North Country - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

North Country Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 5, 2011
A female mine worker faces brutal sexual harassment and leads the way for the first U.S. class action lawsuit in such a case.
Bill Maher issued a "New Rule" when this film first came out: "New rule: Charlize Theron must be hot again." This was as he showed a picture of Theron covered in grime, a still from North Country. Isn't it ironic that she would still be seen as a sex symbol in a film that discourages seeing women as sex symbols? Such jokes - and they are not just jokes - constitute the cultural problem at the center of this slow-paced but compelling drama.
The performances by Theron and Frances McDormand are fantastic, each actress able to embody both natural femininity and the masculine mask they must put on in order to function in the mine. The most compelling scene in the film is provided by Richard Jenkins, who must defend his daughter against the screaming taunts of his co-workers.
But there are issues with the film. First, it delves into a few cliches along the way, including the climactic courtroom revelation, which I won't give away; suffice it to say that you won't be surprised. Second, on two occasions, the first being the Richard Jenkins scene and the second the very existence of the Woody Harrelson character, men are required to give women a voice. It seems as though the film is so self-conscious about not demonizing men that it contradicted its point by portraying men as necessary for female political and social action.
Overall, North Country starkly presents a serious cultural problem that, though set in 1989, certainly resonates today.
Super Reviewer
½ July 10, 2010
North Country is a terrific drama film about the first sexual harassment law suit. A harsh story the treatment of women in the Minnesota Mines. Charlize Theron gives one of the best performances of career in North Country as Josey Aimes who takes a job at a local mine and witnesses first hand the harrasment by male workers. She goes on to sue the Company and therefore make history by filling the first sexual harrasment lawsuit. Every actor gives his all in this film, and everyone gives terrific performances. North Country is a solid Drama film that shouldn't be missed.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2006
The true story of a female mine worker of the 70s who fought for sexual harassment laws and equality at her working place. The cast is excellent down to the smallest roles and the film's biggest asset. The direction and pace are a bit slow at times but the movie manages to keep you interested throughout anyway. There are a few scenes of brilliance, especially the ending in court is good or when Lori's father finally decides to take his daughter's side. The emphasis of the court scenes is a bit too much centered on proving that Lori was no promiscuous woman, though. It's sad enough that a question like that would matter in a case about sexual harassment, but why make it one of the main points of the film? Thankfully, this often very bleak movie gives a ray of hope in the end. Worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2007
An ambitious but ultimately too flawed and cheap feeling story chronicling a courageous women during extremely difficult times. For the first hour and a half, I didn't like this movie at all, all the guys in the movies were either complete douchebags or underdeveloped (Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins), but the last half hour makes up for it somewhat. There are scenes of power and great acting, but once these scenes take place, the movie takes a turn into "too Hollywood" territory, with an ending that is really, really poorly executed. Theron, as always, is impressive in the lead role, however with a shorter running time, less "fake feeling" scenes, and more court room coverage, this could've been a good movie.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2006
Even though it's a little too melodramatic at times, NORTH COUNTRY is poignant and intense, mainly because of its incredible cast, whose performances make the film even more powerful.

While I watched this, I couldn't help being amazed by how vile, disrespectful and discriminatory people can be. Surprisingly engaging, since I only planned to watch about an hour before I went to sleep, and I stayed up for the whole thing.

