Millennium Entertainment | Release Date: April 27, 2012
7.2
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 145 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
107
Mixed:
29
Negative:
9
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6
DankkuMar 16, 2017
Having seen another Jack Black and Richard Linklater film - School of Rock - that I loved so much, I had high hopes for Bernie. This one is kind of fiction and kind of talking-heads documentary, but ultimately ends up being a weird andHaving seen another Jack Black and Richard Linklater film - School of Rock - that I loved so much, I had high hopes for Bernie. This one is kind of fiction and kind of talking-heads documentary, but ultimately ends up being a weird and strange hybrid of the two. I'm still a massive fan of Jack Black, and he did a great job here, but as a whole, this based-on-true-events flick drags its feet in super heavy mud, and I found myself getting bored with an hour still left of the film. Yawn!

Watch it if you enjoy Jack Black. Avoid it if you want to see a really good film.
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8
everlastallSep 26, 2015
I didn't find it all that funny, but I did find it charming, interesting and enjoyable. Jack Black gives a great performance and the movie just seems to flow whimsically in easy digestion even through its dark parts due to the documentaryI didn't find it all that funny, but I did find it charming, interesting and enjoyable. Jack Black gives a great performance and the movie just seems to flow whimsically in easy digestion even through its dark parts due to the documentary style that surprisingly works quite well. Expand
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8
moonman1994Aug 4, 2015
A very solid film with good performances from the cast. The style was also quite impressive because of the way that the entire film was formatted like a TV documentary.
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9
TheQuietGamerFeb 18, 2015
A black comedy that is both surprisingly funny and charming. At times it is even heart-warming. It's almost baffling to even consider the movie being this enjoyable when it's plot is based on true events. However it is. Defying the darknessA black comedy that is both surprisingly funny and charming. At times it is even heart-warming. It's almost baffling to even consider the movie being this enjoyable when it's plot is based on true events. However it is. Defying the darkness of the events it's based on and becoming a darkly funny, a great murder story, and smart satire.

The key to the movies success outside of smart direction is a stand out performance by Jack Black. Not only does he play his character fascinatingly, with odd little quirks and a complex personality, but also so lifelike. Black makes his interpretation of the individual come to life.

The same can be said for the entire cast. Their characters might be goofy, but they aren't absurd. It's not hard to see that they are playing characters who are real life people.

The actual case is likely to be the most divisive aspect of the movie. Does the movie perhaps portray Bernie in a more favorable light do to bias? I really can't say. The fact that the movie is based on a true story (not entirely sure on how accurate) it puts the film in some murky territory. Yes the character is presented as likable, but murder is murder right?

Whether or not aspects of the case were changed to make Bernie more appealing I honestly do not know. However even if they were it doesn't change the enjoyment I had with this movie. It's a brilliantly funny black comedy with a standout, excellent performance from Jack Black. One I highly recommend viewing.

I give the movie a 9.1/10.
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7
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
Jack Black's performance as Bernie makes us not only disregard his murder but feel inspired. Bernie is a unique piece of filmmaking that earns the rare achievement of being a successful black comedy.
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7
drlowdonAug 15, 2014
Based loosely on a true story 'Bernie' is the story of Bernie Tiede, a much loved mortician (sorry, funeral director) in a small Texan town.

Made in an almost documentary like fashion with constant cutaways to the townsfolk, who are more
Based loosely on a true story 'Bernie' is the story of Bernie Tiede, a much loved mortician (sorry, funeral director) in a small Texan town.

Made in an almost documentary like fashion with constant cutaways to the townsfolk, who are more than happy to share their thoughts 'Bernie', while not exactly laugh out loud funny, retains a dark sense of humour throughout. The entire cast does a good job with an, unusually restrained, Jack Black in particular putting in a great performance.

