Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 17, 2012
    100
    You should have the opportunity to experience the movie the way I did, in complete ignorance, enjoying its every weird turn.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 24, 2012
    100
    Matthew McConaughey finally locates his perfect métier as the town's Fordian skeptic, a district attorney who smells a rat.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    May 17, 2012
    91
    Slight but terrific. The intertwining of the sharply tuned actors and the guileless (and often hilarious) townspeople is seamless, the tale is sometimes despairing but never heavy, and the blend of drama, comedy and music is brisk and fresh.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 27, 2012
    91
    The innocence of the townspeople is weirdly uplifting. They love their Bernie so much that they seem even more blinkered than he is.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 26, 2012
    90
    Gaudily vibrant, at times morbidly funny.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 26, 2012
    90
    This is writer-director Richard Linklater at his wry, whimsical best, and considering he was the filmmaker behind 1993's "Dazed and Confused," that makes the movie something of a milestone.
  7. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    May 18, 2012
    88
    Bernie could easily have gone horribly wrong. But Black and Linklater finesse this tricky material with as much virtuosity as Bernie brings to that broccoli.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 17, 2012
    88
    Weirdly funny, inspiring film.
  9. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 2, 2012
    88
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 27, 2012
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 25, 2012
    88
    It's a delectable slice of Southern Gothic humor, a side show of rednecks and Bubbas and Aunt Tooties.
  12. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 27, 2012
    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.
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 25, 2012
    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.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 121 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
  1. May 21, 2012
    10
    Fantastic movie - I highly recommend you see this movie. Jack Black is a great actor - he plays the true story of Bernie perfectly! He is aFantastic movie - I highly recommend you see this movie. Jack Black is a great actor - he plays the true story of Bernie perfectly! He is a wonderful singer, and he sings throughout the movie. I am really glad I went to see this movie. Full Review »
  2. Aug 29, 2012
    6
    It was a pretty solid move that is helped greatly by the wonderful performance by Jack Black. The biggest problem I had was that there wasIt was a pretty solid move that is helped greatly by the wonderful performance by Jack Black. The biggest problem I had was that there was really very little of the actual plot. The film largely oonsisted of numerous actors/actresses discussing things that Bernie does and what he is like, what his relationship is like with the female lead. That was a little disapointing because Black's performance was so good that it really should have been expanded on and he should have had more dialogue and better interaction with the female lead as well.

    Overall, It was a solid movie. A decently made film that is worth checking out.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 23, 2012
    1
    This is the worst and most boring movie I have ever seen. I would rather eat curry and watch desperate housewives for eight hours then sitThis is the worst and most boring movie I have ever seen. I would rather eat curry and watch desperate housewives for eight hours then sit through jack blacks worst movie he's ever created. No comedy at all and it sukz ballz!!!!!!!!!!! bALLZ!! Full Review »