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"COUNTRY STRONG"
(2010) (Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw) (PG-13)


Alcohol/Drugs Extreme
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes Minor
Music (Scary/Tense) None
Music (Inappropriate) Mild
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Heavy
Smoking Mild
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After being released from rehab a month early, a country music star must deal with her various personal demons while going on tour with her husband-manager, her singer-songwriter lover, and a young upstart who might ultimately upstage her.
PLOT:
Kelly Canter (GWYNETH PALTROW) is a big country music star whose alcohol problems not only lead to her arrest at a concert in Dallas, but also a fall that resulted in the miscarriage of her pregnancy in its fifth month. While in rehab, she's been getting support, help and more from singer-songwriter Beau Hutton (GARRETT HEDLUND) who's been posing as her sponsor rather than her secret lover that he really is.

Her husband-manager, James (TIM McGRAW), doesn't think much of Beau, and thus pays no heed to the younger man's complaints when James gets Kelly out of rehab a month early. He wants to get her back on stage on her tour, and thinks young beauty queen turned country singer Chiles Stanton (LEIGHTON MEESTER) should be her opening act, rather than Beau who Kelly wants as her introduction.

As they hit the road for the tour, Kelly must contend with her personal demons, all while carrying on her affair with Beau and being concerned that Chiles might upstage and maybe even replace her, not only on the charts, but also in her husband's heart.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into country music and/or are fans of someone in the cast, they might be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements involving alcohol abuse and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GWYNETH PALTROW plays a famous country star whose alcohol problems lead to her past arrest, loss of her unborn child and another stint in rehab. She's let out of that too soon by her husband-manager and tries to go back on tour, but has problems with that as well as staying sober. She's having a secret affair with Beau and is jealous of Chiles, especially thinking that James is interested in her. She also fools around with another man while intoxicated.
  • TIM McGRAW plays her husband and manager who gets her out of rehab early in order to put her back on tour. He clashes with Beau about how to treat Kelly, takes a professional and seemingly personal liking to Chiles, and uses profanity.
  • GARRETT HEDLUND plays a singer-songwriter who'd prefer to play small honky-tonks rather than big concert venues, but signs on as one of Kelly's opening acts on her tour. He does so in the guise of being her AA-type sponsor, when he's really her lover. He also ends up sleeping with Chiles after initially clashing with her, and smokes and drinks.
  • LEIGHTON MEESTER plays a former beauty queen turned country singer and songwriter who suffers from stage fright, but accepts James' offer to open for Kelly on tour. She drinks and eventually sleeps with Beau.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 17 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is some fooling around, implied off-screen sex, and scantily clad people.

    A man punches another, while some other hitting also occurs. Drinking occurs in various scenes (including varying degrees of intoxication, some of which involves a singer who's in and out of rehab for her drinking problem), as does some smoking, while a person overdoses on pills.

