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Country Strong
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Reviews & Ratings for
Country Strong More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Stinker

4/10
Author: theburiedlife
8 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Too much music and not enough story delving into the characters, especially the unraveling Kelly (Paltrow). It was hard to believe, that while Ms. Paltrow has vocal talent, she did not fit the country singer mold to me. I just could not suspend my disbelief. The punishment for Kelly and her conflicted husband was over the top. She commits suicide after a great comeback show. Made me think WTF, and not because I was upset, it just did not seem to fit the story. It was also hard to watch the back and forth between Kelly and her husband when they obviously were very unsuited to stay together. James, Kelly's husband (Tim McGraw) was written to be a conflicted coward which doesn't seem fit to this man. While I enjoyed Chiles (Mester from Gossip Girl)overall, it was hard to see her as a country singer and why Beau would fall for her so quick. The only really good part for me was Beau(played by Garrett Headlund from Tron: Legacy). He lit up this picture. If you must watch it rent it at redbox for a buck. If you must see Paltrow sing, go for the much better movie, Duets.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

This was a great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Gwyneth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10/10
Author: albert-ridgill from United States
7 January 2011

This movie was excellent from the acting,script,singing, down to the costumes. I really enjoyed it. It is a great ORIGINAL!!!!! story. All the actors really shine.All the songs are well written and well performed. Leighton Meester is great as her role as a young hopeful singer Chiles. Garrett is a great singer and I can see him as the next Brad Pitt of Hollywood. The real star is of course is Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow who deserves a second Oscar for her performance as Kelly Canter. This movie had me laughing, crying, and tapping along to the beat of the songs. This may be moved up to my favorite movie of all time. Go see this movie. IT is 2011's The Coal Miner's Daughter. You won't be disappointed!

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Country Weak

4/10
Author: yourlittleampersand from United States
21 January 2011

I wasn't sure what to make of this film upon first seeing the trailer. Sort of a less-developed version of Crazy Heart. Only this time, the washed up country crooner is Gwyneth Paltrow. One of my main complaints is that she never really convinces the audience that she's a mess. Her hair and wardrobe remain immaculate. She's still a knockout. She doesn't sell the idea of an aging star coming to grips with her drinking problem.

Garrett Hedlund is the only saving grace of this mess of a picture. Even with the weak dialogue and the choppy editing, his singing is fabulous.

Too bad you want to hear more of Beau, and even less of Chiles Stanton, played by Leighton Meester. Her character is too ditzy to take seriously, and she hardly emotes much throughout the film. Her singing sounds overproduced and artificial. I don't think she was right for this role. Poor casting, maybe?

I would say buy the soundtrack and maybe track down the performances of Hedlund and Paltrow, but the rest of the movie is pure garbage, both uninspired and unoriginal. I would say skip it, or just wait for the DVD.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Country Strong" was well worth my time

7/10
Author: roberterik from United States
7 July 2011

I personally don't like reviews that criticize a movie for what it's not, so I won't compare this film to one like "Crazy Heart", which was telling a much different story. Country Strong is a story that deals with familiar themes - the price of attaining and holding on to fame, the tensions between art and money, and the politics of ambition in a cutthroat business. But at it's heart, it's a film about forgiveness and personal accountability. It's about the decisions people make, good and bad, and how they live with them. It's this dimension that makes the film a little extra special. Personally, I'm a Paltrow fan. Many people are not, so that will have some bearing on whether or not you like this film. I think it's a rich performance about someone who's both tormented and torn, and I think Gwyneth turns in a very convincing and heartfelt performance. Her cast is very good as well, especially Garrett Hedlund and Tim McGraw. I thought Leighton Meester was a bit clichéd and unbelievable as the new kid with lots of ambition but not much talent,but as the film went along she became less so. The music was outstanding, and Gwyneth can hold her own in that department, as many of you know. It was nice for a change to see a country music movie NOT composed by T-Bone Burnett, even though he's great. Good script, well directed, and cinematographer John Bailey does a terrific job with both the story and the concert footage. So all in all, I enjoyed this film and I had an interesting discussion with my wife about it later. I can't ask for more than that. not, so that will have some bearing on whether you like this film. I think it's a rich performance about someone who's both tormented and torn, and I think Gwyneth turns in a very convincing and heartfelt performance. Her cast is very good as well, especially Garrett Hedlund and Tim McGraw. I thought Leighton Meester was a bit clichéd and unbelievable as the new kid with lots of ambition but not much talent, but as the film went along she became less so. The music was outstanding, and Gwyneth can hold her own in that department, as many of you know. It was nice for a change to see a country music movie NOT composed by T-Bone Burnett, even though he's great. Good script, well directed, and cinematographer John Bailey does a terrific job with both the story and the concert footage. So all in all, I enjoyed this film and I had an interesting discussion with my wife about it later. I can't ask for more than that.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good movie, but nothing great

6/10
Author: (thebauerfamily12) from United States
22 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For not particularly liking Country Music, except for 'pop' country, think Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, the music in this film was particularly good. Though, the reason we all go to see movies is for the acting, story line, and film itself.

This movie didn't seem to have any superb acting, although Paltrow should've received an honorable mention for her acting as a drunk and mentally ill women. I thought she was pretty accurate in portrayal.

The storyline of the film was really lacking. If the writers would've focused more on Kelly's (Paltrow) alcohol abuse and mental illness. They never seemed to get to the root of the problem. At the beginning of the film Kelly opens up a box with a 'dead' looking baby doll, with the words 'You Killed Me' written on it. She them becomes very upset over it. We don't find out the reason until the end of the movie. A lot of the movie is focused on who is cheating on each other. Kelly (Paltrow) is constantly sleeping with other guys than her husband. Chiles (Meester) was constantly trying to get Beau (Hedlund) to have some sort of affection for her. Eventually they do. The story line was really lacking. If they could've dug deeper into Kelly's (Paltrow) inner turmoils this film really could've been something.

