Country Strong Reviews

  • Aug 05, 2020

    It directed rebirth in "A Star is Born" with a talented cast defining its own struggles through confidence, and tuned genre, but pivotally mirrors the story while updating the characterization in separate indecisive entities of the musical relationship displaying reminiscing loyalty. (B)

    It directed rebirth in "A Star is Born" with a talented cast defining its own struggles through confidence, and tuned genre, but pivotally mirrors the story while updating the characterization in separate indecisive entities of the musical relationship displaying reminiscing loyalty. (B)

  • Jun 14, 2020

    It worked for me. The cast cut through some of the melodrama, and Meester stole the show.

    It worked for me. The cast cut through some of the melodrama, and Meester stole the show.

  • May 24, 2020

    It appears that most people thought this movie was awful, but I thoroughly enjoyed it

    It appears that most people thought this movie was awful, but I thoroughly enjoyed it

  • Mar 05, 2020

    Not sure why this movie scored so low. The acting was phenomenal. You could visually and emotionally feel the pain and joy and struggle of each character throughout their "journey". Would have loved a happily ever after but the ending was raw and real and tragic and beautifully done.

    Not sure why this movie scored so low. The acting was phenomenal. You could visually and emotionally feel the pain and joy and struggle of each character throughout their "journey". Would have loved a happily ever after but the ending was raw and real and tragic and beautifully done.

  • Feb 16, 2020

    Loved Paltrow's performance

    Loved Paltrow's performance

  • Jan 31, 2020

    This was a soundtrack in search of a movie. The basic plot was in place but it felt like I was watching a first draft that needed a major rewrite and multiple revisions. The direction was horrible--as jarring as a tilt-a-whirl. Ms Paltrow's talents were mostly wasted and Tim McGraw was way over his head. No doubt, some "executive" thought up the brilliant idea to fill a lead roll with a singer instead of an actor. There was also little to no understanding of addiction and recovery which was just one of many off-key notes in this mashup mess. I'm saddened really, because I can see what this movie could have been. That's the movie I wanted to see.

    This was a soundtrack in search of a movie. The basic plot was in place but it felt like I was watching a first draft that needed a major rewrite and multiple revisions. The direction was horrible--as jarring as a tilt-a-whirl. Ms Paltrow's talents were mostly wasted and Tim McGraw was way over his head. No doubt, some "executive" thought up the brilliant idea to fill a lead roll with a singer instead of an actor. There was also little to no understanding of addiction and recovery which was just one of many off-key notes in this mashup mess. I'm saddened really, because I can see what this movie could have been. That's the movie I wanted to see.

  • Jan 29, 2020

    the acting by Gwyneth is impeccable. Tim McGraw is amazing, he portrays a total a****** but somehow keeps his coming back to his humanity. The character that played Bo was incredible, I was a little bit disappointed with the chiles actress.

    the acting by Gwyneth is impeccable. Tim McGraw is amazing, he portrays a total a****** but somehow keeps his coming back to his humanity. The character that played Bo was incredible, I was a little bit disappointed with the chiles actress.

  • Dec 16, 2019

    A surprisingly vulnerable film. Shana Feste's country music romance drama Country Strong (2010) holds up due to Feste's intimate direction, grounded writing, and vulnerable performances from a capable cast. While Country Strong aims for Walk The Line levels of country music drama, it never quite reaches masterful heights. The plot is rather cliche with the old country duo falling out of love and the new duo falling in love as the cyclical nature of the music industry tends to go. Feste's writing shines brightest when depicting how couples might actually talk to one another in blunt phrases and hurting each other in personal ways with cruel remarks. On the other hand, she writes very sweet loving dialogue that endears you to these characters and makes them more complex as they all suffer in their own ways. Feste's direction is fairly focused and Country Strong's 117 minutes is never a bore. She balances romance drama with country music sequences well. However, the actually striking cinematography from John Bailey keeps you engaged with tender close-ups and affecting medium shots that allow you to feel alongside the characters. Some of the wide shots are not great, but are still serviceable. They do not feel as emotionally connective as Bailey's thoughtful small space shots. I love the framing of Gwyneth Paltrow just rambling on stage, while Tim McGraw grimaces from the side of the stage in darkness. Gwyneth disappearing into the shadows out of the limelight after her final performance is also lovely. Michael Brook's score is nice, if too understated. The country music in the film is pretty, if too saccharine for my taste. Carol Littleton and Conor O'Neill's editing is sleek and keeps Country Strong moving towards its tragic end quickly. I think Country Strong is a very competently made movie that works best if you let yourself care for these people, instead of waiting for important plot points to development. Gwyneth Paltrow is riveting as Kelly Canter, a country singer falling apart from past trauma and addiction. Paltrow plays her mystifying and alluring, but also a trainwreck. You sympathize with her pain, but Paltrow keeps her at such an emotional distance that she may not end up as your favorite character. She does a phenomenal job at bringing Britney Spears' inspired story to life with a country twist in Country Strong. I love her soft voice for her country songs, especially the title track: Country Strong. Tim McGraw is amazing as James Canter. His negligent husband acting is impressive, but his emotional devastation is most interesting as he watches his wife unravel. His hurt eyes unable to form tears until the very end is powerful. I like how understated and nuanced McGraw approached Country Strong. He gives a very mature performance that I have always appreciated. Lastly, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester are simply adorable together. Their romance is more believable than Paltrow and McGraw, which takes away a bit from the main couple's drama. You want these two to be an item immediately compared to the harsh coldness of the Canter's strained couple. Hedlund is compelling and captivating as a country singer and caring boyfriend while keeping a distance when necessary. Meester is so likable and adorable that you feel for how bad she's treated here. Until she finally gets her break, Meester is the sole joy in Country Strong to alleviate all the pain caused by the musician's life. In all, Country Strong is not a classic film, but I enjoy it every time I see it. The poignant themes are brought to life with intimate direction, thoughtful acting, solid writing, and lovely cinematography. Not to mention all the fun country songs in Country Strong's soundtrack are sure to please even the most cynical country detractor!

