Walk the Line - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Walk the Line Reviews

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October 15, 2016
James Mangold's take on the story of Johnny Cash certainly lives up to it's title in that it walks the (story)line of every music biopic preceding this one. The movie hits all of the beats you expect from the genre: it builds in the first act, the characters hit their low points around the midpoint into the end of the second act, and then rebound in the final third to wrap it all up. And yet, what Mangold has crafted here works so well despite being so familiar. The key to any biopic is the actor playing the lead character, and Walk the Line delivers in that regard with Joaquin Phoenix's masterful performance as Johnny Cash. For what he lacks in physical similarity to Cash, Phoenix completely embodies his soul, especially when it comes to the scenes where he performs musical numbers. Phoenix's vocal cadence is so eerily similar to Cash's, almost to the point where you're convinced that Phoenix is simply being dubbed by original recordings of Cash. In the quieter scenes, Phoenix infuses a quiet charm to Cash, and makes him into a compelling protagonist for all of his shortcomings. Alongside him is Reese Witherspoon as June Carter, who delivers what may be the best performance of her career. Witherspoon is rather charming as well, with an extroverted Southern charisma that complements Cash's quieter character quite nicely. Mangold deserves some credit as well, not only for getting two wonderful performances out of Phoenix and Witherspoon, but for crafting a 136 minute film that stays interesting throughout without having to resort to any fancy stylistic choices that could otherwise be distracting. Fans of Cash and newcomers to his music (if those somehow exist) should both find a lot to enjoy with the endless charm of Walk the Line.
October 15, 2016
Joaquin Phoenix is sensational as usual, but this film really opened me up to how talented an actress Reese Witherspoon is. The fact they both sang their own parts is a wonder. If it weren't for the lulls in the plot I would have given the five stars.
October 1, 2016
I rate this film 8.5/10. It is a very good, if not great movie. It is a biopic of hubris; of a tragic character that struggles with personal demons throughout his career.

Well acted, well balanced, perfectly timed and perfect execution of a biopic. The plot is developed at just the right pace for it not to feel too slow or too rushed. It ends before Johnny's low years in the 70s, where he did parts on television and his creative output was low, much like what happened to Elvis during the same period. Joaquin Phoenix does well in singing quite similarly to Cash. I was never a Johnny Cash fan, but this film exemplifies his iconic influence to bridging the gap between the early rock and roll and country musical genres.
September 21, 2016
Romantic and heartwarming, Walk the Line tells the story of the great Jonny Cash and his wife June Carter brilliantly, managing to give the audience strong emotions, thanks to amazing performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.
½ August 14, 2016
Even if you're not a fan of the man in black, you're bound to admire some qualities of this one. Phoenix gives a tour de force performance as Cash compliment by his own voice in the singing performances. Witherspoon is even more dynamic her and cash form great chemistry on screen.
Bradley T. Johnson
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2016
Bolstered by strong work from Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon and Ginnifer Goodwin (in a performance destined to be underrated even if it's not), Walk the Line is a sturdy bio-pic that probes the behavior and distinct singing of Johnny Cash and his topsy-turvy relationship with June Carter. Phoenix and Witherspoon are so great together, they bolster the film's occasional lapses into repetition. While Witherspoon most definitely deserved her Oscar for Best Actress in a vivid and charming performance as Carter (despite her lead role almost being pushed more towards supporting), Joaquin Phoenix also deserved his nomination and if Philip Seymour Hoffman hadn't have been so darn good in "Capote", this would be his award. The music and the performances, mixed in with some intense flares of drama turn this bio-pic into a memorable one. Rating: 81
July 16, 2016
#throwback to 2006 and Brokeback Mountain and Crash and Nic and i deciding it would be the best thing ever if everyone in RWinds came to band prac dressed in the theme of an Oscar nominated film and no one else agreeing with this view.
½ July 15, 2016
Hands down a great movie. Every time it comes on I give it a watch.
July 4, 2016
Maudlin tripe that attempts to escalate a talented songwriter/singer into an undeserved legend. The over the top soap operatic life choices portrayed make this "true story" seem like more of a farce than its infinitely more enjoyable farce Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. As a matter of fact, it's the exact same movie, you are just apt to like the characters in the Dewey Cox story more.
June 12, 2016
The story of Johnny Cash, music legend. From his time growing up on a small farm in Arkansas, to his time in the US Air Force where his musical talented first started to manifest itself, to the early days of his career, through the trials and tribulations of being a star and beyond. We also see his relationships, particularly with his older brother Jack, his father, his first wife Vivian, and, most importantly, with June Carter.

