A rising star falls for a fading country-music singer.
" Patsy Cline. Loretta Lynn. Gwyneth Paltrow. "
" A movie that isn't smart enough to realize how stupid it really is. "
" 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. "
" Country Strong has a bit more to recommend it -- the music most of all -- but it's still a tough slog through emotional swamplands. "
" Country Strong is dead on arrival. "
" Gwyneth Paltrow is a beautiful, gifted actress with a lovely singing voice, but she's never been more miscast than she is in Country Strong. "
" You watch "Country Strong" wishing you were watching "Crazy Heart," and wondering whether Gwyneth Paltrow read the script all the way through, and wishing Bridges would turn up to show the folks how it's done. "
" While the melodrama is ladled on fast and thick at times, it is performed with sufficient conviction that we are drawn in rather than left on the outside laughing at it. "
" Catchy tunes, robust performances--but you can see every backstage-melodrama-cliche coming two scenes away. "
" Feste struggles mightily to instill meaning and grandeur in Country Strong, but her initial efforts to sidestep cliche often result in confusion before she simply gives up and opts for melodrama. "
" 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. "
" [A] mixed bag of a country music comeback fable. "
" Unfortunately weak. "
" The many tunes in Country Strong are of such astounding banality, it's as if they were written by caged chimps as they were driven through Nashville on the way to a medical research lab. "
" If the point of Country Strong was to prove that Gwyneth Paltrow can sing, then mission accomplished. You don't need to sit through this two-hour melodrama to confirm that. "
" [A] disjointed drama filled with one-dimensional characters and melodrama so Lifetime movie-esque that it careens into unintentional comedy. "
" The movie isn't worth the scuffed cowgirl boots it's scooting around in. "
" If Feste actually believes that this show is country nirvana, she has no business making a country movie. "
" If you like a spectacle, whoo boy, you have found your perfect match. "
" Doesn't come close to matching any of the legion of films set in the country music world, from "Coal Miner's Daughter" to "Walk the Line" to "Crazy Heart." "
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