Nebraska

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 254 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 254
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  1. Dec 31, 2013
    6
    OK, I accept that this is a heart warming story about a road trip and learning about family, caring for family, but can't get past the horrible depiction of Midwesterners as stupid and slow. I'm insulted, and I've lived in LA for 30 years. good performances by all the leads, especially June Squibb.
  2. Dec 13, 2013
    6
    It is fitting that "Nebraska" is filmed in black and white because it is something you would have seen on the small TV screen in the 50s. There is the bleak picture of America's heartland with nary a sign of a teenager and all the citizens are caricatures from Hollywood's pen.

    The few modern touches consist of an old man, possibly suffering dementia, thinking he has won the million
    It is fitting that "Nebraska" is filmed in black and white because it is something you would have seen on the small TV screen in the 50s. There is the bleak picture of America's heartland with nary a sign of a teenager and all the citizens are caricatures from Hollywood's pen.

    The few modern touches consist of an old man, possibly suffering dementia, thinking he has won the million dollar magazine sweepstakes. In their last pictures do you remember Henry Fonda, Cary Grant or Gary Cooper playing 'old' men with mental problems? Another 21st century touch is having an old woman very comfortable with the 'f' word and/or talking about all the men who have wanted her or lifting her skirt to show a dead man what he missed. Can you picture Ethel Barrymore or Claudette Colbert doing either?

    "Nebraska" is basically road trip story between a father and son in order for the father to collect the millions dollars he knows he won and for his younger, of two sons, to get to know him better before it is too late. Bruce Dern plays the father Woody Grant, Will Forte his younger son David, Bob Odenkirk the older son Ross Grant and June Squibb is Kate, their mother and Woody's wife. When driving from their home in Billings, Montana, where Woody and Kate moved to as a young married couple, they stop in Hawthorne, a fictional farming town, where they were born and raised. While here we get to meet other members of the family at a last minute reunion. All the men, including Woody's brother, Ray, (Rance Howard), are the taciturn men of the midwest and their wives having the weathered look of living a hard working life. It is Ray's two overweight sons, played by Tim Driscoll and Devin Ratray who are the more outgoing particularly when they are talking about cars and then Woody's million dollars.

    Woody Grant is an old alcoholic, Korean war veteran who once owned a business with his friend Ed Pegram (Stacy Keach) and hearing he has won the money turns on him as do most of the other folks in Hawthorne, including his family, all wanting a piece of the pie.

    Bruce Dern shines in his passive role markedly different than the many loony roles he has played while Will Forte, having the modern look of the unshaven actor, holds his own in the scenes with Dern but it is June Squibb who steals every scene she is in. After 55 plus years on the stage, TV and in the movies this is her breakout role. She handles the lines, and laughs, of screenplay writer Bob Nelson as if she wrote them. Angela McEwan, as the owner of the town's paper and who once was in love with Woody, also stands out.

    The direction by Alexander Payne as the music by Mark Orton, along with the cinematography, has the black and white feel of Montana and Nebraska.

    "Nebraska" was made for the large theatre screen but having the feel of a 1950s TV movie it would probably be better watching it on television.
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  3. Nov 25, 2013
    5
    As a huge fan of Alexander Payne, this is hard to write. "Nebraska" is NOT "Election" or "Sideways." It's "About Schmidt" but unlike that film, it lacks any reason to care about the characters. There is much to enjoy here, but it is with the smaller characters; unfortunately, Bruce Dern's unpleasant lead performance isn't one of them. He is hurt badly by a script that never let's himAs a huge fan of Alexander Payne, this is hard to write. "Nebraska" is NOT "Election" or "Sideways." It's "About Schmidt" but unlike that film, it lacks any reason to care about the characters. There is much to enjoy here, but it is with the smaller characters; unfortunately, Bruce Dern's unpleasant lead performance isn't one of them. He is hurt badly by a script that never let's him show any warmth or compassion to a single person he is with. And his wife in the film is hampered with mean-spirited lines spit out with an unrelenting meanness this is a film that simply doesn't like the people it is portraying. Every old person is mean or vacant; I understand this is a family "trait", but the unpleasantness is unrelenting. It is simply a movie with a sour taste to it and as a fan of Payne, it was crushing to see. Collapse
  4. Dec 15, 2013
    6
    Apart from the occasional insipidity and the almost overwhelmingly intentional dryness throughout, "Nebraska" situates itself nicely within the stunning filmography of Alexander Payne as a well-acted and irresistibly idyllic piece of cinema.
  5. Apr 21, 2014
    5
    A journey of a pointless man's pointless desire, compounded in a pointless city, somehow, bears fruitful results.
    Indeed, "Nebraska" manages to prove a point.
  6. Jan 31, 2014
    4
    i'd love to say that I enjoy enjoyed this movie more, but it was flat boring. I expected more from the director of The Descendants, The Election, and Sideways. Making fun of old people is just not all that adventurous from my perspective. And "ooooh! Small Town people are goofy!" is too easy.
  7. Dec 15, 2013
    6
    This is an interesting yet depressing movie. Should have could have been reduced by 30 minutes easily. Don't get the Black and White Photgraphy...........that area of the country speaks for itself in the winter........bleak. There are situations that didn't make sense. Not the best well-written.
  8. Feb 24, 2014
    5
    A well executed movie but far from the most interesting one. I did enjoy seeing Will Forte try something new and play a more dramatic part and Bruce Dern is flawless. My main problem was I just couldn't get too interested in what was happening, it's a fairly slow movie that never hooked me. As far as the oscar nominations go I would say Bruce Dern deserves it but the entire movie does not.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Dec 11, 2013
    100
    Not much happens to Woody in Payne's movie, compared to modern penchants for rushed narratives and easily defined characters. Yet patience pays off, with a suitably minor triumph for such an unassuming man. And a major acting triumph for Dern.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 10, 2013
    100
    Only someone with intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s singular cadences, social codes and confounding emotional stew (er, covered hot dish) of aggression and politesse could pull off something as masterful, meaningful and poetic as Nebraska.
  3. Reviewed by: Philip Kemp
    Dec 9, 2013
    80
    A pitch-perfect performance from Dern graces Alexander Payne’s latest roadmovie – another bittersweet meditation on the sad, comic futility of life.