(2011)

Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Matthew McConaughey finally locates his perfect m├ętier as the town's Fordian skeptic, a district attorney who smells a rat.
88
It's a delectable slice of Southern Gothic humor, a side show of rednecks and Bubbas and Aunt Tooties.
83
Though the lightness of Bernie can get disconcerting at times, even cartoonish, Linklater approaches the story with a bemused curiosity that seems about right under the circumstances.
80
Village Voice
Richard Linklater's Bernie is the rarest of rarities: a truly unexpected film. It might be classified as a black comedy, for it deals with the murder of an 81-year-old woman in a fashion that is not exactly tragic.
70
Pitch-perfect performances by Shirley MacLaine and an unusually restrained Jack Black hold together this offbeat true-crime saga, but Linklater's keen eye for human eccentricity flowers most memorably on the periphery.
70
It's an odd movie - mild in tone and circumspect, yet darkly funny, and done in a hybrid form that I don't think has been used so thoroughly before.
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.
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.
50
Boxoffice Magazine
Bernie is an interesting guy, but he doesn't make for very good company.
38
Slant Magazine
A surprisingly shapeless true-crime farce which never creates a convincing context for the odd relationship between a pious East Texas mortician and his sugar mama.

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