A wonderfully engaging and entertaining biopic. We get to see the Johnny Cash story, warts and all. It does seem to concentrate on his relationship with June Carter too much, but this is necessary, as this relationship shapes his life, to a large extent.

Well told, with solid direction by James Mangold. Is fairly linear in its telling, but there's a vibrancy and energy to it all that keeps it going.

Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic as Johnny Cash, perfectly capturing his mannerisms, especially those on-stage. Similarly, Reese Witherspoon is wonderful as June Carter. The chemistry between them is spot-on. To add to the brilliance of their performances, both actually sang in their roles - no lip-syncing to Cash/Carter recordings - and they absolutely nail it. Phoenix got a Best Actor Oscar nomination and Witherspoon a Best Actress Oscar for their efforts.

Talking of the music, as you would imagine, it is great and captures well the genius that was Johnny Cash.
May 4, 2016
Romantic and heartwarming, Walk the Line tells the story of the great Jonny Cash and his wife June Carter brilliantly, managing to give the audience strong emotions, thanks to amazing performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2016
'Walk The Line' is a fantastic movie! Joaquin Phoenix really nails Johnny Cash, and Reese Witherspoon is impressive as June. Their passion, his turmoil, and his understanding of the downtrodden all came through. His father humiliating him despite his achievements was memorable. Seeing or hearing about that one always makes me want to listen to his music.
March 31, 2016
Walk the Line captures Johnny Cash's story well. It remains heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. Witherspoon's and Pheonix's acting is Oscar worthy for sure.
March 10, 2016
Not that I like Johnny Cash or anything. I actually pretty much loathe him. But I still want to see what all the fuss is about.
February 17, 2016
Reese Witherspoon is very charming in this Oscar winning film!
½ February 6, 2016
Decent bit of storytelling. Joaquin and Reece have some good chemistry. Not sure I gave much of a dam about Johnny Cash by the end but I liked the music so it was easy enough to watch.
½ February 5, 2016
So it must be said: I love this film, I can't ever pass it up when I see it on cable, no matter what part of the film it's at, and I will invariably be drawn into it. An amazing look at the career of the Man In Black and the lady he loved.

Highly recommended.
January 25, 2016
Un Biopic siguiendo de una forma correcta la construcción del legado de Johnny Cash.
Las excelentes interpretaciones de Joaquin Phoenix y Reese Witherspoon hace una combinación ganadora a la hora de presentar los principales hechos de la carrera de este cantante.
January 13, 2016
This is a fantastic film the has spectacular performances. While it isn't a topic that I had any real interest about beforehand, I grew to appreciate and sympathize for the characters because the movie does a good job of feeling so authentic. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon deliver some of the best performances of both of their careers here and that's what ultimately makes the movie such a treat. The music portrayed generally isn't really my cup of tea, but surprisingly, I found myself even enjoying that aspect of the film too. It's a movie that is full of emotions and kept my interest and its almost always entertaining, ultimately a great biopic.
January 7, 2016
Not really into the music of Johnny Cash, and slightly boored of the fact that his life followed the same sad story of drugs and misery until salvation, not death luckily, like that of all the other musical geniously. Funny to realise how many of the greats performed together on tour back then. Would not happen today....
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