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Generally favorable reviews- based on 213 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 8 out of 213

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  1. Nov 26, 2014
    For what it is, (a small drama), Nebraska is completely successful. The actors are all great, and their characters were very well written and funny. I'm not sure if the black and white coloring was a necessary adornment, but it's still very well shot and the movie never looks old. The world these people inhabit is so well fleshed out that you can't help but be drawn in by it. The story is an amusing and sometimes touching one, and it ends on the perfect note. Some people addicted to fast paced action might hate it, but in terms of writing, acting, direction, and tonal consistency, it's quite an accomplishment nonetheless. MacGruber! Haha, get it? Cause Will Forte's Macgruber? Never mind. Expand
  2. Nov 23, 2014
    Nebraska, sin duda alguna, es un film conmovedor que ofrece una historia en blanco y negro muy sutil y bien hecha, es una de esas películas que te dan una buena sensación y te dan curiosidad.
  3. Nov 12, 2014
    Nebraska is that type of one of a kind film that only comes along every once in a while and when you see it, you feel entirely moved and happy that you finally saw it. The acting is great, led by great performances by Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte, and Bob Odenkirk, though really, everyone turns in a good performance here and really embody their character. This was the first film by Alexander Payne I had ever seen and I regret taking this long to start work on his filmography. The cinematography here is gorgeous and serves as the perfect backdrop to this one, as the camera really finds every inch of beauty in this rural setting and maximizes on it. The black-and-white is also a major plus for me, as it just seems to fit. Overall, this one is a story about a man's relationship with his aging father, who certainly seems to have lost a step over the years, but even then, they were never very close. However, when his father hinks he won a million dollars, they start getting closer and he learns more and more about his dad, bringing them closer together. Ultimately, this study of their relationship is entirely endearing to viewers of all ages and if it does not touch your heart, you better head to the doctor to see if you even have one. As a whole, Nebraska is a very good film with great acting, writing, and a brilliantly moving story. Expand
  4. Nov 10, 2014
    It might be too simplistic and bore some viewers but otherwise, the character-driven Nebraska is amusing, dramatic, beautifully shot and brilliantly acted.
  5. Oct 12, 2014
    One of the best Road-Films I've seen in my life. With a wonderful script, with some amazing adventures and a phenomenal performance of the main character. (73 - 100)
  6. Sep 23, 2014
    At its core, Nebraska is a touching and amusing film about a delusional alcoholic, played very well by Bruce Dern, whom believes has won a million dollars. This belief he holds throughout the film is what holds together its sentimental tone. However, just as Nebraska is shot in black and white, it also carries a comedic undertone to it that accompanies its more gloomier mood, which can arguably be credited to June Squibb`s performance as Dern`s judgemental yet hilarious wife. A performance that surprised me was Will Forte and his ability to draw out sympathy for Dern`s character. Not to be overshadowed by the acting department, Alexander Payne does a magnificent job directing Nebraska. He has a keen eye for creating the mood of the scene with the use of the music. However, when watching Nebraska, one can`t help to notice the set design. It does its job in drawing the audience into the film`s time and place, which really helps us connect with the characters, not that we weren`t already capable of that thanks to Bruce Dern`s Oscar worthy performance. I felt that the same music track was playing in the movie too many times, that it began to make my ears numb to it. Apart from being a bit too predictable and having a particularly slow middle, this movie does succeed in what it's trying to accomplish. Overall, Nebraska was a movie that was never too dramatic and never too comedic, it was just right. Expand
  7. Sep 20, 2014
    In Nebraska; Woody is a boggled drunkard convinced he has won millions. He embarks on a trip from Montana to Lincoln Nebraska to collect the millions, untrusting of the post, with his son David in tow acting as his guardian. The entire movie is bleak, portrayed entirely in black in white, though that directorial choice by Alexander Payne is not necessary. Casting, acting, script, costume and set design suffice to convey a dreary lower middle class existence. What starts as plot about a son attempting to take care of an unmanageable father quickly changes tone when they end up at Woody’s hometown.

