Walk the Line - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Walk the Line Reviews

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

Time Out
February 9, 2006
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 5, 2006
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.
Top Critic

AV Club
December 6, 2005
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 6, 2005
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 6, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 18, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 18, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
November 18, 2005
A Johnny Cash biopic equally packed with music and frustrated love, Walk the Line goes from compelling to enthralling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 18, 2005
[Director] James Mangold's mostly excellent Walk the Line is designed as a Christian epic.
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
November 18, 2005
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 18, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 18, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 18, 2005
A passionate, warts-and-all chronicle of an extraordinary American artist, not to mention a love story that can't be beat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 18, 2005
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-
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 18, 2005
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
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 18, 2005
Walk the Line isn't a bad movie. It's just a shallow and superficial one.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 18, 2005
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+
Top Critic
November 18, 2005
Mangold's direction is excellent, and the script - - by Mangold and Gil Davis - - captures the complex characters without relying on biopic cliché.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 18, 2005
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 18, 2005
At its most basic levels, Walk the Line does what it's supposed to.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 18, 2005
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
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 18, 2005
The film sends you home moved and in a tuneful mood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 18, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 17, 2005
Who wouldn't want to see a movie about how Johnny Cash became Johnny Cash?
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 17, 2005
Johnny Cash gets the musical biopic treatment in this moderately entertaining, never quite convincing chronicle of his early years.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
November 17, 2005
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.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 17, 2005
The musical sequences are the best thing about Walk the Line, and luckily they are plentiful.
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 17, 2005
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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 17, 2005
There's no mistaking the sound of Johnny Cash, and Walk the Line gets it just right.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 17, 2005
Walk the Line has plenty of chemicals, but very little chemistry between its stars.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 17, 2005
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 17, 2005
True to its better-late-than-never romance, Walk the Line is a swooning musical Valentine's Day card just in time for Thanksgiving.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
November 17, 2005
In summary, it sounds like Ray revisited. But Walk the Line has its own provocative style and a group of outstanding performances.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
David Edelstein
NPR's Fresh Air
November 17, 2005
In spite of its standard biopic gaps and simplifications, Walk the Line gets the big things right.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 17, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 17, 2005
You won't go out humming the filmmaking, but Walk the Line showcases two of this year's most vivid screen performances.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 17, 2005
It's engaging, involving stuff, walking a fine line between reality and art.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 16, 2005
It's the curious fact that for a man so revered, a movie about his life should be so unexceptional.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 16, 2005
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 16, 2005
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 | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 15, 2005
It doesn't leave you with much to think about, except maybe the empty vibrato of effective ventriloquism.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
November 14, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 14, 2005
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
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 14, 2005
A definitive portrait of one of most influential figures in modern American music.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 14, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 9, 2005
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 6, 2005
Walk the Line is a strongly acted, musically vibrant, conventionally satisfying biopic.