Crazy Heart - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Crazy Heart Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 10, 2010
Even though somehow similar to it, The Wrestler came out as a hard punch while this one feels more like a soft country song that benefits a lot from Jeff Bridges' outstanding performance and turns out to be a satisfying yet unoriginal drama.
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2010
Jeff Bridges carries this film with another outstanding performance through all the motels, bars and stadiums. It's refreshing to see a drama bout a man who's past his prime years that doesn't entirely give up on its protagonist and doesn't paint an entirely pessimistic picture. Even with little interest in country music, there is a lesson to learn here: it's never too late for a second chance. But some things will only allow you one. Many images of the film stay with you long after it ended.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2013
Crazy Heart is a small intimate story you've seen a few times before; the burnt out has been artist drifting in a haze of disillusionment and alcoholism saved by the love of a good woman. But -- NEVER this well executed. This film is consistently honest, touching, heartbreaking, funny and has great original country tunes. Its secret weapon, the most natural, charismatic and apparently effortless actor on the planet - Jeff Bridges.

On a downward spiral is deteriorating, aging former country star Bad Blake (Bridges). During a low rent desperate road trip playing in bowling alleys and dives, Bad finds a much younger single mother journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and they fall in love. Though this happens when Bad's in a drunken stupor, a game changing screw up puts the love of his life in peril. Bad knows he can't keep this relationship going unless he gets sober, with the help of friends like his buddy Robert Duvall and his younger protege Tommy Sweet, who is now a huge star, surprisingly sung and nicely embodied by Colin Farrell.

What amazed me is the palpable chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Bridges which totally won me over. It's hard enough to have good chemistry when the actors are the same age, let alone thirty years apart. Here, I bought it hook line and sinker and more importantly, I cared! It's a tribute to both actors that their love happens in such a quiet, gradual and truthful way.

Young and highly promising writer/director Scott Cooper has written and directed a note perfect chamber film. It may try the patience of some viewers, because the story avoids melodramatic histrionics and big over the top emotions, unfolding very gently. It's very similar to Duvall's Tender Mercies in tone and milieu, and in theme, it's very close to Daren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, though it's more conventional and mainstream than that Mickey Rorke vehicle.

The songs by T Bone Burnett are uniformly excellent, mostly in the vein of traditional country with slightly Freudian lyrics with subject matter that subtly touches on the themes of the film. This has my strongest recommendation, but consider yourself forewarned if you hate country music or were expecting big histrionics, gun play and chase scenes.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2012
Crazy Heart is a terrific film with some amazing acting on the part of Jeff Bridges. Aside from his role in The Big Lebowski, this is one of his finest hours. With a brilliant story where Bridges plays a washed-up Country Singer, this is a fine film that is near perfect. Bridges is simply phenomenal here, and the rest of the cast are simply wonderful here. The film is entertaining from start to finish. Director Scott Cooper does a wonderful job behind the camera, and with a poignant story, he delivers an unforgettable film that is definitely worth seeing. This is a well done film that I really enjoyed. Jeff Bridges definitely deserved the Oscar and he is a wonderfully talented actor. Crazy Horse has a few weak points about, but for the most part, it succeeds at being an entertaining film that is supported by a great cast, which in turn make it worth seeing. The film has a melancholic feel to it, but towards the end, the story is more uplifting this is a stunning picture that is meant to be treasured. Jeff Bridges is a powerhouse in this film, and he makes Crazy Heart worth watching. His performance alone is the film's greatest asset and it's what makes this film such a treat to watch. If you're in the mood for a great drama film, Crazy Heart is a must see. The performances alone make it worth seeing. Jeff Bridges has made some great films, but with Crazy Heart, he plays a stripped down serious role, and gives it an honest, poignant and heartfelt performance that he won him an Oscar.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2011
Filled with great music and an especially terrific performance from Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart is a truly enjoyable watch.
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2011
A decent film about a man getting his life back, but this cliched story won't wow you. Bridges puts on a fine performance, but this movie is clearly Oscar bait rather than a story for general audiences.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
Sad to see someone (Jeff Bridges) I've always admired and liked just about any movie he's ever done, getting old, but he's aged extremely well when it comes to movie talent, as this movie proves. Compelling story or how alcohol can take your life away, no matter how much money you have.
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2011
There's really nothing that happens in this movie that you haven't seen before. Jeff Bridges rescues the entire film. Had anybody else played the lead role, this film wouldn't have amounted to much. Bridges turns in a performance that's as charming as it is genuine. I recommend that you see this movie at least once. You won't be disappointed.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2011
Crazy Heart is one of the tears best films andis a amazing movie. The plot of the film follows a man whos life may be fixed when he meets a wonderful woman with a son who may be able to turn his drug abusing and womanizing life around. The story was great and even with many slow momentsthe story is a tremendous journey. Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhal were incredible, they were truly stupendous. This movie was incredible, I highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2010
Delivering excellence as always, Jeff Bridges just keeps piling up our reasons for loving him as an actor. In this delightful music trip, he even gets to show off some of his impressive vocal talent, which appears to have been hidden from us up until now. Initially as a somewhat grumpy and less-than-sober country singer, but later as a man who softens up when a young woman enters his life - an admiring journalist played endearingly by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's a touching transformation, filled with romance, humor and a whole array of enchanting country songs. And you don't even have to be a fan of the genre to really enjoy it. So just sit back, relax and let it sweep you off into places of pure beauty.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2011
Jeff Bridges shows that he is one of the greatest actors around with his role as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. It is probably his best role since he played The Dude in The Big Lebowski. A very good and suprising performance comes from Maggie Gyllenhaal, also. Overall, Crazy Heart is very good movie. It's a story we have all seen before, but because of the amazing performances, it sets itself apart from other movies of it's kind. On another note, the music in the movie was very good as well. That is if you enjoy country.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2010
Crazy Heart is a hard flick to watch, brilliantly shot and very well acted but slow and grim overall. I had just finished the novel (by Thomas Cobb, written 1987) when I watched it, and I think that in the 20 years that passed between the book and the movie, the material changed somewhat. The book was pretty critical of the whole New Country thing as it was emerging, but the music that T-Bone Burnett came out with was a lot more poppy than I thought the author was talking about. I was expecting Bad Blake to play even older Country-Western music than he did. In today's context, I'm not sure it's the same story.

