Bernie

2011

Action / Biography / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Music

50
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 51840

Synopsis


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September 17, 2012 at 06:29 AM

Cast

Matthew McConaughey as Danny Buck
Jack Black as Bernie Tiede
Shirley MacLaine as Marjorie Nugent
Gabriel Luna as Kevin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
699.29 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 1 / 13
1.40 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 2 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Alyssa Black (Aly200) 6 / 10

Darkly Funny, but All True

The old adage that "truth is stranger than fiction" is all too accurate in this Richard Linklater film. The director of films like the "Before" trilogy, "Dazed and Confused" and "Boyhood" took to an actual story for this dark comedy about a Texan mortician who kills the elderly widow he befriended. The film follows the investigation into uncovering the motive and drama surrounding the case. Linklater actually takes to using actual residents to outline the backstory in addition to his actors who play the main roles.

Jack Black, a normally comedic star, takes on the titular role of Bernie Tiede, the killer in question. Black brings his usual likability to the role and is not a man you would think to be capable of violence. However in the hands of director Linklater and Black, Bernie is depicted as a figure who transitions from a mild mannered every-man who finally snapped when push came to shove and coldly (and many would argue rightly) took the life of a defenseless elderly woman. The lengths to which Bernie goes fit well into Jack Black's ability to juggle a mix of fear of discovery with intelligence that is touched upon, but amateurish. The actor did actually met with the real Bernie Tiede to prepare for the film which is shown at the end credits.

In the role of the victim is Oscar nominee Shirley MacLaine who is at her detached best. The actress has to rely on her skill set to portray a woman who was known to be unlikable and possessively cruel which MacLaine taps into without becoming a caricature. She is silent most of the time, using body language to exude a cold, callous demeanor but when MacLaine does speak she uses her razor sharp tongue to spew short words of demeaning or just uncaring emotion. We are never forced to hate her, but are encouraged to sympathize with Bernie's situation with Marjorie as the relationship grows strained until Bernie finally shoots her to death.

Rounding out the cast is the almost undeniable ideal casting of a slick Matthew McConaughey as District Attorney Danny Davidson (nicknamed Buck). Given the Texan native has been numerous lawyers in works like "A Time to Kill", "Amistad" and "The Lincoln Lawyer", it's only fitting that the actor now plays a prosecuting attorney and an actual figure at that. Never becoming smarmy or overly self-righteous, McConaughey does bring an air of cockiness to Danny which was well documented by the actual residents in the film and in the investigation of the Tiede case. As one interviewee states, 'the best thing Danny "Buck" Davidson is good at is getting himself elected.' That sentence just about sums up the man himself, but there is no denying that he is/was a good lawyer given that Davidson won the guilty verdict from the jury in the case of Bernie Tiede; a verdict which is still debated about.

The film sticks quite closely to the actual facts of the case without embellishing too much fluff into the narrative. Some moments come off as a bit mismatched with the film's tone, the docudrama style of shooting is actually a unique perspective as the story comes from actual men and women while of course sprinkling in the acting performances to move the story along. The true crime flick is a good departure for director Richard Linklater as it mixes dark comedy into a genre of film he hasn't really tackled before or since.

Reviewed by HotToastyRag 10 / 10

One of the best movies ever

Bernie is one of my favorite movies, and the best advice I can give is this: Don't watch the preview. The preview gives away the entire story—major spoilers! All you need to know is it's about a very charismatic mortician who moves to a small Texas town and bonds with a widow after conducting her husband's funeral. If you start to read anything more about the plot, stop reading! The movie is so fantastic, but you can only see it for the first time once. Don't spoil it.

The acting in Bernie is incredible. I don't know what kind of anti-aging pill Shirley MacLaine is taking, but I want it! She looks fantastic, and her energy level is just as high as it was in her twenties. Matthew McConaughey gives a hilarious performance, and even people who normally can't stand him will think he does an excellent job (just ask my mom!). And Jack Black, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his turn in the title role, is phenomenal. The Academy Awards snubbed him, big time. He pours himself into the role, making Bernie human, charming, troubled, sweet, and endearing.

Richard Linklater co-wrote and directed the film, and he guides the story with a very gentle hand. The main plot is spliced in with mock interviews, but Linklater doesn't make it feel like a documentary. He balances the very fine line between humor and drama, and unfolds the story to the audience in a truly perfect way.

Do me and yourself a favor; buy Bernie. It's a movie you'll want to watch over and over and over.

Reviewed by Ironically Unimpressed 4 / 10

Another Linklater comedy fail

As always, Linklater sets up a wonderful possibility but, alas, fails to deliver the punchline. Too focused on his usual indulgent voyeurism, he still manages a nicely put together set of moving images, however, it's an effort structured on a rather fiddly foundation to begin with. The story itself is not a very interesting one and the mockumentary technique employed throughout only serves to distance the viewer from the happenings rather than inviting them in.

The argumentative dialogue lacks any sort of depth and the acting is unimaginative, with both Black and McConaughey bringing nothing new to the table other than their own, fatigued by now style when, unfortunately, MacLaine alone can't carry the whole film on her shoulders.

Do keep in mind that the "comedy" tag attached to this movie is terribly misleading as there are no real funny moments, with most of the humorous attempts being in extremely poor taste given this is based on a true story and they are afforded in the expense of an old woman who got murdered simply for being unpleasant.

Proceed at your own risk.

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