(2011)

Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
You should have the opportunity to experience the movie the way I did, in complete ignorance, enjoying its every weird turn.
88
Weirdly funny, inspiring film.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
I had to forget what I knew about Black. He creates this character out of thin air, it's like nothing he's done before, and it proves that an actor can be a miraculous thing in the right role.
88
Jack Black gives the performance of his career in the title role of Bernie, under the pitch-perfect direction of his "School of Rock'' director, Richard Linklater, who expertly crafts a black comedy with a deceptively sunny surface. It's the best movie I've seen all spring.
85
The wonder of Black's performance here is its empathy and balance: inasmuch as he can disappear into any role, he dissolves into this one with no hint of mocking remove. It's a beautiful thing to see.
75
No use trying to describe Bernie. It's a one-of-a-kind inspiration. You will never feel closer to a convicted killer.
70
Where the movie is at its best is in the comically laconic, straight-to-the-camera remarks offered by Carthage's residents. (They're played by a mix of local actors and real townspeople doing partially scripted versions of themselves.)
60
Jack Black adds new depths to his slippery comic persona in Bernie, a movie that may not ultimately add up to much, but which is filled with wonderfully odd details of weird Americana.
60
More than the film that surrounds him, Jack Black is worth the price of admission in Bernie, an oddball May-December true life crime story that would have profited from being a whole lot darker and full-bodied than it is.
60
It was a stroke of genius, at least a miniature one, to cast Black in this role - he's made to play the affable teddy bear who could snap at any moment.
58
All those twangy, homespun observations interrupt and annotate the narrative until Black and MacLaine's scenes start to feel as trivial as reenactments on a true-crime TV show.

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