• PG-13, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    James Mangold
    In Theaters:
    Nov 18, 2005 Wide
    On DVD:
    Feb 28, 2006
  • 20th Century Fox

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Walk the Line Reviews

Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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October 18, 2008
Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
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May 12, 2006

Time Out
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February 9, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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I advise you catch up with Walk the Line, if only for Ms. Witherspoon's transcendent joyousness as a still-growing legend within a legend.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

January 5, 2006

AV Club
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December 6, 2005

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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December 6, 2005
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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Mangold was wisely generous with the amount of musical performance he included in the film, and the later scenes -- showing Cash and Carter as partners -- are so well shot and edited, they defy you to sit still.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

December 6, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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If Walk the Line isn't the full story of Johnny Cash, it's at least a crucial corner of it, a way of coaxing a legend down to a human scale, without shrinking that legend away to nothingness.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 18, 2005
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Phoenix is terrific in Walk the Line - - the actor's taciturn, brooding persona dovetails beautifully with the role - - but it's his scenes opposite Witherspoon that give the movie its real spark.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

November 18, 2005
Mike Clark
USA Today
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A Johnny Cash biopic equally packed with music and frustrated love, Walk the Line goes from compelling to enthralling.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 18, 2005
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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[Director] James Mangold's mostly excellent Walk the Line is designed as a Christian epic.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

November 18, 2005
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Joaquin Phoenix isn't Johnny Cash. But with the clip-clop of rhythms behind him, aiming his guitar like a gun, he puts on one sensational show.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 18, 2005
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Walk the Line is less music history than love story, and it comes down to the performances of the two people at its center, both of which are splendid.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

November 18, 2005
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The problem is that the movie plays down almost everything that made Cash great: the train rumble of a voice, the direct, poetic truth of his best lyrics, the invention of his outlaw image and his constant creativity.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 18, 2005
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A passionate, warts-and-all chronicle of an extraordinary American artist, not to mention a love story that can't be beat.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 18, 2005
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Walk the Line is absolute standard biopic stuff, so familiar that it blatantly echoes last year's Ray, which similarly failed to do justice to the legendary Ray Charles.

| Original Score: C-

November 18, 2005
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It's a celebration of the good times and bad times shared by a man and woman who found each other in the middle of some historic craziness, and it rocks.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

November 18, 2005
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Walk the Line isn't a bad movie. It's just a shallow and superficial one.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

November 18, 2005
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Walk the Line leaves you feeling an unusual sensation, at least as far as current movies go: You feel as if you've gotten your money's worth when it comes to entertainment and drama.

| Original Score: B+

November 18, 2005
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
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Mangold's direction is excellent, and the script - - by Mangold and Gil Davis - - captures the complex characters without relying on biopic cliché.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

November 18, 2005
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Walk the Line is a spirited and winning reminder of the man before he became the legend, of the giant shadow he cast, and of the remarkable woman who cast her shadow over him.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

November 18, 2005
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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At its most basic levels, Walk the Line does what it's supposed to.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 18, 2005
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Walk the Line is the only movie I've seen three times this year -- and I'd happily watch it again and again.

| Original Score: 4/4

November 18, 2005
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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The film sends you home moved and in a tuneful mood.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 18, 2005
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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While Cash and Carter's music gives the movie its undeniable soundtrack, it's their thwarted yet constant tale of friendship and love that makes Walk the Line a big-movie pleasure.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 18, 2005
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Who wouldn't want to see a movie about how Johnny Cash became Johnny Cash?

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

November 17, 2005
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Johnny Cash gets the musical biopic treatment in this moderately entertaining, never quite convincing chronicle of his early years.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2005
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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In Walk the Line, Joaquin Phoenix doesn't look exactly like Johnny Cash. He doesn't sound exactly like Cash, either. But he is Johnny Cash.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4.5/5

November 17, 2005
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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The musical sequences are the best thing about Walk the Line, and luckily they are plentiful.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 17, 2005
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
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The movie is less an uncharted journey than a 2 p.m. bus tour of a music industry legend. But like an expert guide, Mangold shepherds the story with enough grace, energy and skill to make it worthwhile.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 17, 2005
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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There's no mistaking the sound of Johnny Cash, and Walk the Line gets it just right.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

November 17, 2005
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Walk the Line has plenty of chemicals, but very little chemistry between its stars.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

November 17, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Johnny Cash sang like he meant business...Walk the Line, with its dead-on performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, helps you understand that quality.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 17, 2005
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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True to its better-late-than-never romance, Walk the Line is a swooning musical Valentine's Day card just in time for Thanksgiving.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 17, 2005
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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In summary, it sounds like Ray revisited. But Walk the Line has its own provocative style and a group of outstanding performances.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

November 17, 2005
David Edelstein
NPR's Fresh Air
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In spite of its standard biopic gaps and simplifications, Walk the Line gets the big things right.

Full Review Source: NPR's Fresh Air

November 17, 2005
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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Walk the Line is an engaging biopic that would totally lack surprise were it not for Reese Witherspoon, and a healthy touch of ambivalence about the populist myth that bound The Man in Black to his adoring public.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

November 17, 2005
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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You won't go out humming the filmmaking, but Walk the Line showcases two of this year's most vivid screen performances.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 17, 2005
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It's engaging, involving stuff, walking a fine line between reality and art.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

November 17, 2005
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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It's the curious fact that for a man so revered, a movie about his life should be so unexceptional.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

November 16, 2005
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Cash devotees may have a different reaction to this picture. In fact, although I liked it, my bet is that they will love it.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

November 16, 2005
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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A big, juicy, enjoyable wide-canvas biography with a handful of indelible moments, but it's just compelling enough to make you wish that it had attained the level of artistry of those other films.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

November 16, 2005
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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It doesn't leave you with much to think about, except maybe the empty vibrato of effective ventriloquism.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 15, 2005
David Denby
New Yorker
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This movie is a lot less interesting than it might be. Though it's not bad -- in fact, it's rather sweet -- it's too simple a portrait of a very complicated and calculating entertainer.

November 14, 2005
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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There's no denying the biopic cliches, but Phoenix and Witherspoon jump even those hurdles. It's going to be hard for audiences and the Academy not to show them some love.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

November 14, 2005
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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A definitive portrait of one of most influential figures in modern American music.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

November 14, 2005
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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James Mangold's movie, too, has its rewards as it manages to skirt many of the usual dangers of any truthful look at a legend, especially a musical one.

September 14, 2005
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Most Johnny Cash fans probably don't care that much about how their hero ended up with June Carter. Therein resides the main problem with Walk the Line's devotion to simple truth over cherished fable.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 9, 2005
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Walk the Line is a strongly acted, musically vibrant, conventionally satisfying biopic.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 6, 2005
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