Nebraska - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nebraska Reviews

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September 25, 2016
Very good and very interesting movie! I liked the acting and the well thought out story. Definitely recommended.
September 18, 2016
Great , cast and endearing story.
½ August 20, 2016
I just wish it weren't in black and white.
August 16, 2016
What is it about taking a road trip with a family member that seems like such a good idea in theory? Putting oneself in unfamiliar territory while trying to rebuild an inevitably fractured relationship can rarely result in anything other than frayed nerves, arguments and tears. Yet so many of us have taken the plunge because we thought our road trip would be different.

And so it goes with Alexander Payne's bittersweet, comedy-drama, NEBRASKA.

Curmudgeon Woody Grant lives in Billings, Montana along with his long-suffering wife of close to 50 years, Kate. Woody is not altogether there, thanks to a lifetime of heavy drinking and, now, the onset of Alzheimer's. When he receives a letter in the mail that he may have just won a million dollars in one of those publishers' sweepstakes, he starts walking to Lincoln, Nebraska - a distance of 850 miles across three states - to claim his prize. His son, David, intercepts him just outside Billings and brings him back home to try to talk some sense into him but Woody will hear nothing of it. He wants his money. David eventually gives in, thinking that a road trip with his dad might be good for their relationship. You see, Woody was not the best father in the world. Besides being drunk most of the time, Woody is not the most talkative person. His experience fighting in the Korean War 60 years earlier affects him even today.

So David and Woody jump into David's car and head off to Lincoln. En route, a nighttime fall after a few too many beers puts Woody in the hospital and their plans quickly change. David decides to stop off at Woody's family in fictional Hawthorne, Nebraska for a few days to give Woody a chance to heal. In the meantime, Kate and their older son, Ross, decide to trek to Hawthorne too, to make it a full family reunion.

When Woody reveals to brothers' families and his old friends about his million dollar windfall, the vultures start circling. The family says he owes them money for all their support over the years while his ex-business partner demands repayment (and then some!) of the money he lent to Woody many years earlier. Even though David and Ross insist that there is no money, no one believes them. Now David not only has to protect Woody from himself; he has to protect him from his family and friends.

Alexander Payne, who previously wrote and directed SIDEWAYS and THE DESCENDANTS, seems to be attracted to stories that deal with life's unpredictable messiness. In NEBRASKA, he chose to shoot the film in black-and-white, which served to highlight both the starkness of the landscape and the Grant family's lives.

There is plenty of humour in the film, though it is slow in coming. A scene showing the elderly Grant brothers watching Sunday football on TV seems very reminiscent of Grant Wood's classic painting, American Gothic. (Could there be a connection with the family name being Grant?) The film also features some of the best Upper Midwest American accents since FARGO.

NEBRASKA stars Bruce Dern, who was nominated for an Academy Award (R) for this role, comedian Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk, whom audiences may know as the sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman on TV's BREAKING BAD.

This is a great film but you don't need to go to the cinema to see it. Rent it or download it (legally, of course). You'll enjoy it.
August 14, 2016
A simple, delicate and bittersweet movie about a son discovering who his father actually is. The movie doesn't want to demonstrate something or convince you of a thesis: it "simply" tells a little story. Surprisingly, it made me laugh many times: while melancholy is suspended upon every single moment of the film , it never becomes a sad movie that desperately wants you to burst in tears. Sometimes life is fun, sometimes is sad, sometimes is both, like this wonderful movie.
August 12, 2016
This was funny. Good story, see it.
July 17, 2016
Vähäeleinen ja melankolinen, hieman Kaurismäkeläinen mustavalkoelokuva.
Super Reviewer
July 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.
July 7, 2016
Your heart will be warmed and your laughter will fly for this simple, yet brilliantly crafted story about a boy and his father.
July 1, 2016
Simple yet charming, well-acted and well-directed.
June 16, 2016
Alexander Payne no falla. Si tienes una familia despreciable (que hay un 99% de que sea así) vas a amar la película.
May 23, 2016
This is a simple but increasingly wonderful film that patiently tells a great story; bittersweet and funny. Acting and settings are powerful.
May 22, 2016
An old, confused man of very few words and his son take a journey from Billings to Lincoln to claim a bogus million dollar prize. What's the real prize of this film? The fantastic, melancholic, and sometimes, hilarious journey between this stubborn father and his sensitive son.
May 19, 2016
About the cinematic equivalent to driving through Nebraska.
May 9, 2016

A simple and touching story based on some top notch writing and acting, lead by characters and personalities rarely seen done so well and in such a context.
April 23, 2016
Poignant and funny and a wonderful insight into family politics! The black and white and slow pace added to the impact by stripping out distractions from just a gentle funny story.
April 12, 2016
I'm a huge John Steinbeck fan. My favorite of his works' is The Pearl, a story about a common man coming into great wealth and suddenly finding all those around him wanting to have some or all of his good fortune. That's exactly what this movie is.

It's a tale about greed. How people and family you once thought where your friends turning on you and doing anything in their power to sabotage you. It's also about discovery. Discovering a different side to your parents and really yourself that you never knew existed. The stark black and white also highlights the bleak atmosphere of the town and the story. Showing how the thing you thought you knew best where in fact secretly terrible.

The story's climax is one of hope and optimism. An optimism for a renewed respect and appreciation for your family and the discovering who you can really trust in life.

Well, at least it has a happier ending than The Pear.
March 26, 2016
Brilliant,Alexander Payne rocks! Bruce Dern is great but for me June Squibb has some of the best lines.
½ March 20, 2016
Accounting, farmers, wheat fields, men and lady bloomers, now & later - when a man's word was enough.
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