"Bernie' isn't a monumental film, but it is a finely tuned character study with some nice innovations.
- Tom Long, Detroit News, May 25, 2012
The question of why the law must always be upheld, regardless of consequences, gives this light, amiable movie a surprising heft and weight.
- Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, May 24, 2012
Bernie has chuckles, but it's hardly riotous. And this is a good thing.
- Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, May 18, 2012
Propelled by a perfectly cast trio of stars whose eccentricities shine in singular character roles, Bernie is charmer.
- Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail, May 18, 2012
Black is terrific. Rather than winking at the audience, he plays Bernie as a guy who's thoroughly unaware that there's anything unconventional about his behavior.
- Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 18, 2012
"Bernie" unfolds into many equally rich narrative strands: love story, southern Gothic slice-of-life and, finally tragedy and legal thriller...
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, May 18, 2012
Linklater's a glider, not a pile-driver; he hangs back when other directors prefer to bore in.
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2012
It allows director Richard Linklater to explore his own roots while telling a remarkable real-life story, something too crazy for anyone to make up.
- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 2012
It's a darkly funny, irresistible film - and one with a masterful performance at its center.
- Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, May 17, 2012
The movie's bright and endearing and surprisingly lacking in a point. I wish I liked it better, but it's a start.
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe, May 17, 2012
A one-of-a-kind comedy based on the real homicide of an innocent old lady.
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 17, 2012
[A] weirdly funny, inspiring film.
- Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 2012
Some of the best performances come from real-life residents of Carthage as they share their recollections on camera.
- J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, May 17, 2012
A dead-solid-perfect depiction of small-town life.
- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, May 17, 2012
Bernie isn't a particularly likeable guy and Black's opaque performance never lets us get beneath the surface to find a character we might actually care about.
- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, May 17, 2012
Linklater, admirably unconcerned about how his film can be categorized, has made a comedy, a drama and most certainly a character study.
- John Anderson, Newsday, May 11, 2012
Watching Bernie is a little like sitting on a shady front porch and gossiping with the town tattlers.
- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, May 03, 2012
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.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, May 03, 2012
Has a little bit of an East Texas Fargo feel. Jack Black gives one of his best performances.
- Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com, May 02, 2012
A jovial yet gracefully told tale.
- Richard Brody, New Yorker, May 01, 2012