    A surprisingly vulnerable film. Shana Feste's country music romance drama Country Strong (2010) holds up due to Feste's intimate direction, grounded writing, and vulnerable performances from a capable cast. While Country Strong aims for Walk The Line levels of country music drama, it never quite reaches masterful heights. The plot is rather cliche with the old country duo falling out of love and the new duo falling in love as the cyclical nature of the music industry tends to go. Feste's writing shines brightest when depicting how couples might actually talk to one another in blunt phrases and hurting each other in personal ways with cruel remarks. On the other hand, she writes very sweet loving dialogue that endears you to these characters and makes them more complex as they all suffer in their own ways. Feste's direction is fairly focused and Country Strong's 117 minutes is never a bore. She balances romance drama with country music sequences well. However, the actually striking cinematography from John Bailey keeps you engaged with tender close-ups and affecting medium shots that allow you to feel alongside the characters. Some of the wide shots are not great, but are still serviceable. They do not feel as emotionally connective as Bailey's thoughtful small space shots. I love the framing of Gwyneth Paltrow just rambling on stage, while Tim McGraw grimaces from the side of the stage in darkness. Gwyneth disappearing into the shadows out of the limelight after her final performance is also lovely. Michael Brook's score is nice, if too understated. The country music in the film is pretty, if too saccharine for my taste. Carol Littleton and Conor O'Neill's editing is sleek and keeps Country Strong moving towards its tragic end quickly. I think Country Strong is a very competently made movie that works best if you let yourself care for these people, instead of waiting for important plot points to development. Gwyneth Paltrow is riveting as Kelly Canter, a country singer falling apart from past trauma and addiction. Paltrow plays her mystifying and alluring, but also a trainwreck. You sympathize with her pain, but Paltrow keeps her at such an emotional distance that she may not end up as your favorite character. She does a phenomenal job at bringing Britney Spears' inspired story to life with a country twist in Country Strong. I love her soft voice for her country songs, especially the title track: Country Strong. Tim McGraw is amazing as James Canter. His negligent husband acting is impressive, but his emotional devastation is most interesting as he watches his wife unravel. His hurt eyes unable to form tears until the very end is powerful. I like how understated and nuanced McGraw approached Country Strong. He gives a very mature performance that I have always appreciated. Lastly, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester are simply adorable together. Their romance is more believable than Paltrow and McGraw, which takes away a bit from the main couple's drama. You want these two to be an item immediately compared to the harsh coldness of the Canter's strained couple. Hedlund is compelling and captivating as a country singer and caring boyfriend while keeping a distance when necessary. Meester is so likable and adorable that you feel for how bad she's treated here. Until she finally gets her break, Meester is the sole joy in Country Strong to alleviate all the pain caused by the musician's life. In all, Country Strong is not a classic film, but I enjoy it every time I see it. The poignant themes are brought to life with intimate direction, thoughtful acting, solid writing, and lovely cinematography. Not to mention all the fun country songs in Country Strong's soundtrack are sure to please even the most cynical country detractor!

  • Jun 24, 2018

    I thought it an exceptional tale of recovery gone wrong--a topic that deserves focus. The music was excellent!

    I thought it an exceptional tale of recovery gone wrong--a topic that deserves focus. The music was excellent!

  • Jan 19, 2018

    It's painful to watch for so many reasons.... Luckily I don't like long reviews so I just chose my favorite: the song "country strong" will make you hate music.

    It's painful to watch for so many reasons.... Luckily I don't like long reviews so I just chose my favorite: the song "country strong" will make you hate music.