However, what's good here is that it's a basic story of reaching the end of the road and finding a way to carry on. Colin Farrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal, both of whom I generally don't enjoy, were very good in their roles, even though Bridges (and Robert Duvall) are in a league of their own. Good movie, a real crowd pleaser; if I could forget about the book I'd have liked it even more.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2011
You can see why this won the Oscar for Bridges...he is terrific in this role Serious flick for adults, this is NOT a teen or kids movie. This is rather dark and dismal in places, though realistic. Realities of alcoholism depicted well. Robert Duvall produced, and did a fine job, adapting this book to screen. Unusually good music. Bridges sings his own stuff, and he does a fantastic job. Kudos!
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2011
Call me crazy, but Crazy Heart is my 3rd favorite "heart" film, behind Angel and Brave.

The story here is not original (in fact it could be argued that many of the characters, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal's, could have been ripped right out of a country song), but the performance of Jeff Bridges is worth the price of admission (and deserving of his oscar).

Bridges plays Bad Blake a famous country singer whose star has dimmed. He is trapped in his own persona, living the hard drinkin', four time divorced hell raiser and suffering the consequences; hating not only himself, but everything around him for the situation he finds himself in. He drinks like a fish to numb the realization that he is the one responsible for his sad state of affairs - ageing, alone, trying to keep his fame flame lit by playing dives and bowling alley bars.

Maggie Gylleinhaal also does a nice turn as the woman who keeps falling for the wrong man (see, there's that country song rearing it's ugly head). It isn't her fault that my main objection to the film has to do with her character. I feel that the relationship developed between Maggie and Bridges seemed to spring up out of nowhere - one moment they are simply interacting (she interviews him for a newspaper), and the next, she's doing stuff for the love of him that no sane woman would do (except for those portrayed in a country song - damn, I said it again!). I suppose that since he cooked biscuits for she and her son, that of course means that she's fallen for him.

Anywho, the real star of the film (besides Bridges wonderful embodiment) is the music. Not a big fan of country, but the songs here (mostly written by the star of the moment, T-Bone Burnett) are solid and exceedingly well crafted. If the film were simply an expose about the music business, it would work pretty well (with a couple of minor missteps - 50 concerts in 60 days for a major star simply isn't realistic, as it usually takes a couple of days just to set up a venue).

There are also some nicely written moments, as when Maggie gets pissed because Bridges has just written a terrific song while convalescing in her bed. The issue being that she will remember the moment forever, and she is sure that he'll forget where and why he wrote it in a matter of months. There is another scene in which she berates Bridges as he has pulled another great tune out of the ether, complaining that he has no idea of how blessed he is and that most people would sell their souls to be able to write something that good. Of course, as Bridges stated earlier when they were doing the interview, the songs, unfortunately, come from experience. Perhaps Bad Blake has already sold his soul?

Ultimately, like a good country song (there I go again), there is redemption and a bittersweet ending, but the overall taste here is satisfying, but not overwhelming. My mind keeps drawing parallels to the Mickey Rourke vehicle The Wrestler. They are very much of a kind, though I felt the Rourke film a bit more convincing, in spite of a quirky, yet compelling in its own way cameo by Robert Duvall.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2011
A masterful piece of filmmaking and an astonishing performance by Jeff Bridges.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2011
Crazy Heart is the first film directed by Scott Cooper and while it offers a relatively light and familiar story, it still makes for easy and engaging viewing. The film's narrative is indeed highly similar to that of The Wrestler. This is also about a man who has lost the need to care for himself and begins to physically deteriorate because of his unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices. They are also similar because of the problematic inclusion of a woman and their unlikely relationship, as well as the last chance for redemption, with a final career prospect arising. However, this picture does not enforce the same power and dramatic edge as Darren Aronofsky's work, because aside from some stressful scenes towards the end and some raw emotion shown, not a lot happens dramatically throughout Crazy Heart. It is a much lighter film in alot of ways but thats not a bad thing

