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Country Strong Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Neil Pond
American Profile

This canned corn falls far short of the inspiring story of triumph and tragedy it wants viewers to buy.

Full Review Source: American Profile | Original Score: 2/5

September 9, 2011
Joshua Starnes

It takes a while for Country Strong to make up its mind what it wants to be about, and it takes even longer for it to figure out how to get there as the conclusion drags on and on, searching for a point.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/10

January 7, 2011
Jason Goodyer
Little White Lies

As predictable and soulless as an over-produced country power ballad.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 2/5

March 24, 2011
David Sexton
This is London

No saving grace here.

Full Review Source: This is London | Original Score: 2/5

March 25, 2011
Glenn Heath Jr.
Slant Magazine

Remember when country music meant something to narrative filmmaking, when a tortured, soulful song put to film could document the doubts and dimensions of an entire generation?

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 0/4

January 10, 2011
Annlee Ellingson
Moving Pictures Magazine

For a script that promotes artistry over stardom, love over fame, Country Strong falls back on cinematic tropes that saddle the film with an unfortunate predictability.

Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine

January 11, 2011
Roger Moore
Movie Nation

A little like modern country music - odd moments of sincerity, heart and authenticity peek through the plastic, the hype and the manufactured hokum.

Full Review Source: Movie Nation | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 23, 2013
Corey Hall
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

The actors all grit teeth, chew mouthfuls of mushy cornpone and attempt to make something of this, despite a cheese-ball script and pretty perfunctory direction, both by Shana Feste.

Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI) | Original Score: C+

January 7, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Country Strong" is one of the best movies of 1957, and I mean that sincerely as a compliment.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 6, 2011

There are some lovely songs, and a handful of great ideas, just dying to bust out of Country Strong, but the cream gravy that coats every corner of this chicken-fried Valley of the Dolls smothers almost everything it can.

Full Review Source: HitFix

December 22, 2010
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's well-acted. Almost everything else about "Country Strong" is weak.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

January 6, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Country Strong" comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

January 6, 2011
William Goss

It almost works as a decent if familiar story of comebacks and setbacks -- but then one bottle goes crashing against the wall and the emotional investment all but flies out the window.

Full Review Source: Cinematical

January 7, 2011
Terry Staunton
Radio Times

Writer/director Shana Feste is clearly indebted to the Oscar-winning Crazy Heart and Robert Altman's epic Nashville, but the script all too often stumbles into mediocre soap-opera territory.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 24, 2011
Brett Michel
Boston Phoenix

A bizarre cut that finds Kelly and Beau riding a freight train just adds to the sensation that we're witnessing a film career off its rails.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 0.5/4

January 12, 2011
Kimberly Gadette
Indie Movies Online

It's a relief when Paltrow's character bursts into song. That's the only time when she's not pitching fits to beat the band ... making the band, and the audience, extremely grateful.

Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online | Original Score: 2/10

January 8, 2011
Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Doesn't come close to matching any of the legion of films set in the country music world, from "Coal Miner's Daughter" to "Walk the Line" to "Crazy Heart."

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

January 7, 2011
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Country Strong has a bit more to recommend it -- the music most of all -- but it's still a tough slog through emotional swamplands.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 7, 2011
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Themes and cliches plucked from countless country lyrics fuel a thoroughly unconvincing show business story about a larger-than-life, crash-and-burn star and her unruly entourage of self-serving personalities.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

December 22, 2010
Tim Grierson
Screen International

A country music drama with a big heart but not enough focus, Country Strong tackles fame, artistic expression, addiction and love, although none of them deeply enough.

Full Review Source: Screen International

December 22, 2010

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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