    Tense family material is present, as are thematic elements. Bad attitudes occur, as does potentially imitative behavior.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement from time to time in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Beau starts to sing a song that includes a line about "remember when we met" and Kelly jokingly adds, "In rehab."
  • We hear that it's not Kelly's first time in rehab and that she was arrested in Dallas for drunk and disorderly conduct (while 5 months pregnant).
  • We see a neon sign that reads "Beer."
  • Miscellaneous people have beer in a club, as does Beau. When the owner hears that Kelly won't show up, he jokingly tells James that he (the owner) can tell the bartender to put the vodka back on the shelf.
  • A song has the lyrics "When I took his glass of champagne, I toasted you" and "Where the whiskey drowns, and the beer chases my blues away."
  • James wants Beau to accompany him and Kelly on her tour and keep the latter away from booze.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine in a restaurant.
  • Kelly takes some sort of pill earlier given to her by James, and Beau is upset about that and later confronts him. James says there's no problem with the pills as long as they're not mixed with alcohol.
  • Beau sings a song about a shot of whiskey on a bar.
  • A person backstage at a concert has a beer.
  • As a result of receiving a mean gift, Kelly goes back to drinking. When James tries to persuade and then physically move her out of a closet, she punches him in the face, but is immediately remorseful about that.
  • About a beauty pageant being on TV, Beau says he needs a drink. He asks Chiles if she wants one and she says a tiny one, but we next see that they've been drinking and seem somewhat intoxicated and he asks her about her "drunk off your ass" smile. They then strip off most of their clothes but are interrupted before anything happens.
  • Beau has a beer in front of him in a bar where others drink.
  • We see Kelly holding a bottle of booze and she's intoxicated (and later vomits into a trashcan).
  • We see miscellaneous drinking in a bar.
  • Beau enters Kelly's tour bus and finds her fooling around with a man (while she's intoxicated). She's in her bra and slip and on top of the shirtless man, but Beau interrupts them, shoves the man back to a wall and then off the bus, and then struggles with Kelly over her bottle. He then takes that and throws it against the wall where it shatters.
  • Beau has a beer in a bar where others drink.
  • We hear that Kelly had a 0.19 blood alcohol level in the past for her arrest.
  • Beau comments about performing in small venues for hard-working people who like good music while having beer.
  • Some people have beer at a concert.
  • People have champagne to celebrate a successful concert performance.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A person finds another person who's overdosed on pills (we see them unconscious).
  • BLOOD/GROSS STUFF
  • About the tour bus she think she's going to be on (but isn't), Chiles states it's so nice she doesn't even want to pee in the toilet.
  • Kelly opens a gift box addressed to her and finds a baby doll covered in (presumably fake) blood and with the written words "Baby Killer" (referring to her drunken antics that lead to her past miscarriage).
  • We see Kelly holding a bottle of booze and she's intoxicated (and later vomits into a trashcan).
  • Kelly gives Chiles various bits of advice, including not to take laxatives as they don't always work the way you want them to.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • James gets Kelly out of rehab a month early so that she can go back on tour (but before she's ready), and he's demeaning to Beau when he objects.
  • We hear that it's not Kelly's first time in rehab and that she was arrested in Dallas for drunk and disorderly conduct (while 5 months pregnant).
  • Beau initially doesn't think much of Chiles, and when she asks how she looks, he sarcastically replies, "Like a country Barbie."
  • When a bar owner hears that Kelly won't show up, he jokingly tells James that he (the owner) can tell the bartender to put the vodka back on the shelf.
  • We learn that Kelly and Beau are having an affair.
  • Kelly opens a gift box addressed to her and finds a baby doll covered in (presumably fake) blood and with the written words "Baby Killer" (referring to her drunken antics that lead to her past miscarriage).
  • As a result of receiving that, Kelly goes back to drinking. When James tries to persuade and then physically move her out of a closet, she punches him in the face, but is immediately remorseful about that.
  • Beau jokes to Kelly that they should go away and do something fun like steal a car or go skinny-dipping. We then see that they've boarded a freight train and are standing in the opening of a box car as the train zips along.
  • After thinking Chiles slept with James (she apparently didn't), Beau is mean and demeaning to her (for a moment but then changes his ways).
  • Kelly's odd behavior and alcoholism results in canceled shows that cost others money.
  • Beau enters Kelly's tour bus and finds her fooling around with a man (while she's intoxicated).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • SPOILER ALERT: A person finds another person who's overdosed on pills (we see them unconscious). We next see the hospital scene where the doctor comes out to tell the spouse the bad news (we don't hear anything, but just see the reactions). We next see the funeral scene.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bullsh*t," "Oh sh*t," "All the rest is just bullsh*t," "Who gives a sh*t?" "That's such bullsh*t," "Don't be a chicken-sh*t," "Biggest sh*t-hole bar in town," "I don't give a sh*t," "I can't believe we fell for this sh*t again," "You think he gives a sh*t about you?" "Why don't you all just sleep together and get it over with?" "Bull-true," "Dummy," "Like a country Barbie" (the answer to "How do I look?"), "Get the hell out of those honky-tonks," "A hell of an opportunity," "Well, G*ddamn," "You look like you're gonna kick some ass," "Strong as hell," "I used to give a damn," "Every damn time," "You idiot," "Give 'em hell," "Where the hell were you?" "Who the hell do you think you are?" "She's a total basket case," "What the hell are those things?" "Some kind of ignoramus," "Your drunk off your ass smile?" "Is that guy-liner" (asked to a guy who has eye makeup on), "One hell of a career," "Where in the hell have ya'll been?" "Doesn't mean they're worth a damn," "One hell of a show" and "Give 'em hell tonight."
  • James has a tattoo on his arm.
  • Kelly opens a gift box addressed to her and finds a baby doll covered in (presumably fake) blood and with the written words "Baby Killer" (referring to her drunken antics that lead to her past miscarriage).
