Country Strong (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The cast gives it their all, and Paltrow handles her songs with aplomb, but Country Strong's cliched, disjointed screenplay hits too many bum notes.

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Movie Info

Soon after a rising young singer-songwriter (Hedlund) gets involved with a fallen, emotionally unstable country star (Paltrow), the pair embarks on a career resurrection tour helmed by her husband/manager (McGraw) and featuring a beauty-queen-turned-singer (Meester). Between concerts, romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all. -- (C) Columbia
Rating:
PG-13 (for thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content)
Genre:
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Gwyneth Paltrow
as Kelly Canter
Tim McGraw
as James Canter
Garrett Hedlund
as Beau Hutton
Leighton Meester
as Chiles Stanton
Lari White
as Hair Stylist
Lisa Stewart Seals
as Travis's Mom
Jackie Welch
as Teacher
Gabe Sipos
as Travis
Sandra Harris
as Orderly
Reegus Flenory
as Security Guard
Terri Minton
as James' Assistant
Ed Bruce
as Clint
Alana Grace
as Ginny
Katie Groshong
as Richard's Assistant
Katie Cook
as Gossip Show Host
Adam Skaggs
as PA #1
Denitia Odigie
as PR Girl in Classroom
Denita Odigie
as PR Girl in Classroom
Jeri Sager
as Stylist
Kirt Lahew
as Biker
Tina White
as Interviewee
Brett Warren
as Jesse Clark
Holly Watson
as Interviewer
Brad Schmitt
as Interviewer
Brad Schmidt
as Interviewer
Andy Cordan
as Interviewer
Cory Younts
as Beau's Bandmate
Skylar Wilson
as Beau's Bandmate
Josh Graham
as Beau's Bandmate
Chris Scruggs
as Beau's Bandmate
Loney Hutchins
as Beau's Bandmate
Ian Fitchuk
as Beau's Bandmate
Bucky Baxter
as Kelly's Bandmate
John Bohlinger
as Kelly's Bandmate
Neal Casal
as Kelly's Bandmate
Chris Clark
as Kelly's Bandmate
Jim Lauderdale
as Kelly's Bandmate
Doug Frasure
as Kelly's Bandmate
Amanda Shires
as Kelly's Bandmate
John Deaderick
as Kelly's Bandmate
Johnny Gates
as Chiles' Bandmate
Jamie Jarbeau
as Chiles' Bandmate
Matt Scanlon
as Chiles' Bandmate
Michael Ollin Lotten
as Chiles' Bandmate
Smith Curry
as Chiles' Bandmate
Kristen Wilkinson
as String Quartet Member
David Angeli
as String Quartet Member
Gregory Martin
as String Quartet Member
Sara Reist
as String Quartet Member
James Hamlet
as Honky Tonk Band Member
Steve Hinson
as Honky Tonk Band Member
Fred Eltringham
as Studio Band Member
Gary Nicholson
as Studio Band Member
Beau Stapleton
as Studio Band Member
Danny Flowers
as Studio Band Member
Nancy Amons
as Reporter
Jim Taylor
as Reporter
Jonathan Martin
as Reporter
Nick Beres
as Reporter
Kelly Sutton
as Reporter
Shane Tallant
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Country Strong

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (39)

Paltrow gives it her best but is so conspicuously doing country. We're meant to believe she has spent half her life staring into a vodka bottle, but she glows like she's just stepped out of a yoga retreat.

Full Review… | March 22, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Shana Feste's screenplay seldom rises above the level of daytime TV; the only actor who triumphs over her trite dialogue is Tim McGraw in a nonsinging role as Paltrow's husband and manager.

Full Review… | January 14, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

If Feste actually believes that this show is country nirvana, she has no business making a country movie.

Full Review… | January 14, 2011
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

The movie isn't worth the scuffed cowgirl boots it's scooting around in.

Full Review… | January 11, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Unfortunately weak.

Full Review… | January 10, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Catchy tunes, robust performances--but you can see every backstage-melodrama-cliche coming two scenes away.

Full Review… | January 8, 2011
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Country Strong

½

I'm not really into country music, and there's plenty of it here, but I still enjoyed this one. I never really got why people are so nasty about Gwyneth as an actress - I'm not a huge fan, but I have always found her reasonably convincing on screen. Here she's really quite a sad figure as a country singer on a downward spiral - sort of how you can see Britney heading if she doesn't watch out! Leighton Meester is also good as an up and coming young singer. As is Garrett Hedlund - I have never seen him in anything else, but he is good here. The characters are all well written, and though it is almost two hours, it never feels all that long or like it is dragging. (Except maybe in the country singing parts, but on the whole, that is not too bad, and for some, it would probably be a plus!). There's not a huge story here, and I can't see it appealing to everyone, but I liked it.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester, Tim McGraw, Alana Grace, Ed Bruce, Jeffrey Buckner Ford, Jeremy Childs, Marshall Chapman Director: Shana Feste Summary: While out on tour to revive her stalled career, once-popular country singer Kelly (Gwyneth Paltrow) falls for emerging newcomer Beau (Garrett Hedlund) and tries desperately to hide their burgeoning romance from her ever-present husband and manager, Ed (Tim McGraw). Written and directed by Shana Feste, this musical drama co-stars Leighton Meester as a former beauty queen trying to break out as a songstress. My Thoughts: "In all I liked the movie, but the script just felt unfinished. Just not developed very well at all. There were some great moments in the film but it can't make up for the mess the script was. The acting was good by most. Tim McGraw is really surprising me with his acting skills, thought he was good. I still can't bring myself to care much for Gwyneth Paltrow's acting. I did on the other hand enjoy Leighton Meester's acting along with Garrett Hedlund. I thought they were good on screen together and had great chemistry. They both have good singing voices as well. Gwyneth just wasn't convincing for me as a country singer nor as an addict. The film does try to shed light on how troubled your soul can get from having such a demanding career. There were things I liked and things I didn't, but in the end the film wasn't as put together as the trailers made you believe it was. The best thing about the film was the music. So watch it just for that if not anything else."

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Super Reviewer

Strong cast. I enjoyed the music portions, even though I am not a country music fan. I am, however, a Gwyneth fan. I think that she is a wonderful actress, and adds alot to every role she plays. Garrett Hedlund was amazing..so much so that I found myself googling him. Tim McGraw..well. eh..someone else better could have done his part. But, all in all, a very good film.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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