I wasn't pleased with the ending at all. (Although, I am a fan of Fairy Tales) I thought killing of Kelly (Paltrow) didn't really resolve anything in the film. The film left the viewer depressed after viewing it. Overall, the film was nothing great. The two particular high points of the film are Leighton Meester's vocals, which were terrific, and Gwenth Paltrow's acting.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Best music movie since "Walk The Line" - Great, great film. Great music and acting, true to life story. I say A+

10/10
Author: Tony Heck (cosmo_tiger@hotmail.com) from United States
10 April 2011

What is the cost of fame? After a drunken accident on stage Kelly Canter (Paltrow) gets sent to rehab. When her husband (Tim McGraw) takes her out early in order to start a comeback tour with new opening acts everyone realizes that it may have been to early. With the help of opening act Beau (Hedlund) she tries to get through. Let me start off by saying...I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! Easily the best movie about the music business since "Walk The Line" (yes, better then "Crazy Heart"). This movie focuses on three stars and their rise and fall. Beau to me is what a young Bad Blake (from "Crazy Heart") would have been like. Being a country music fan myself (not a Taylor Swift-pop country music fan), I loved the line Beau says after Chiles wants to make a pop-country album, "Just because something's on the radio doesn't mean it's good." This is a movie that doesn't pull any punches about the music industry and what the singers go through, which helps it in the long run. If you liked "Crazy Heart", you will love this movie. If you didn't like "Crazy Heart", you will love this movie. Country music fan or not, you will love this movie. Rent it, you won't be disappointed. I give it an A+.

Would I watch again? - Absolutely, I'm going to buy this!!!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Some Strong Country!

8/10
Author: hannah8700-1 from United States
13 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hate country music and always have, but I loved "Country Strong." It wasn't just your average honky-tonk kind of film. The movie had real heart and the songs all had real meaning. I was truly impressed with all of the singing, especially Garrett Hedlund's. He had that deep, crisp, sexy voice and gave each song a real country vibe. I absolutely loved the song he wrote called "Give In to Me." I really enjoyed his character too, the friendship that he had with Kelly and how he was always looking out for her. He wanted so much to save her, but in the end no one could. Gwyneth Paltrow has always been one of my favorite actresses and as always I thought she delivered another great performance. She did an amazing job portraying Kelly Canter and the struggles she sought to overcome from her past. Surprisingly I even enjoyed Leighton Meester's performance as the good-hearted, innocent and talented rising country singer Chiles Stanton. More importantly, I liked the message of the film- that even if you're beautiful, and talented and have lots of money it doesn't mean anything if you're not happy. So many people today think that you have to have fame and fortune to be happy, but as they say in the film, 'love and fame don't go together.' I found the ending to be very sad for Gwyneth's character, how alone and unhappy she must have been, but how things could have turned out so differently for her. But I loved how Beau and Chiles' story ended. It was perfect and exactly what I was hoping for! It just goes to show that love is truly the only thing that matters in life, and that we should never be afraid to fall in love because that's where true happiness lies.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

country super-star's rise, fall, and then what?

7/10
Author: uandme2010 from United States
10 January 2011

what happened to this movie? it started out strong, with a great leading lady and a handsome sort of love

interest as the good guys. the husband/manager and rising star were the bad guys and the story made sense.

suddenly, the husband isn't so bad, the rising star has a heart and "rewrite" seems to be the call.

the lead actress (Paltrow's) part seems to have been cut in half in the editing room as the story's focus shifts from her life to that of the rising star.

you start to wonder how many people had a hand in the script and why the movie seems to have 2 or 3 places where you are sure it will end. this leads to the question: did a focus group dictate the ending?

still, the music is great and it is amusing to try and figure out what went wrong.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Country Strong is a compellingly-made drama about a Country superstar and her surrounding troubles

8/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
17 January 2011

In another break from the usual blockbuster-type movies me and my movie theatre-working friend usually go to, we decided to go watch this dramatic musical film called Country Strong (which the friend I mentioned had watched before). In this one, Gwyneth Paltrow portrays a veteran Country Music superstar who's fallen on hard times amid dealings with her manager-husband (Tim McGraw), her rehab "sponsor" as well as an aspiring singer played by Garrett Hedlund (who I previously liked in TRON: Legacy), and a fellow beginning warbler played by Leighton Meester. For the most part, I liked the drama that played out among these four main players though there were a few subplots that didn't seem necessary like that involving a bird Gwyneth's character has for a pet. Otherwise, there were enough touching and lightly humorous moments-not to mention compelling musical moments whenever Ms. Paltrow, Ms. Meester, and Mr. Hedlund sang-that made some of the more surprisingly intense moments that occurred very effective. So on that note, Country Strong comes highly recommended.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly better than expected

7/10
Author: Justin Thompson from United States
13 January 2011

Surprisingly better than expected. I did not think that I would like this movie at all, and probably would have skipped it had Shannon (my wife) not wanted to see it so much.

The acting was pretty good, I usually like Gwyneth Paltrow and she made the movie. All of the songs in the movie were very good, and I usually do not even like Country music. However, if you are not that into music or movies that have lots of singing then you should probably skip this movie because over a third of it involves singing.

Overall I was pleased with the movie. Good music as well as lyrics and I enjoyed watching Gwyneth and the two younger stars, Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester, perform their songs through the movie. I thought the theater helped create a good atmosphere for the movie, kind of like you were at their concerts. Keep in mind though that the movie is a drama so it is slower, and has serious issues going on with a sort of deep life message tied into the story as well, which I liked.

View my other reviews at: http://thompsonreview.wordpress.com/

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