Bernie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bernie Reviews

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March 16, 2017
Having seen another Jack Black and Richard Linklater film - School of Rock - that I loved so much, I had high hopes for Bernie. This one is kind of fiction and kind of talking-heads documentary, but ultimately ends up being a weird and strange hybrid of the two. I'm still a massive fan of Jack Black, and he did a great job here, but as a whole, this based-on-true-events flick drags its feet in super heavy mud, and I found myself getting bored with an hour still left of the film. Yawn!

Watch it if you enjoy Jack Black. Avoid it if you want to see a really good film.
March 6, 2017
I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. It was a simple film that really shows Jack Black is a fantastic actor. It's funny, but not over the top hilarity.
March 6, 2017
As always, Linklater sets up a wonderful possibility but, alas, fails to deliver the punchline. Too focused on his usual indulgent voyeurism, he still manages a nicely put together set of moving images, however, it's an effort structured on a rather fiddly foundation to begin with. The story itself is not a very interesting one and the mockumentary technique employed throughout only serves to distance the viewer from the happenings rather than inviting them in.

The argumentative dialogue lacks any sort of depth and the acting is unimaginative, with both Black and McConaughey bringing nothing new to the table other than their own, fatigued by now style when, unfortunately, MacLaine alone can't carry the whole film on her shoulders.

Do keep in mind that the "comedy" tag attached to this movie is terribly misleading as there are no real funny moments, with most of the humorous attempts being in extremely poor taste given this is based on a true story and they are afforded in the expense of an old woman who got murdered simply for being unpleasant.

Proceed at your own risk.
February 19, 2017
True story about Bernie Tiede, a God-fearing, assistant mortician from Carthage, Texas, who befriends and murders the richest and meanest woman in town. There's a lot more to it than that, though. Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey star in this quirky, wonderful Richard Linklater film.
4 stars out of five.
February 5, 2017
After reading the premise of this film I was expecting a kind of Weekend at Bernie's affair, fortunately it isn't and is a lot more grounded and even though it is darkly comic it doesn't offer up many lighter moments. The best thing about this film though is the three lead performances with Jack Black leading the way with a fantastic performance. The rest of the cast is solid, I like the docu-drama style of the film, has plenty of funny moments and a good script.
½ January 24, 2017
A bit slow, kind of strange, but Jack Black is fantastic as is the rest of the cast and the story is compelling. A good watch.
½ January 21, 2017
Really quirky comedy about a real life murder. Black and MacLaine are actually great together.
January 13, 2017
Fascinating story with a great performance by Jack Black. You may have heard about this case on 48 Hours or Dateline.
½ December 31, 2016
It's good movie to watch
December 8, 2016
Bernie is directed and co-written by Richard Linklater, and it stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey in a black comedy film about the real life story of Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) who is very friendly towards his townsfolk, and he got himself very closely to Marjorie (Shirley MacLaine) who's a rude widow that wants everything done by someone else, and Bernie just couldn't take it anymore. Can't believe that it's been 4 years since this film was out and that I last watched it, and knowing that I reviewed the director's work like Boyhood and School of Rock, also starred Jack Black in, I'm curious to see how this hold up, and it did it pretty solidly. Jack Black gives a three-dimensional performance with him being nice as he can, and when he sort of loses it, which it's different from what I usually see in him which makes it one of the best performances that I've seen from him. Shirley MacLaine is just delightfully mean in this, and Matthew McConaughey is having a lot of fun acting a bit quirky in it that works. I like how they use the town gossips element as it gives the film more of a documentary feel to it, and there are some funny moments in it, while taking itself seriously. The writing by Richard Linkater and Skip Hollandsworth, who actually wrote the article that this movie adapts back in 1998, is really good at adapting it very well, and is quite interesting to watch. It's smart, and it's enjoyable to watch for fans of Richard Linklater and Jack Black.
November 26, 2016
powerful performances. very watchable
November 24, 2016
perfect movie honestly nothing could have made this movie better
½ November 24, 2016
A fascinating true story that by most accounts stays true to form that is turned into a mostly unfunny black comedy. Still, the acting and the documentary feel make it work enough to keep it entertaining. Black, at his best here, and he needs to be because this is a fairly run of the mill murder story. Black's character is throughly untangled and the twist in the middle makes things stay hot and Richard Linklater doesn't overstay his welcome. Another different entry from writer director Linklater who continuously thinks outside the box. Final Score: 7.0
½ November 19, 2016
The idea that we're all not far from murdering someone is kinda crazy, but I loved the movie in general. Very funny. Loved all the Carthidge stuff
½ November 9, 2016
It was a cute movie and the I'm a sucker for funny Southern sayings. Then, when I found out it was based off a true story, that definitely upped my rating.
November 6, 2016
Aesthetically pleasing documentary-style comedy that features a likeable main character played by Jack Black with an entertaining look into small town USA. Lots of laughs.
November 1, 2016
One of the best movies of all time. A little known gem featuring a wonderful acting performance by Jack Black.

We all like to hear that a movie is based on a true story, well this movie is basically a blow by blow of a real life story even going so far as to feature towns people who were witness to the events.

A genuinely surprsing tale and jaw dropping at times which also features the pure good of human behaviour versus the very nasty of human behaviour in many various forms.

A gem of a movie. Completely under rated.
October 31, 2016
Linklater proves again his abilities directing a comedy drama that perfectly balances both genres. Black's performance is great and filled with emotion, one of his bests in the last years.
½ October 29, 2016
I was very sad to find that this film was excruciatingly bland. I'm a Richard Linklater fan so I was quite disappointed. The interview format was unnecessary. If he wanted to do interviews, he could have done a real documentary with the real people, and even that would have had a length of 30-45 minutes, *maybe* an hour if there was a lot more content that was not in the movie. It could have also worked as a 30 minute short film. But as a feature-length film, it feels like there is barely any meat here and it's almost entirely filler. How many times do we have to listen to Jack Black singing gospel songs? How many times do we have to listen to Matthew McConaughey say he "shot her four times?" There is nothing particularly good or bad about this film, it's just bland almost the entire time.
½ October 14, 2016
Jack Black in a unique and surprising interesting role.
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