Another great achievement from Linklater, this has the feel of a hybrid documentary with all the main parts acted perfectly by Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McCougheney, and the rest being played by the actual people in the town where the events transpired and who knew the characters this film is based on. Nobody does it quite like Linklater these days.
A city symphony for a town, where the real people are so happy to divulge their secrets that they intrude upon a dramatized retelling to add their voices. Jack Black's best work to date, a man whose charming nature lays the groundwork for so very nearly getting away with murder.
I'd give it two and a half stars. It's enjoyable enough, but there isn't much momentum beyond a series of episodes. The film almost gets stolen by one of the real-life townspeople and some crazy Texas geography.
At first, I didn't know where's Linklater gonna go by keep shifting the style of the film from documentary to narrative perspective. But then, as the second half unfolds, I, like seeing a magician at the top of his game, went "ah". The effect is a powerful climax. Also: This is Jack Black's Punch-Drunk Love.
Once again, Linklater proves himself in being one of the best working American Filmmakers. This complex black comedy brought me so much joy and provoked deeper thought on small town morality! Is it always evil for a good person to act out of evil? Also, Jack Black gives a performance that I doubt will be topped this year.
A fascinating and troubling comedy from Richard Linklater that manages to be very funny while only occasonally condescending to its regional characters. The cast is splendid, with Jack Black delivering his best work in years.