Critics Consensus

Elegant in its simplicity and poetic in its message, Nebraska adds another stirringly resonant chapter to Alexander Payne's remarkable filmography.



Reviews Counted: 242

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,729


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

User image

Nebraska Photos

Movie Info

Director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) takes the helm for this black and white road trip drama starring Bruce Dern as a tempestuous Missouri father who's convinced he's won a million dollar magazine sweepstakes, and Will Forte as the son who grudgingly agrees to drive him to Nebraska to claim his winnings. Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach costar. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Watch it now


Bruce Dern
as Woody Grant
Will Forte
as David Grant
June Squibb
as Kate Grant
Bob Odenkirk
as Ross Grant
Stacy Keach
as Ed Pegram
Rance Howard
as Uncle Ray
Kevin Kunkel
as Cousin Randy
Angela McEwan
as Peg Nagy
Melinda Simonsen
as Receptionist
Ronald Vosta
as Uncle Albert
View All

News & Interviews for Nebraska

Critic Reviews for Nebraska

All Critics (242) | Top Critics (53)

  • There is a sentimental aspect to the concluding stages of the film: it's not as broad or astringent as Payne can be. But there's also something intriguingly dreamlike about its tone.

    Feb 20, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • [Payne has] made an "American Gothic" for 21st-century, post-recession America. Who needs a pitchfork anyway, when you can have an ice cold bottle of Bud?

    Dec 30, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The deft achievement of this movie is that it has a hardness that doesn't delight in the meanness of mockery as the Coens often do.

    Dec 10, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Nebraska is an absolutely enchanting film, so funny, so touching, ringing true - for me right up there with the year's best.

    Dec 6, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A bittersweet road movie about the joy and sadness of ageing directed by the great Alexander Payne.

    Dec 5, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • An intimate road movie about one family that also lingers on the landscapes and fabric of an old-time, dying vision of the American Midwest

    Dec 2, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nebraska

Despite the cinematography in an unnecessary (but effective) black and white, this melancholy drama has quite a surprising sense of humor and characters who prove to be a lot more complex than we would give them credit for, with Dern and Squibb in fantastic performances.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Slow, but worthwhile movie. I loved how it was shot in black and white and the whole "road trip" feel it had. Topic was actually a bit sad - very elderly man believes he has won a million dollars on a Readers Digest-type promotional letter (borderline scam). He really was quite pathetic throughout this movie - maybe the reason some won't like it is its a real reminder that we are all getting old and that could be us one of those days. His adult son decides to drive his father down to collect his "prize", and along the way he learns things he never knew about his father and a bit of TMI with his mother (that old lady is s scream! Some of the funniest lines in the movie) as well.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Slow, quiet, but charming and at times hilarious, Nebraska is a well-filmed portrait of a Middle-America family coming face to face with its roots.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

This is the most brutal, maudlin, pathetic film to come from the House of Payne since "About Schmidt" and this has the same mood and somewhat the same premise. The film follows an elderly man (Dern) who believes he has won a million dollars, and travels all over Nebraska with his son, and later his family, trying to collect it. The ending is one of the most empathetic, tearjerker moments in recent film history. Payne builds up this decrepit old man throughout the film, showing that he is lost, self-destructive, and giving, but that no one gives him credit. His son realizes the true history of his family, and how he has treated his father thus far. That is a clearly life changing revelation, and Payne handles this transformation with aplomb. Forte's performance is also very nuanced and sincere in its sentimentality. Odenkirk is great as well, as the concerned older brother who has his own view of the world. June Squibb reminds me of every older woman I have ever met, and yet she's so original in her lewdness and likeability. This is a very deliberate and complex story that revolves around amazing characters played by thoughtful actors.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Nebraska Quotes

News & Features