Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 244


Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,733
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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


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
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Critic Reviews for Nebraska

All Critics (244) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (221) | Rotten (23)

Audience Reviews for Nebraska

  • Jul 10, 2016
    Stark, perfectly observed low-key comedy/drama with striking black-and-white photography clearly influenced by 'The Last Picture Show' and evocative musical score. Smalltown flavor feels so real, I'm sure I've met some of these people at family gatherings. Will Forte is a revelation showing a real sense of comic timing and drollery that I found completely missing during his SNL tenure. Bruce Dern garnered all the accolades as the addled, heavy drinking estranged father who thinks he's won a million dollars, but it's June Squibb as his agitated, long-suffering wife who really deserved an Academy Award nomination. The foul-mouthed senior citizen is such a tired stereotype used for cheap laughs, but the excellent script allows Squibb to develop a full character so that when she interjects the occasional obscenity, it is surprising and truly funny. The highlight though is when Forte and his brother Bob Oedenkirk decide to retrieve their father's compressor 'borrowed' by a neighboring farmer 40 years ago, and the conversational aftermath in the van had me rolling on the floor.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2014
    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 M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2014
    A touching, wryly funny dramedy featuring a pair of stellar leads that channels the style of the Coens' while maintaining a more mellow, wistful demeanor.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2014
    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 Super Reviewer

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