Subsequent reading has lead me to question just how accurate a portrayal of events this is but it is a good watch nonetheless.
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7
HeadroomAug 10, 2014
Bernie is a very funny movie if you're familiar with Texas culture. It provides some interesting social commentary with a unique twist from the documentary film-making style mixed with actor performances. I wouldn't recommend it as anBernie is a very funny movie if you're familiar with Texas culture. It provides some interesting social commentary with a unique twist from the documentary film-making style mixed with actor performances. I wouldn't recommend it as an incredible film, but it's definitely worth watching if the opportunity arises. Matthew Mcconaughey's performance was fairly dry, but Jack Black's singing was incredible. Expand
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8
FranzHcriticJun 14, 2014
It's a calm, slow paced comedy, that has its bluntness and absurdity to thank for, otherwise it would be a ridiculous thriller. Black's subdued performance as the Tiede in an emotional roller coaster is far beyond what I thought his potentialIt's a calm, slow paced comedy, that has its bluntness and absurdity to thank for, otherwise it would be a ridiculous thriller. Black's subdued performance as the Tiede in an emotional roller coaster is far beyond what I thought his potential was. McConaughey and McClaine both work with comedic supporting roles. All the laughs in this film comes from the fact that this is a true story, which you'd never believe. Expand
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5
warrenworldMay 3, 2014
While Bernie's script contains some dialogue that doesn't truly fit with the pleasant scenery of Carthage, TX, the film also contains a very genuine template and very earnest acting talent that is undeniable.
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7
SpangleMar 18, 2014
It is amazing that this was a true story. Richard Linklater managed to sprinkle in some hilarious moments along with telling the true story of Bernie Tiede and how he murdered Marjorie Nugent. It does a great job presenting the moral conflictIt is amazing that this was a true story. Richard Linklater managed to sprinkle in some hilarious moments along with telling the true story of Bernie Tiede and how he murdered Marjorie Nugent. It does a great job presenting the moral conflict of this story and, well, I do not want to say too much. Jack Black did a phenomenal job in the lead role. I was incredibly impressed with his performance. I really enjoyed Shirley MacLaine's performance, but I have a soft spot for Matthew McConaughey. He really portrayed the hard nosed Texan District Attorney really well. At the end of the day, this one really reminded me of Gone Baby Gone but funny. The conflict is different, but it leaves you feeling the same way. Another touch that I enjoyed from this one was the documentary-esque way of telling the story. With all the interviews from locals about everybody, it was a nice addition that really re-enforced that this one was a real story.

I do not really have any complaints that I can think of, but something was missing. It was definitely enjoyable and a good movie, but not really great in any area. Would definitely recommend.
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6
poewilsonFeb 6, 2014
Bernie is a film that lives and dies on Jack Black's blade. Those who want Black to be no more than a bumbling fat man, will find no enjoyment in this film for this is Black's attempt to be a little something more and kudos on his effort itBernie is a film that lives and dies on Jack Black's blade. Those who want Black to be no more than a bumbling fat man, will find no enjoyment in this film for this is Black's attempt to be a little something more and kudos on his effort it is enjoyable to watch him. Linklater continues to push his attempts at being different and I happy to see him trying to work around the system as best he can. As for McConaughey this is the performance that brought a man's career back from the dead and it is always a pleasure to see an actor prove you wrong.
What makes the film entertaining is sadly what also hurts it cinematically and this is the interviews and cuts with the locals.
The film if one is into dark comedies should warrant an entertainment value of a 7.5, but on the Poe Scale it is a 6.5.

