing where most movies that are associated with true crimes tend to do, it is upbeat from begin to finish. The screenplay technique to go with testimonials (as against a narrative) worked wonders in terms of holding attention, presenting the entire characters in different voices but ended up being biased (may thats the real story). I am not sure if this can be in contention for awards, but the real Bernie would have been proud of this effort.

Biased, upbeat and superbly acted.
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