Box art for Bernie

Bernie

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

independent, special interest


Bernie frequently traveled with Marjorie and even managed her banking affairs. Marjorie quickly became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity and Bernie struggled to meet her increasing demands.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    90%
  • Audience Score
    72%

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Jack Black stars in dark fact-based murder comedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bernie is an eccentric, entertaining, and sometimes disturbing dark comedy based on the real-life murder of wealthy Texas widow Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine). Jack Black stars, but this isn't one of his mainstream comedies; Bernie's story is told with a mix of seriousness and levity, a tone that may be hard for tweens and under to process, given that it all actually happened. There's a bit of swearing (including very infrequent uses of words like "s--t" and "f--k") and scenes of cruelty (emotional, with one character needling and bullying another).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. What's the takeaway? Is there meant to be one?
  • Can you believe that this story is actually based on real-life events? How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers stretch or change the facts?
  • What makes Bernie a sympathetic character -- both to the people in his town and to audiences?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    90%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Bernie reviews
  • Audience

    72%

Audience Reviews

3 stars

"I've read numerous of times that Bernie is a film your either going to love or hate. I happen to be in the middle. Jack Black gives out one of his best performances I have seen in a long time. I love Shirley MacLaine. She does well in this role. The story is solid. I even thought bringing in the towns people to help tell the story really was smart. The only problem for me was I just wasn't very interested in the story. Still it has great performances and can be funny at times. Still not something I would watch again."

- LWOODS04, Sunday, November 18, 2012

3 stars

"I've read numerous of times that Bernie is a film your either going to love or hate. I happen to be in the middle. Jack Black gives out one of his best performances I have seen in a long time. I love Shirley MacLaine. She does well in this role. The story is solid. I even thought bringing in the towns people to help tell the story really was smart. The only problem for me was I just wasn't very interested in the story. Still it has great performances and can be funny at times. Still not something I would watch again."

- LWOODS04, Sunday, November 18, 2012

3 stars

"Bernie" is an oddball movie that gives the best performance of Jack Blacks career. This isn't his best movie, but in terms of what he's done as an actor, this is his best work. Black is usually hilarious and over the top, but here he is a little reserved, weird, and a character completely different than Jack Black. He plays the title character Bernie who is an assistant funeral director in a tiny Texas town. Everyone loves him, and he loves everyone else. Bernie befriends a widow(Shirley MacLaine) who everyone in the town hates, but Bernie tries to comfort her and they become best friends, and then things get bad. I don't really want to say much more because it would spoil the movie, but it's based on a true story, and it's a weird story at that. Other than Black, Matthew McConaughey plays the towns District Attorney, and he does a great job also. He is almost unrecognizable. It's amazing to see 2 very well known actors transform in the way they do. This movie isn't going to be for everyone. But, if you like quirky independent dramedies, then you should give this a shot. I think Black will get a Spirit and Golden Globe nomination for this. If he doesn't, that's a shame, because he is great.

- fb100000145236770, Saturday, November 17, 2012