Acting: 1/2
Cinematography: 1/2
Editing: 1.5/2
Effects and Design 1/2
Writing: 2/2
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8
UrracoJan 12, 2014
It's a good movie, but I can't for the life of me tell you why. Both the story and the production seem a little indecisive about how exactly they want to develop. There aren't any of the stereotypical cues that tell us when the film wants toIt's a good movie, but I can't for the life of me tell you why. Both the story and the production seem a little indecisive about how exactly they want to develop. There aren't any of the stereotypical cues that tell us when the film wants to be funny and when it's meant to be dark, but maybe that's the point. It's charming, overall, and Jack Black is surprisingly smooth in a fairly serious role that plays brilliantly off of Shirley McLaine's performance. Give it a shot - you probably won't love it, but it's too charming to hate. Expand
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0
AliStarkOct 12, 2013
that is one of the worst movies of all time. It was more of a documentary than a comedy movie. How can anyone call it a comedy movie?? There is no comedy element in this movie. I think critics of this movie are just as retarded as the makersthat is one of the worst movies of all time. It was more of a documentary than a comedy movie. How can anyone call it a comedy movie?? There is no comedy element in this movie. I think critics of this movie are just as retarded as the makers of the movie. Bad bad movie. It sucks. Expand
0 of 4 users found this helpful04
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8
MovieGuysSep 24, 2013
Bernie is a quirky, weird, off-kilter move with an overall sweetness. Jack Black plays Bernie up so that he is a very likable character, even for what goes on about halfway through the film. Linklater has created a sort of weird, cinematicBernie is a quirky, weird, off-kilter move with an overall sweetness. Jack Black plays Bernie up so that he is a very likable character, even for what goes on about halfway through the film. Linklater has created a sort of weird, cinematic fantasy that is very rare in film. I can't quite explain it. Expand
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8
AlvaradoKTAJun 29, 2013
This film stars J.Black, which is enough for me to watch any film, and I honestly think its his best performance to date. I first watched this movie on Netflix without much knowledge of its plot. This allowed me to truly enjoy the film,This film stars J.Black, which is enough for me to watch any film, and I honestly think its his best performance to date. I first watched this movie on Netflix without much knowledge of its plot. This allowed me to truly enjoy the film, without any expectations. Expand
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4
KivaJun 25, 2013
This film came as a surprise to me. A disappointing surprise. First of all the film is not a comedy and i expected much more for the director of School of Rock. The film is based on true events but the movie is still bad. I saw the goodThis film came as a surprise to me. A disappointing surprise. First of all the film is not a comedy and i expected much more for the director of School of Rock. The film is based on true events but the movie is still bad. I saw the good reviews and I thought that it would be funny as hell as Jack Black was on the cast. Jack Black impressed me with his magnificent performance. That's the best thing on that film ,despite the fact I watched that movie in order to laugh.This is certainly on of the worst films of 2012 and it looked more like a documentary or a reality -tv show. It did not seem like a movie. Thumbs up ONLY for Jack Black. 4/10 for that reason because only his performance is extraordinary. Expand
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5
BradySmithMay 10, 2013
Way overrated. There are a couple of amusing moments, but it's just pointless overall. It' drags the least important scenes on forever. Jack Black is the movie's anchor and is funnier in the role than anyone else could probably be but theWay overrated. There are a couple of amusing moments, but it's just pointless overall. It' drags the least important scenes on forever. Jack Black is the movie's anchor and is funnier in the role than anyone else could probably be but the movie surrounding him is just so... boring. It could have been hilarious, but is far from it. Not recommended. Expand
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8
DukeJonMar 11, 2013
I didn't know the story, and was surprised by the twist. An enjoyable and understated film full of great characters. Jack Black gives a superlative performance.
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8
worleyjamersJan 14, 2013
A really great little film. Jack Black is terrific; it's for sure the best performance of his career, but i don't think I was surprised by how great he truly was in this. He's one of the most underrated actors out there and this performanceA really great little film. Jack Black is terrific; it's for sure the best performance of his career, but i don't think I was surprised by how great he truly was in this. He's one of the most underrated actors out there and this performance really shows that. It sort of reminded me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Capote. McConaughey's win streak continues...he's really been on fire the past few years. Good script, great movie! Expand
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9
LynDec 30, 2012