    Bruce Dern is nuanced as the slightly senescent and doddering central figure of this film as Woody. I will not be surprised if he scoops up the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. His character is not likeable, and yet, you do not hate nor blame him because of his sincerity in conviction. Kate is far more disagreeable as his harsh, crude, judgmental wife. June Squibb is unwaveringly on point as this highly realistic personality. Both actors show a commitment to their craft in a subtlety that is typically lost in films nowadays – worthy of their nominations and even potential wins.

    As a whole, the average moviegoer will probably not choose to watch this film. It is far too realistic in subject matter, which is a shame. But, for those film buffs who appreciate a superb and fleshed out story, this movie will be a treat.

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  8. Sep 2, 2014
    Alexander Payne has a way of selecting small but fascinating topics on life--add this to his now long list of greats. Don't expect to laugh throughout, it's actually quiet sad.
  9. Aug 20, 2014
    t's emotional, inspiring, artistic and extremely funny..!!
    The only things which i thought will suck are it's in black and white and too many old people in it but i have to say these two factors made it more beautiful..!!
    The only real drawback is that it's too slow..!
  10. Aug 2, 2014
    Alexander Paynes’ heartwarming father-son road trip (with mother and another son join then quit in the midway) in his home state, saturated in a nostalgic black-and-white monochrome, NEBRASKA is sophisticated witty and charismatically affecting, comfortably sits in the niche of Payne’s outstanding wheelhouse.

    continue reading my review on my blog: google cinema omnivore, thanks
  11. Jul 21, 2014
    Bruce Dern's masterful performance, the excellent music and the simple yet extremely layered storyline with the complex themes it deals with makes Nebraska the most glorious feather yet in Alexander Payne's hat.
  12. Jul 15, 2014
    Después de El lobo de Wall Street creí que no iba a ver una película del 2013 tan buena, pero Nebraska es excelente. La puesta en escena, los actores (esa madre, brillante), la trama... Para nada es aburrida, no hagan caso a los que digan que es una película vacía o sobrevalorada, es una obra genial y con bastante mas humor del que esperaba. Muy recomendable.
  13. May 28, 2014
    this movie although it seems boring for some but it really touched my feeling
    the reality in this film is so incredible. personally i suffered from my father's willing to travel over seas to make us enough money to leave to us
  14. May 15, 2014
    Nebraska is indeed the best movie of 2013 and one of the best movies of all times. It is beautifully shot, solidly directed, and admirably acted.

    On the surface, Nebraska is the story of a senile man who thinks he has won a million dollar prize and he wants to travel to Nebraska to claim his prize. But in reality, Nebraska is a review on the meaning of the relationship between a father
    and his soon. It is the story of a road trip that reveals many unseen sides of the father to his son and vice verse.

    Nebraska reminds us that dignity and respect are universal values that everybody deserves to have. It's also a harsh criticism of greed and wanton. It is fun to watch, it is tough provoking, and every time you think about it, you will like this movie more.
  15. May 13, 2014
    A new addition to Alexander Payne's excellent career. I'm a huge fan of "About Schmidt" and "Sideways". This film is also set as a road trip, this time a man with his estranged and confused father, who is insistent on travelling to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect the prize money he thinks he won.

    Like Schmidt and Sideways, this is also a comic look into lost lives and broken dreams. It's
    also about family, and mortality. The performances are more than great, particularly of Bruce Dern, and even more, June Squibb. The characters themselves are greatly interesting, each with his/her own quirks. The script and dialogue are sharp, and so is the directing.

    Perhaps my complaints is the overall quiet mood. While i understand that it's supposed to be so, for it to be an accurate portrayal of life in the small town of the American heartland, i can't say i enjoyed it that much. Also wish if there was more plot and drama, especially since this is a two-hour movie.

