100

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.
Full Review
88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Weirdly funny, inspiring film.
Full Review
85

NPR

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.
Full Review
75

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.
Full Review
70

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.)
Full Review
63

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.
Full Review
60

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.
Full Review
60

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.
Full Review
60

Movieline

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.
Full Review
58

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.
Full Review
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.