After "Monster", Charlize Theron tackles another big role and NAILS it. The always great Frances McDormand, the underrated Michelle Monaghan and Richard Jenkins are great as well.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2009
Though the movie hardly has anything that can be classified as completely distinguishing, it's the execution that makes it incredibly wonderful. The acting is top-notch, screenplay perfect, dialogues apt and direction simply great. Absolutely touching, moving and fascinating. To be honest, I awfully fail to find one reason to rate it anything less than 5/5. Surely a must watch.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2006
A slow moving film, but a good performance by Charlize Theron. It certainly isn?t a glamourous Hollywood film, but a true story with guts.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2007
The film is awesome. Charlize Theron is a great actress. She gives off a convincing mother role and she is a damn good one. From a serial killer, to a futuristic assassin to an abused mother , she can do it all. I think she's one of the best actresses of her generation. Niki Caro gives an awesome masterpiece. Support cast was great. Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean and the others gives off good performances that makes this watch worth while.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2008
A cheap, tearjerking pamphlet.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2007
An Oscar winning performance by Charlize Theron... She proved that she is one of top actress in Hollywood right now...
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2006
Great storyline.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2006
A disclaimer: Please don't misunderstand what I'm about to say. I definitely sympathize with these mining women and their abominable treatment leading up to the class action suit. My primary problem with this movie is that it does not do enough to show how truly bad the situation is. Talk about Hollywood-izing. Compounding the problem is the playing of the Clarence Thomas hearings in the background, and the brutalizing of Anita Hill. Now this is a woman who was absolutely degraded and had to relive that horror on national television day after day after day. This does not help the film's rather tame portrayal of these women's experience in the coal mine. All that being said, I believe that the actors were trying very hard to elevate the horrible reality of the treatment of these women, but this movie only kept trying to reach the intensity of the Anita Hill case, never succeeding. Still, Theron is far better than she was in Monster, and the supporting cast does a credible job. The biggest pleasant surprise here is Woody Harrelson. He may have finally made me believe that he might be able to act. Good job, Woody. Hey, Sissy Spacek. From a coal miner's daughter to a coal miner's mother. Time flies . . .
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2006
Interesting true story of a courage woman who helped champion sexual harassment regulations in the USA.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]Inspired by a true story, "North Country" takes place in northern Minnesota in 1989. Josey Aimes(Charlize Theron) has finally had it with the beatings she has been receiving from her husband, so she takes her kids and packs up everything she owns and moves back to her parents(Sissy Spacek & Richard Jenkins). While working as a hairdresser, she meets up with an old friend, Glory(Frances McDormand) who works as a truck driver and union representative at the local mine. She tells her friend about the much higher wages and Josey sees a way to make a new independent life with her children. But once she starts work at the mine, Josey and her fellow miners face an enormous amount of sexual harrassment and abuse from the male workers.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"North Country" is a well-meaning movie but there is very little nuance in the way it is told. Very little is shown of the miners working; just the abuse. In the film, northern Minnesota makes Iran look positively liberal.(I can understand small towns being conservative but still...) Another fault is that the emphasis is purely on Josey's story.(The movie climaxes on an irrelevant subplot concerning her. There is another subplot which is completely shameless.) We learn very little of the other women's lives. Overall, the movie is rather unkind to unions.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Of the performances - Charlize Theron is perfectly fine in the lead but the film wastes Sissy Spacek in a throwaway role. Woody Harrelson is miscast as a local lawyer. Sean Bean gives a superb performance as Glory's husband. [/font]
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2007
Sexual harassment wasn't a concern in the work place until 1984, when the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against the owners of a mine in Minnesota. This is the story told in the award winning film, North Country, which graphically shows the horrors these women had to face at work on a daily basis. Charlize Theron was amazing, portraying Josey Aimes, the woman who finally stood up and said enough is enough. Theron is the kind of actress who is usually overlooked because of the roles she takes. I had a difficult time judging what kind of an actress she really was until seeing her in the role of a lifetime. Portraying Aimes as realistically as possible, Theron really made the audience feel the struggle of a single mother, having to take a difficult job, just to put food on the table. We see how the harassment at work effected every aspect of her life and it actually changed my view on sexual harassment. As harsh as it sounds, I always viewed sexual harassment as a law created by people who were too serious and couldn't take a joke, but the story of Josey Aimes is no joke. No person, male or female, of any color, race, or sexuality, should ever have to face even half of what Aimes had to go through. This example is how you know that North Country is one amazing film, because any movie that can change a persons opinion on a subject, is worth it's weight in gold. Theron isn't the only gem in this film, as France McDormand also received an Oscar nomination for her role as a co-worker suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. I also thought that Woody Harrelson deserved recognition for his portrayal of the attorney who represented the women. In 1984, there had never been a case like this, and for him to go out on a limb for something like this was truly special, and its reflected in his performance. From top to bottom this film is very solid, the cast is terrific, and the story is a historically accurate portrayal of sadly, a much overlooked moment in American judicial history. North Country is the kind of film that I truly believe every child should see before entering the work force for the first time. It is that powerful and also earns a spot on our list of must see movies!
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2012
A very earnest film with a very important message but with enough dullness to not make it great. I get the sense that the film producers were trying a little too hard to make something Oscar worthy instead of just letting it naturally flow.
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2007
Charlize Theron gives an amazing and powerful performance. Worth the watch.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2007
No doubt well-made and beautifully acted, but it was a little too preachy towards the end. Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand are fantastic. It's really weird to see Sean Bean in a part where he isn't a psycho, maniac, or a terrorist.
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2012
Slightly melodramatic but the story was magnificent. The realistic depiction of the women working in an male dominated environment brought tears to my eyes. To know that it's based on a true story makes me even more sad than I would have been. The montage was used really well, I think it's genuinely a good film for mature audience and ALL THE MEN
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2008
charleze theron totally blew my mind in monster so i was readily anticipating when i heard she was in this, not as good acting but still oscar worthy performance a good movie that even had me ( a guy) hating men lol
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