    Still, it doesn't take away what a great movie this is. And the closing scene nearly makes up for it. It's a beautiful and funny scene.
  16. May 6, 2014
    The story is very simple but within the movie demonstrates the disconnection among families these days. The black and white movie really illustrates this, dismal kind of existence. While peering into these character's lives, we learn about them as they learn about themselves and each other. No special graphics or effects force the veiwer to ID with the characters.
  17. Apr 21, 2014
    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.
  18. Apr 5, 2014
    Nebraska gets everything right, and it comes together to make a funny tender film. A simple movie of simple folks. From the cinematography, acting, and the decision to make it black and white made it one of the best films of the year.
  19. Mar 31, 2014
    A very warm and sincere film with amazing performances from Dern, and June Squib. This movie is very introspective and can be heartfelt, depressing, and hilarious at the same time. The setting , the secondary characters, and family encounters is what really makes this film unique and pushes it past some dullness along the way.
  20. Mar 30, 2014
    I loved everything about this movie. Cinematography, film score (the best I've heard in a long time), stellar performances from all the lead roles. I enjoyed the humour in the film as well. Thoroughly deserving of the Oscar nominations, it should have won best original score IMO.
  21. Mar 24, 2014
    It's a very bitter sweet story. It touched me very much, and should touch everybody, as we have all an old man, or a gently old granny, and in the end, we all will be our own kind of Woody Grant.
    The pace of the movie is stunning. It is slow as life is when you live like this, and it is never boring.
    The photography is just wonderful. The dialogs superb!
    I want more, and at the same
    time, I do not want :) Expand
  22. Mar 20, 2014
    Am I the only one who found this film dragged from start to finish. Filled with patches of fantastic comedic moments between a bland and predictable storyline. Not a fan of the "Artistic black and white either.
  23. Mar 11, 2014
    I initially watched this film just to see how Will Forte handles a serious role and I was genuinely blown away by the whole experience. The compelling performances by the actors, gentle humorous undertones, laid back pacing and great black and white cinematography all combine into a little masterpiece.
  24. Mar 11, 2014
    Nebraska is a great movie that revives the classic Hollywood cinema. It reflects the social conditions of the elderly and the love and care of a son for his cantankerous father as they lead a journey from Billings to Nebraska.
  25. Mar 7, 2014
    bruce dernis amazing in nebraska as an old man who people doesnt understand . i like bruce dern and will forte and not that **** june squib . but i love the movie including bruce dern
  26. Mar 5, 2014
    It takes a really slow build to the finale but I'm glad I took the time to let it happen. The payoff was worth the wait. Not for everyone but I liked it.
  27. Mar 4, 2014
    One of the best of 2013, I regret how many times I passed on this film, it is a full-of-soul masterpiece. The actors fit like a glove, Bruce Dren is great, June Squibb is lovely and Alexander Payne is a genius!
  28. Feb 28, 2014
    How on earth can this piece of garbage be up for best picture? This was utterly and completely devoid of any redeeming social value! The only reason we watched it to the end was we couldn't believe it could go the entire movie without going anywhere. Pitiful!
  29. Feb 28, 2014
    Nebraska started out a little slow and never really kicks in to high gear but it draws you in with it's heart and humor. Bruce Dern and June Squibb provide solid performances.
  30. Feb 24, 2014
    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.
  31. Feb 23, 2014
    Beautifully constructed piece. Arguably Alexander Payne's best film, sporting a golden performance by Bruce Dern. Not to be missed! One of the best of 2013!
  32. Feb 19, 2014
    Spoiler Alert:
    If only David would have bought his father the bloody truck and compressor to begin with, we could all have been spared 115 minutes of our lives watching nothing aimless going nowhere. Pity because I had grown fond of Alexander Payne's work as of late.
  33. Feb 18, 2014
