San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
You should have the opportunity to experience the movie the way I did, in complete ignorance, enjoying its every weird turn.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Weirdly funny, inspiring film.
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By Jeannette Catsoulis
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.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
No use trying to describe Bernie. It's a one-of-a-kind inspiration. You will never feel closer to a convicted killer.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Where the movie is at its best is in the comically laconic, straight-to-the-camera remarks offered by Carthage's residents. (They're played by a mix of local actors and real townspeople doing partially scripted versions of themselves.)
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Black gets to play an actual character instead of a loudmouthed cartoon. The movie's bright and endearing and surprisingly lacking in a point. I wish I liked it better.
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
More than the film that surrounds him, Jack Black is worth the price of admission in Bernie, an oddball May-December true life crime story that would have profited from being a whole lot darker and full-bodied than it is.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Jack Black adds new depths to his slippery comic persona in Bernie, a movie that may not ultimately add up to much, but which is filled with wonderfully odd details of weird Americana.
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By Stephanie Zacharek
It was a stroke of genius, at least a miniature one, to cast Black in this role – he's made to play the affable teddy bear who could snap at any moment.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Adam Markovitz
All those twangy, homespun observations interrupt and annotate the narrative until Black and MacLaine's scenes start to feel as trivial as reenactments on a true-crime TV show.
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75 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.