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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Jack Black stars in dark fact-based murder comedy.

Movie PG-13 2012 104 minutes
Bernie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 15+

Might be slow for some kids, but otherwise great

The acting in this movie is sublime! I couldn’t tell if they were doing a live interview or reading from a script—which made it incredibly real (and funny!) I laughed out loud several times at just the terse remarks of the characters. But the movie is rather slow to start, which may bore younger kids. Give it at least 30 minutes.
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This Richard Linklater-directed movie based on true events, and featuring interviews with those who actually knew the key players, is an offbeat concoction that mystifies and mesmerizes. It makes you privy to the frailties and eccentricities of human relationships. Things like this do actually happen -- a fact delivered powerfully thanks to the inclusion of the townspeople of Carthage, who not only are familiar with what happened but can also remember what it was like to live through it. Their opinions, which they share freely, are uproarious and insightful. (That said, there are a lot of them, and watching one after another share their thoughts sometimes feels like an over-long parade.)

MacLaine can do no wrong, of course, and her Marjorie is both horrible and human. But the film is Black's; although he sometimes goes right to the edge of caricature on this one, he manages not to fall right off the cliff, delivering a performance that, taken as a whole, manages to make you feel what it would have been like to have been one of Carthage's observers of this odd tragedy: conflicted, compassionate, and deeply conscious of the strangeness of life.

Movie Details

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