    In uno splendido bianco e nero (fotografato da Phedon Papamichael, greco dal nome spettacolare, già con il regista per ‘Paradiso amaro’), Alexander Payne firma un piccolo capolavoro da una storia semplice, scritta da Bob Nelson, ma che scava a fondo nei personaggi. I Grant sono un’anziana coppia disfunzionale, in cui lui, Woody, è abbonato alla bottiglia e ha un netto disinteresse nei confronti dei familiari, mentre lei, Kate, pare impegnata in una lamentela infinita. Ci si stupisce che i figli non abbiano troppi problemi, a parte che il più giovane, David, è appena stato mollato dalla fidanzata. Un po’ per distrarsi e un po’ per provare a riavvicinarsi al genitore, David decide di accompagnarlo dal Montana fino in Nebraska sulle orme di una vincita milionaria chiaramente fasulla, ma sulla quale il vecchio si è intestardito. Sulla strada, però, c’è il paesello natio di Woody e Kate, Hawthorne, ed è l’occasione per un ritorno alle origini che coinvolge anche la madre e l’altro fratello, Ross, ma che insegna parecchio a David sui propri genitori. Hawthorne è una specie di buco del culo del mondo, due strade in croce in mezzo al nulla abitate perlopiù da anziani malvissuti (e i giovani sono destinati a seguirne le orme, basti pensare ai cugini Cole e Randy) in una realtà estremamente provinciale che offre poco - forse solo la strada per andarsene - per non dire nulla. La notizia del milione mette in agitazione la piccola comunità che vuole disperatamente crederci malgrado si tratti di una palese patacca. Di conseguenza, vengono rispolverati vecchi rancori e mai sopite rivalità – alla fine personficati in Ed, interpretato da Stacy Keach - attraverso le quali Payne può descrivere una serie di figure disegnate con cura, mettendo in fila una serie di facce una più azzeccata dell’altra. In merito, ci sono almeno due scene memorabili, quella del bancone del bar con tutti gli avventori immobili con il proprio bicchiere e quella in cui i maschi del clan dei Grant guardano la partita dei Chicago Bears in televisione: due piccoli quadri di inquietante gotico americano. In contrasto con gli ambienti, non sempre in perfetta forma, di Hawthorne, ci sono i grandi spazi che circondano la cittadina, il cui fascino magnetico pare venir accentuato dalla mancanza di colore, specie quando i personaggi si muovono sulle strade bianche che collegano le fattorie sparse e che sembrano uguali a cinquanta o cento anni fa. Detto dello splendido contorno, è però ormai ora di parlare degli interpreti principali, dai quali sarebbe stato impossibile pretendere di più. Lo scarmigliato Bruce Dern solo intravisto in ‘Django unchained’ – lunghi capelli bianchi svolazzanti e barba incolta – dà corpo al testardo, fragile Woody con un’andatura strascicata e una voluta sgradevolezza: davvero ottima è l’interazione con Will Forte nella parte di David, con l’attore nato al Saturday Night Live che regge alla grande il faccia a faccia con il vecchio leone e rende in maniera assai sottile l’evoluzione del suo personaggio, l’unico per il quale cambia qualcosa. La vera rivelazione, però, risulta alla fine essere June Squibb che, tutte le volte che è in scena, ruba l’attenzione con il nervosismo di una Kate che, senza peli sulla lingua, sembra voler scaricare nelle parole la durezza di una vita passata al fianco di un uomo che forse non ha mai amato (e viceversa). Trattandosi di un film che lavora sulle psicologie, il passo scelto da Payne è inevitabilmente lento, ma di quella lentezza che aiuta le sensazioni a sedimentarsi nella mente dello spettatore, finendo per non abbandonarlo più: in ogni caso, un tale andamento è lontanissimo dal generare qualsiasi sensazione di noia, anche perché, pur trattandosi di una commedia amara, qua e là ci sono spunti comici costruiti con notevole abilità, come, ad esempio, la ricerca della dentiera di Woody o l’episodio del furto del compressore sbagliato. Il Nebraska è lo stato natale del regista, ma è impossibile sottrarsi alla suggestione di un altro capolavoro intitolato così (e, guarda caso, con uno scatto in bianco e nero in copertina): come il disco di Springsteen è tutto meno che immediato, ma conquista senza lasciare scampo con le sue storie di perdenti, la pellicola di Payne richiede solo un po’ di attenzione per trasformarsi in uno di quei film che è difficile dimenticare. Expand
  34. Feb 18, 2014
    It might be too simplistic and bore some viewers but otherwise, the character-driven Nebraska is amusing, dramatic, beautifully shot and brilliantly acted.
  35. Feb 15, 2014
    The two time Academy Award winning director for adapted screenplay for the movies 'Sideways' and 'The Descendants'. This time for original screenplay and 5 other nominees, including best motion picture and direction. The 2nd of march 2014 evening will decide how many it would grab the little golden statues. Till then we have to wait with no option.

