Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jan 6, 2011
    75
    Country Strong rides pretty high in the saddle, confident in the remarkably realized world Feste has created for her characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jan 4, 2011
    70
    Country Strong is a charmer that makes you forgive all of its false notes simply because the talent plays them with conviction.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Dec 22, 2010
    70
    That rare ensemble piece in which all four principals are not only compellingly drawn but handled with an astute sense of dramatic balance.
  4. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jan 12, 2011
    67
    Hedlund's got a hell of a voice, rotgut-ragged, and whether he's crooning or wooing, whatever he's selling, and no matter how cornpone, I'm buying.
  5. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jan 6, 2011
    63
    The glaring weakness of Country Strong is James, underwritten and ambiguous, more like Kelly's pimp than her manager.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 6, 2011
    63
    Country Strong is a throwback, a pure, heartfelt exercise in '50s social melodrama.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 22, 2010
    63
    Country Strong feels powerfully familiar.
  8. Reviewed by: Simond Braund
    Mar 21, 2011
    60
    C&W lovers will lap it up - look out for some stellar Nashville cameos - and there's big-lunged uplift to see you through the cornball plot turns.
  9. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 6, 2011
    60
    What saves Country Strong from drowning in its own tears are the leads, all four of whom imbue Feste's unabashedly clichéd script with some genuine humanity.
  10. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 5, 2011
    58
    The film keeps throwing things at you: drunk scenes, adultery scenes, "All About Eve" rise-of-the-young-rival scenes. Yet despite the presence of some appealing actors, none of it quite adds up.
  11. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 12, 2011
    50
    In Country Strong, the Oscar-winning Paltrow gets upstaged and outacted by the kid from "Tron" and the snotty brat from "Gossip Girl." Who'd have thought?
  12. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Jan 7, 2011
    50
    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.
  13. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 7, 2011
    50
    Patsy Cline. Loretta Lynn. Gwyneth Paltrow. If you buy that progression, you'll buy Country Strong, an unintentionally campy drama.
  14. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    Country Strong has a pleasant soundtrack of conservative country music, many of the tunes newly written for the movie, some of them performed by old pros and some of them performed by the cast.
  15. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    A tough slog through emotional swamplands. It's murky when it needs to be clear. But Hedlund is the big news here.
  16. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    Though seriously miscast as an unreformed alcoholic, the bronzed Ms. Paltrow gets by with a thin, serviceable voice (she sings her own songs) and an actor's confidence.
  17. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    Paltrow makes the part look natural. She's not impersonating an actual singer, so she seems merely like a twangy, alcoholic version of herself. She should be stopped from dancing in enormous arenas, but her thin voice is rather pretty.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    My God is this script predictable. Each relapse and betrayal shows up announced, and then announced again, a little louder, by the dialogue equivalent of an aggravating doorman.
  19. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 22, 2010
    50
    Country Strong is Feste's second film, and she infuses it with an earnestness that swings between too too much and appealing, the same earnestness that swamped her filmmaker debut last year with "The Greatest."
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 7, 2011
    42
    Country Strong is the latest and, in many ways, the least impressive entrant in the achy-breaky sweepstakes.
  21. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jan 6, 2011
    42
    When she's (Paltrow) singing, she can pass for someone who's been listening to Tammy Wynette since the cradle; when the music stops, she looks like a tourist.
  22. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jan 7, 2011
    40
    Feste's ode to showbiz clichés is closer to contemporary Nashville pop: twangy enough to qualify as Southern-fried, but too slick and disposable to be truly deep.
  23. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 5, 2011
    40
    Several good performances are left adrift, as the characters roam from scene to scene, singing (quite well) as they go. Even as a sort of long-form music video, it's disjointed.
  24. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 10, 2011
    38
    A little like modern country music - odd moments of sincerity, heart and authenticity peek through the plastic, the hype and the manufactured hokum.
  25. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Jan 6, 2011
    38
    Disjointed drama filled with one-dimensional characters and melodrama so Lifetime movie-esque that it careens into unintentional comedy.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 6, 2011
    30
    Country Strong comes to spontaneous life from time to time, despite maudlin devices and manipulative set pieces.
  27. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Dec 24, 2010
    30
    Country Strong is sillier - and more tone-deaf - than Paltrow's advice website, GOOP.
  28. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Dec 22, 2010
    30
    Feste, who has one previous effort as a writer-director, last year's "The Greatest," fails here to do the most basic thing -- give an audience a rooting interest, or any interest at all, in these four troubled people.
  29. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 10, 2011
    25
    Country Strong is a country music melodrama, but I'm not sure which country.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 7, 2011
    25
    This lame-ass chick-flick sampling of "Crazy Heart" is more like country Kryptonite.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Jan 30, 2011
    10
    More tonally consistent than Black Swan or the Fighter, with a more optimistic and emotionally satisfying view of humanity than The Social Network or True Grit. This movie authentically believes that human beings - screwed up, damaged, imperfect creatures that we are - can be happy. That's an incredibly rare sentiment, not just in the movies, but in the world at large. We should celebrate it anytime it arrives - any time it is expressed, in a heartfelt, emotionally coherent way. This is a good film. You should see it. You probably wont. You'll probably go to one of the many high profile films being fawned over by the academy this season. They're all impressive - large, well engineered monstrosities with actors thinking and acting in ways that humans never think or act - and not one of them has the pure humanistic love that this film has for its characters and for people in general. Go see it. Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2011
    10
    I really enjoyed this movie. i mean its whatever you think but it was amazing to me & i read this other review that said city people did nt like it and i was like of course there not going to like it they are city people not country, the movie is COUNTRY strong not CITY strong. This movie is really good and its enjoyable. BEST MOVIE EVER YOU SHOULD GO SEE IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ! Full Review »
  3. Jan 10, 2011
    8
    I personally really enjoyed this movie. The acting was impressive, the music very good & the writing improved upon itself throughout the script... I appreciated that Leighton Meester's character had more than meets the eye in the end... Eager to download the soundtrack! Now that I've seen it for myself, I agree with Roger Ebert that ""Country Strong" is a throwback, a pure, heartfelt exercise in '50s social melodrama" & "Its emotions are strong and visible. Its motives are clear. Its music performances are so good, we wish they lasted longer." The metacritic rating for this film wasn't nearly as high as it should have been, but I guess worth is in the eye of the beholder and it a well-spent $12 for me! Full Review »