Yet regardless of the conventional nature of the narrative it is the sensational Oscar nominated performance by Jeff Bridges that truly sparks this film. The amount of detail in this character, from his bushy look to his funny quips and mannerisms, is indicative of the great efforts that Cooper spent thoroughly writing such an interesting and fun persona. One of the first sights we see of Bad is when he is exiting his beaten up old truck with his belt undone and then pouring his own urine from a container on the ground. Similarly, as he sits in just his towel, eating from a Styrofoam container, he announces that he is having dinner when Jean accidentally walks in on him. These crude and funny moments are contrasted with his talents as a showman and a musician, which despite his complacency, have really never left him. When rehearsing he says that he will continue practicing throughout the entire concert unless the sound is fixed, revealing his experience with the industry and its occasionally dodgy practices. His fatal flaw remains his lack of drive though, which has prevented him for so long to do anything with his talents. When he is asked to make a new record he asks his manager what's wrong with his old stuff. Lastly, there is also the tenderness and the vulnerable side, which suggests that underneath his apparent emptiness there is still a man who cares and this is reflected most poignantly with his fondness for Buddy, showing him the love and attention that was absent from his relationship with his own son. Bridges understands this character thoroughly and he physically and emotionally embodies the role, humanising all of Bad's strengths and weaknesses so convincingly. His ability to perform his own singing in the film is just another asset his terrific performance provides for Crazy Heart.

Although there has been great discussion for Bridge's performance, Gyllenhaal is surprisingly affecting in the film too and was justly rewarded with a Best Supporting Actress nomination for this film. She is terrific with her fleeting eyes suggesting her vulnerability and weakness for men. The emotion and fury she shows towards the end of the film is actually quite powerful. How much her son really means to her is also one of the most convincing aspects of her performance, with Buddy being the one last reliable male in Jean's life. It is a shame given the quality of both performances then that the relationship between Bad and Jean is slightly less plausible. Their attraction is not only rapid but it comes at a time when Jean insists that she is not making the same mistakes anymore. Perhaps this is just a reflection of her helplessness and poor judgement in men but it could have been made slightly clearer. Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell have smaller roles and they are both fine actors too, the latter a surprisingly good singer. Crazy Heart's soundtrack was arranged by the musician T. Bone Burnett, who has worked on a number of other films such as Walk the Line and Across the Universe and it is impressive as well. Two of the very best songs are 'Hold on You' and the touching ballad 'The Weary Kind', which is played over the end credits.

Crazy Heart is not a particularly original or fresh film, but it is certainly one that is highly enjoyable and fun to watch because of the multilayered performance by Bridges that really elevates the film. The attention to detail in the writing of his character is highly impressive, as is his ability to convince us of this very talented has- been. Yet Gyllenhaal is also particularly moving, eventually bringing a great deal of emotion into a more ordinary character. She provides the film with the dramatic punch that it needs towards the end. It is these two performances, along with the music, which makes the formulaic narrative here memorable once more.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2009
Jeff Bridges performance, some of the supporting actors and the great soundtrack are all Crazy Heart really has going for it. Otherwise its a pretty dull and predicable story. Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhall have NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER and the relationship between them is actually creepy and off to the point that it seriously takes away from the story. At least it did for me it did. I don't think Crazy Heart should've gone straight to video but I can see why it was about to. Comparing it to The Wrestler isn't too far off base but Crazy Heart doesn't come close to The Wrestler. But the Big Lebowski reference at the beginning (intentional or not) was brilliant...
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2010
Took me a while to get into, but glad I stuck it out. This tells the story of a washed up country music star who has never faced up to his past and has a drinking problem and likely to self destruct if he does not change his ways. He meets a young reporter who is a single mum to a four year old boy and has also had a hard life. While I didn't especially like Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a couple - he was, after all, old enough to be her father - both characters were so well written and perfectly cast, I couldn't help but want to see what happened to them next. I was glad the movie ended as it did.
The music was a little excessive in the first half of the movie, which is why I think it took me a while to warm to it. I am not a fan of the genre, and it was distracting, and seemed to be slightly louder in the music bits - I had to keep turning the volume up to hear what they were saying and then turn it down again in a hurry when the music came blasting on (which seemed often). Despite this, however, I did enjoy this film, especially towards the last half as it seemed more character based, and found it well worth the watch.
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2010
Jeff Bridges gives an magnificent and astonishing performance. This is without a doubt the most amazing acting i have ever seen him do. A fantastic movie filled with heart, soul and great music. Bridges embraces this role with great dedication and power. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a stunning and remarkable performance. Colin Farrell is terrific. A fresh and solid drama with great character development and a beautiful story of redemption.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2010
An extremely strong story with another breakout performance by Jeff Bridges. This tale of a man who has come down to nothing in the music business and get's brought up from his old apprentice, is a beautiful story from start to finish. The second half of the film is much more powerful that the first, but overall, it brings everything it has going for it, every second it takes you in. A perfect country movie!
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