    The movie had no big names in the cast
    according to the current market value, but still got a big slide to the 2014 Oscar. Except seeing the posters I never interested to take a peek inside the promos like teasers and trailers. Before watching the movie yesterday I thought it was Jack Nicolson in the poster. I thought they were working together again after the success of 'About Schmidt'. Then realised and surprised about this simple but a beautiful movie.

    The story was very impressive, in fact, realistic subject. About the old generation people and their misunderstandings of the current world's advertisement gimmicks. The black and white presentation was enchanting. It would have been different if the movie was in colour, I guess I could have liked a bit lesser than now.

    It was begun like a father-son's road adventure, then later turned into a drama about a family reunion. Dialogues were very good, filled with many dark homours. The story sets with the backdrop of a lottery ticket and takes different avatars which reveals other stories. Like stories of our protagonists birth town, old friends and girlfriend. It's always heartwarming to see the aged guys struggling in a movie. It makes to lean your fondness towards that role. If you are a weak it will emotionally appeal, but also entertains with its dark humors. Either way you will have a great 2 hours with it.

    One of the best movie of 2013 after 'Gravity', 'Frances Ha' 'Short Term 12', 'Rush', and few others. Definitely a pure family entertainment. If you ever enjoyed the director's earlier movies, then you would do same for this as well. So highly recommended. Don't listen to critics, what I came to know is they are bashing this poetical movie fiercely.