I guess Jack Black is going to be ignored at awards time in favor of guys like Afleck. But Black's performance here is amazing -- funny, sad, musical, bizarre, and he's playing a real person you get a glimpse of at the end of the film! TheI guess Jack Black is going to be ignored at awards time in favor of guys like Afleck. But Black's performance here is amazing -- funny, sad, musical, bizarre, and he's playing a real person you get a glimpse of at the end of the film! The quasi-documentary approach here works well and is really enjoyable. Expand
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8
Critic2012Dec 23, 2012
It's a sort of dark comedy with American realism and touching emotion thrown into the mix.
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3
DMuhnyNov 18, 2012
Long and boring. It was hard to get through the whole thing really. A few scattered funny parts, but not worth my time. .
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8
tallmanwritingNov 12, 2012
Who knew that Jack Black had that in him!? Playing the title character, Black is like nothing you've ever seen from him before. He's pitch perfect, as is -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- Matthew McCan'tact. Just stunning performancesWho knew that Jack Black had that in him!? Playing the title character, Black is like nothing you've ever seen from him before. He's pitch perfect, as is -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- Matthew McCan'tact. Just stunning performances by these men. I highly recommend this movie. If you like any of Christopher Guest's best work, I think you'll dig Bernie. Expand
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8
SeriosityOct 8, 2012
Endlessly entertaining, it is hard not to love every single minute of this exceptional blend of semi-documentary style, dark comedy and tragic real-life events. Jack Black turns in probably his greatest performance, but the film reallyEndlessly entertaining, it is hard not to love every single minute of this exceptional blend of semi-documentary style, dark comedy and tragic real-life events. Jack Black turns in probably his greatest performance, but the film really benefits from the citizens of Carthage,some of them played by real townspeople, who give hilarious insight into Bernie and his story. Expand
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1
Ireland914Sep 4, 2012
Very boring movie. Some amusing scenes but overall, very slow-paced and uninteresting. Jack Black does do a great job portraying a character out of his usual routine but the movie offers very little to hold your attention and keep from dozing off.
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
imthenoobAug 29, 2012
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 was really very little of the actual plot. The film largely oonsisted of numerous actors/actressesIt 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.
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3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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8
TheDRauchAug 28, 2012
Jack Black really transforms into the title character in 'Bernie', a darkly comic crime film by Richard Linklater that is his best film since 'Before Sunset'. Black is so admirably subtle and controlled in his performance that I wish he hadJack Black really transforms into the title character in 'Bernie', a darkly comic crime film by Richard Linklater that is his best film since 'Before Sunset'. Black is so admirably subtle and controlled in his performance that I wish he had dived into dramatic territory sooner. As far as supporting roles go, I am not usually a fan of Matthew McConaughey, but he won me over in what is probably his best performance to date as well and Shirley Maclaine is typically great as the cold-hearted **** of Carthage. Also, the semi-scripted roles of the townspeople playing themselves are very funny. Linklater so easily empathises us with Bernie that we begin to side with the townsfolk too and when the ending comes about, there is some melancholy to be felt. The shot near the end where the real-life Bernie meets with Jack Black to talk is also nicely affecting and Black's portrayal of him is by far the performance of the year so far for me. Great movie. Expand
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1
Bigboii32Aug 23, 2012
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 sit through jack blacks worst movie he's ever created. No comedy at all and it sukz ballz!!!!!!!!!!! bALLZ!!
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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8
TVJerryAug 20, 2012
This delightful film by Richard Linklater has been under the radar and it's a shame, because it's a hoot. It's a reality-based tale about a prissy assistant funeral director (Jack Black), who befriends a rich, mean old widow (ShirleyThis delightful film by Richard Linklater has been under the radar and it's a shame, because it's a hoot. It's a reality-based tale about a prissy assistant funeral director (Jack Black), who befriends a rich, mean old widow (Shirley Maclaine) and ends up killing her. The tale is told with some dialogue and lots of hilarious interviews with local residents (some of whom are real and some are actors). I'm not a Black fan, but there's none of his over-the-top antics in this quiet portrayal. Matthew McConaughey shows up in a non-glamourous role as the prosecutor. I doubt it'll be in town long because it's available on DVD 9/21/12, but it's lots of fun on any format. Stay thru the credits for additional soundbites. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
cabritaAug 15, 2012
It is a film that works so well in so many areas it is outstanding. It works as a documentry, comedy, drama and comment of life in texas. Jack Black delivers a subtle funny and dramatic performance. It is a stunning achievement
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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