Bernie

Bernie

Bernie

Jack Black reunites with School of Rock director Richard Linklater for this dark comedy about the murder of a wealthy, elderly Texan widow (Shirley MacLaine) by her middle-aged companion (Black). Matthew McConaughey plays the local DA. Based on a true story.

Bernie is a portly, well-liked mortician in small-town Texas who befriends cantankerous widower Marjorie. After killing her (shooting her in the back with a rifle) for financial gain, he goes to great lengths to make it appear she is still alive. When Marjorie's body is eventually discovered and DA Danny Buck Davidson starts pointing the finger at Bernie, the towns residents rally to his defence.

2011Rating: M, for some violent images and brief strong language99 minsUSA
ComedyDramaTrue Story & Biography
78%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

There's a part in this movie...

... where Bernie visits the scene of a teenage car crash. One of the teenagers in the crash has been killed, and is lifted onto a stretcher while Bernie is speaking to the rest of the students. The "dead" teenager visibly laughs. Dead (pun intended) serious and wildly funny, Bernie is captivating and, regardless of little moments such as the laughter of a...

Black is Back

I have often found Richard Linklaters films to be rather inconsistent and I had concern going into this that would be no different as it featured Jack Black who can be brilliant (School of Rock, High Fidelity) or he can just be over the top and annoying (Gullivers Travels) My worries were unfounded. Bernie is an extremely entertaining film, although perhaps...

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Bernie, a triumph of small-scale, regional pulp, doesn’t quite operate as a menacing thriller, nor as a one-note yokel comedy.

5.0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

Interspersing "real" people with professional actors, Linklater creates a vivid, gossipy Greek chorus that serves as a kind of collective unreliable narrator -- an altogether appropriate stance given the moral gray zone the sweetly confounding Bernie inhabits.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Gaudily vibrant, at times morbidly funny.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

No use trying to describe Bernie. It's a one-of-a-kind inspiration. You will never feel closer to a convicted killer.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

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.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A splendid performance by Jack Black distinguishes this overly mild look at a 1990s Texas murder.

A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

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.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Bernie, a triumph of small-scale, regional pulp, doesn’t quite operate as a menacing thriller, nor as a one-note yokel comedy.

5.0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

Interspersing "real" people with professional actors, Linklater creates a vivid, gossipy Greek chorus that serves as a kind of collective unreliable narrator -- an altogether appropriate stance given the moral gray zone the sweetly confounding Bernie inhabits.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Gaudily vibrant, at times morbidly funny.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

No use trying to describe Bernie. It's a one-of-a-kind inspiration. You will never feel closer to a convicted killer.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

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.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A splendid performance by Jack Black distinguishes this overly mild look at a 1990s Texas murder.

A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

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.

There's a part in this movie...

... where Bernie visits the scene of a teenage car crash. One of the teenagers in the crash has been killed, and is lifted onto a stretcher while Bernie is speaking to the rest of the students. The "dead" teenager visibly laughs. Dead (pun intended) serious and wildly funny, Bernie is captivating and, regardless of little moments such as the laughter of...

Black is Back

I have often found Richard Linklaters films to be rather inconsistent and I had concern going into this that would be no different as it featured Jack Black who can be brilliant (School of Rock, High Fidelity) or he can just be over the top and annoying (Gullivers Travels) My worries were unfounded. Bernie is an extremely entertaining film, although...

4.0