  36. Feb 11, 2014
    I can't help but feel betrayed by how much this film is overrated! Anything about this film is very bad:
    - It's pretentious! Why would this film need to be in black and white? To help cover the bad acting capabilities of everyone except Bruce Dern. This doubles with long unneeded pauses in dialogues.
    - It's basically a copy of "The Straight Story" (David Linch) in anything that could
    make it good message-wise.
    - It tries to give you deep feelings not about the story it tells, instead it tries to do this by having you remember something about your own life. How does it do this? It enumerates a number of ordinary disgraces that somehow affect everyone's life (cancer, Alzheimer's, poorness, old love affairs, dead relatives... you get the point).
    - It's filled with poor comedy targeted at 70+ year olds that want to feel young by random curse words and vulgarity.
  37. Jan 31, 2014
    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.
  38. Jan 30, 2014
    This is the best movie I have ever seen. I am 59. That means there's a **** of other crap you can pretty much skip over and go straight to this film if you would like to know what comprises a really good one. A few scenes reminded me of The Last Picture Show. The ruins of the small town, the sparseness, the hopelessness... This is a film and all other so-called-films are
    nothing but movies in comparison. In the same
    way that 'West Side Story' is a musical and all
    other attempts at musicals are school plays with
    songs tossed in. If you miss seeing this film at
    a large screen you have missed the film. It simply
    won't translate to a television or any smaller screen
    very well sadly. Bruce Dern deserves the Oscar, the Wiener
    and the Schnitzel. No one else is even in in his hemisphere.
    Well, you could give it Bob Redford for 'All is Lost' but that's
    not gonna happen either. Both absolute masterpieces, both
    absolutely looked over. Just a glance to his son in the truck
  39. Jan 27, 2014
    Nebraska, being the "estranged family film" that August: Osage County tried to be is very well-executed. Many good performances range from Bruce Dern to even Bob Odenkirk. The black and white aspect makes the film seem a little more dark and dramatic, yet the comedy found in the dialogue counterbalances it perfectly.
  40. Jan 17, 2014
    This movie is great, and Bruce Dern gives one of his greatest performances ever, and the movie is just so good, and I had a lot of fun with it. It is one of the year's best movies.
  41. Jan 13, 2014
    Nebraska started out a little slow and never really kicks in to high gear but it draws you in with it's heart and its humor. The actress that plays Bruce Derns wife is hilarious. I have not laughed so hard in a cemetery scene in a long time. In the end you see the family come together and grow to like each other.
    The movies is much funnier than it looks.
  42. Jan 9, 2014
    A lot of great films this year are creating greatness with less. Definitely a great year for dramatic, character driven filmmaking driven by great writing.
  43. Jan 6, 2014
    Nebraska is a slow, meandering quirky film that will appeal to anyone who likes that style of film. I like the decision to film in Black and White which adds to the ambiance. Although Bruce Dern will get a lot of attention for his portrayal of Woody, Will Forte is the glue that holds this film together. His portrayal of as Woody's son David is pitch perfect as someone who at first feels distant from his father, only to grow closer to him as he gets to know him (mostly through other people) on their road trip together. Then there is June Squibb as David's mother, who is the source of most of the humor in the movie. In fact, two of her scenes are the funniest moments I saw in any movie this year she's a hoot! Expand
  44. Lyn
    Jan 2, 2014
    Very surprised at how funny this film was! For that, I'll forgive Alexander Payne for portraying people near my old neck of the woods as pretty much clueless and craven. Excellent performances including that of Will Forte, who's the heart of the story as he goes to great lengths to understand his dad. Not really on board with Payne's decision to shoot these striking landscapes in black and white. I guess he's saying that old age AND that part of the country are both gray and dreary but I think we knew that already. Expand
  45. Jan 2, 2014
    I am a pretty sophisticated filmgoer... with a high capacity for quiet art films, but this roundly-lauded movie completely stumped me. I agree that Bruce Dern gives a consistent and compelling performance as a disgruntled, confused old codger on his peculiar quest. However, many long stretches of this film (especially the first third) barely rise above the level of a student video project: the acting rings amateurish, the dialogue is stiff with huge pauses/holes in the realistic reaction times of the characters (bad directing and editing there) and so many "atmospheric shots" of rusting cars or unpainted barns or abandoned main streets or weedy junky fields, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum one feels hammered over the head by the black and white BLEAKNESS point the director wants to make. Every scene transition has half a dozen of these "get it?!" shots--it's rather maddening. There are two scenes in the whole move that SAVE the film: the compressor theft mishap and the final drive through town--both of which deliver the 'feel good' sentiment of the film. But they are NOT enough to be rating this rather poorly written and sloppily directed bleakfest an '89' on metacritic. I am rather dismayed by such applause for shoddy work by this director (he's capable of much better.) Expand
  46. Dec 31, 2013
    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.
  47. Dec 22, 2013
    Bruce Dern plays a befuddled old man, who sets out to walk from Billings to Lincoln to claim the million dollars he thinks he won. After a few failed starts, his son (Will Forte being serious) decides to take him. This examination of aging and restrained relationships is directed by Alexander Payne with deadpan delivery and lovely black and white cinematography. It's one of those quietly observed indies with tapped down emotions and humor that's usually underplayed (except June Squibb as his amusingly feisty wife). The filmmaking is as reserved as the characters: no grand emotions or splashy performances, just a quietly sweet cinematic journey. Expand
  48. Dec 15, 2013
    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.
  49. Dec 15, 2013
    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.
  50. Dec 14, 2013
    While certainly being an entertaining and watchable movie it doesn't quite rise to the level of being a good one. The quirky characters seem to often to be caricatures and too often of 2 kind: dumb and mean. It's too much a riff on lower middle rural America, which is fine if it had any depth to it, but only Bruce Dern's son shows us complexity. The laughs are often cheap and at the expense of ageism. I'm old and know plenty of people older than me and we're not that easily type cast. Dern does an excellent job as an old coot who has withered with alcohol and the abuse of an acerbic wife, but it's Will Forte's movie as a kind son who still sees worth in his rancorous father, and who is the only one who shows him charity. Lastly why is it that we still have to offer up old women who spew sexual innuendos as humorous? Expand
  51. Dec 13, 2013
    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.
  52. Dec 7, 2013
    "Nebraska" is not a crowd pleaser. This is a movie for a certain audience. Those who know the name of Alexander Paine, who liked such his movies as "Sideways" and "about Schmidt" will love this movie as much as I did.

    Shut in black-and-white, it is deliberately slow to reflect a slow life of American rural country where people are close-mouthed and reserved.
    Each character is a bit
    grotesque but is so colorful and authentic.
    This movie was a real treat for me. I do not expect any "Best Actor" nominations but I have no doubt there will be a "Best Director" nomination.
  53. Dec 7, 2013
    I really enjoyed this quirky film, which I know is not for everyone. It is mature, thoughtful and sweet. The acting and tone are perfect. Looking deeply into the lives of these interesting and imperfect people is a rewarding experience.
  54. Dec 1, 2013
    Alexander Payne parodies modern attempts at nostalgia, and in doing do, creates an artistic realm within the characters and plot. Bruce Dern's lead performance as the silent, senile, and overly-determined drunkard has an enigmatic eloquence, that gives us a chance to look further into his previous life and question it, something his son, David, who's managed to keep calm and logical, tries to accomplish. At the beginning its black-and-white, but then you see the color of Woody and his past. June Squibb is the main source of comedy, which is a surprise being that she's over 80 and has never had such a large role prior to 'Nebraska'. This movie is to remind us of old America, and that some still hold on to it. Expand
  55. Nov 25, 2013
    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 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. Expand
  56. Nov 17, 2013
    Alexander Payne creates a film about the passage of time, parent-child relationship, looking for a different purpose and apparent madness, as he does not abuse thoughtful and dramatic scenes that provoke in the viewer a regret about your life, what is good for he can do it without doing it, and adding a good laugh, with an aesthetic that I greatly appreciate the films Black and white alone already cause some sensation, which is even better with the performance of Bruce Dern (this will likely be indicated and perhaps even winning an Oscar for his age). Expand
  57. Nov 16, 2013
    Incredibly nostalgic and full of affection (aided by its superb cinematography), Alexander Payne supplies a sweet fable with a powerful performance from Bruce Dern.
  58. Nov 15, 2013
    Director Alexander Payne "Sideways" (2004) and "About Schmidt" (2002) deftly handles the road-movie plot structure once again with dark humor and satirical depictions of contemporary American society, yielding fantastic results yet again, as a heartfelt journey to examine his frail and flawed characters. Payne himself is a Nebraska native who felt strongly that the movie be filmed black and white to capture the mood of the old American heartland, and in order for the film to receive funding from Paramount, he had to settle for a smaller budget. As a result, Payne films and casts the movie in local communities with actual residents which provides a realistic texture to the family bonding tale. "Nebraska” is a humorous and heart-rendering story of family, but it also sheds a light onto the people of America's heartland, and our countries economic, moral, and cultural decline.

    "Nebraska" starts as a road movie, with a father and son traveling from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska. David (Will Forte) has decided to indulge his father Woody (Bruce Dern), who is struggling with dementia and thinks that he can pick up his $1 million in winnings from a magazine distributor in Lincoln. En route, they stop for the weekend in Hawthorne, Dern’s hometown, where they're joined by his wife (June Squibb), and his other son (Bob Odenkirk) amidst your stereotypical Midwestern relatives and friends, all of whom are extremely interested to learn that there’s now a millionaire before them.

    The central relationship between Dern’s stubbornly gullible dad and Forte’s passively irritated son gradually deepens as the movie makes its way through middle America. What makes the film such a delight to watch are the individuality of its characters. Each one is fun to watch in their own right; the father’s relentless determination, the mother’s humorous outbursts, and the son’s sympathy and desire to bond with his father. "Nebraska" reaches an emotional conclusion that echoes of "About Schmidt" and "The Descendants" (2011) with an underlying sense of lives largely squandered, but handled with grace and finesse that feels innately genuine. "Nebraska" is another finely tuned, superior slice of cinema crafted by Alexander Payne who achieves a more mature, sentimental tone than previous films. The all-around marvelous performances from the cast and supporting non-professional actors add an unmistakable authenticity to this slice of Americana.

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
    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
    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
    A pitch-perfect performance from Dern graces Alexander Payne’s latest roadmovie – another bittersweet meditation on the sad, comic futility of life.