  • Beau jokes to Kelly that they should go away and do something fun like steal a car or go skinny-dipping. We then see that they've boarded a freight train and are standing in the opening of a box car as the train zips along.
  • Beau kicks open Kelly's locked door to find her.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Kelly opens a gift box addressed to her and finds a baby doll covered in (presumably fake) blood and with the written words "Baby Killer" (referring to her drunken antics that lead to her past miscarriage).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Several songs include the use of the likes of "damn," "hell" and "Oh God."
  • A song has the lyrics "When I took his glass of champagne, I toasted you" and "Where the whiskey drowns, and the beer chases my blues away."
  • Beau sings a song about a shot of whiskey on a bar.
  • Kelly does a song where she sings if you got, flaunt it, while doing some playful and slightly sexually-tinged dancing (nothing explicit).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 17 "s" words, 19 hells, 8 asses (3 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 6 uses of "G-damn," 5 of "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The camera goes along Kelly's body (as she lies stomach down on a bed, clothed, with her lower legs up in the air) from her legs, down to her butt and then up her torso to her head. When she sits up in her robe, it's partially open in the front and shows part of her bra and some cleavage.
  • About Chiles, Beau says he doesn't really know her as he was just sleeping with her friend.
  • We see the top of Kelly's lingerie-covered breast in bed (nothing explicit). She then tells James (in bed with her, but turned the other way) that she just got one of those Brazilian bikini waxes. He replies, however (and seemingly lying to avoid intimacy) that he just took an Ambien and will see her in 8 hours.
  • Kelly takes Beau aside and asks him to promise that he won't sleep with anyone else on the tour. He then reminds her that she's sleeping with her husband, but she says they don't sleep together like that (meaning sex) and that they even now kiss with their mouths closed. She then kisses Beau (clothed and standing).
  • Kelly shows a lot of leg in her dress, while Chiles is seen in a very short and formfitting dress.
  • Kelly passionately kisses James.
  • We see part of the top of Kelly's bare breast (no nipple) in her dress.
  • About Beau and Chiles chatting/flirting in their tour vehicle, another band member or roadie jokingly asks, "Why don't you two just sleep together and get it over with?"
  • A poster of Kelly shows her and her cleavage.
  • We see Kelly and Beau kissing (while standing), and their bare shoulders/tops of chests seem to imply they're nude. He then says they should stop, and the next shot shows them in towels (his around his waist, hers around her torso). She then exits his room, still in just that towel and returns to her room where James is in a dress shirt and his boxers beneath that.
  • While intoxicated and watching a beauty pageant on TV, Beau jokes that he and Chiles should have their own swimsuit competition. When she says she doesn't have one, he mentions her bra and panties being close. He then strips down (we see his bare chest), followed by her doing the same (we see her in a small bra and panties), but a knock on the hotel door interrupts them and both quickly get dressed. It's James and Beau leaves, thinking James is there to have sex with Chiles (and later snidely asks if she had fun, etc.).
  • Beau enters Kelly's tour bus and finds her fooling around with a man (while she's intoxicated). She's in her bra and slip and on top of the shirtless man, but Beau interrupts them, shoves the man back to a wall and then off the bus, and then struggles with Kelly over her bottle. He then takes that and throws it against the wall where it shatters.
  • Beau answers his hotel door in just his towel. After some small talk, he pulls Chiles into the room and closes the door. We then see them making out (upright), and see brief glimpses of her in her bra (he's shirtless). Sex is implied as we later see them in bed (he shirtless, his lower half under the covers, while she's in a camisole or something similar and her lower half is also under the covers). They start kissing again, but the scene ends.
  • Chiles shows some cleavage.
  • Kelly does a song where she sings if you got, flaunt it, while doing some playful and slightly sexually-tinged dancing (nothing explicit). She also shows some cleavage in one of her outfits.
  • SMOKING
  • Beau smokes a number of times, while some miscellaneous smoking also occurs.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Kelly suffered a miscarriage (while 5 months pregnant) after drunkenly stumbling and falling during a concert in the past.
  • Kelly tells James (in bed with her, but turned the other way) that she just got one of those Brazilian bikini waxes. He replies, however (and seemingly lying to avoid intimacy) that he just took an Ambien and will see her in 8 hours.
  • Kelly opens a gift box addressed to her and finds a baby doll covered in (presumably fake) blood and with the written words "Baby Killer" (referring to her drunken antics that lead to her past miscarriage).
  • As a result of receiving a mean gift, Kelly goes back to drinking. When James tries to persuade and then physically move her out of a closet, she punches him in the face, but is immediately remorseful about that.
  • When Kelly returns to her hotel room in just a towel, James is suspicious about where she's been and what she's been doing.
  • Kelly shoves James over him giving her song to Chiles.
  • We hear that Chiles' parents were in prison (she earlier said they were teachers) and that her mother is now out.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A person finds another person who's overdosed on pills (we see them unconscious). We next see the hospital scene where the doctor comes out to tell the spouse the bad news (we don't hear anything, but just see the reactions). We next see the funeral scene.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Celebrities (and others) who go through substance abuse rehab.
  • We hear that it's not Kelly's first time in rehab and that she was arrested in Dallas for drunk and disorderly conduct.
  • We hear that Kelly suffered a miscarriage (while 5 months pregnant) after drunkenly stumbling and falling during a concert in the past.
  • People (and especially performers) who suffer from stage fright.
  • Kelly acts oddly on stage, talking about living on a star and such.
  • Chiles feeling the need to educate herself via flashcards to rid herself of beauty queen intelligence stereotypes.
  • Kelly's odd behavior and alcoholism results in canceled shows that cost others money.
  • Kelly does a Make A Wish visit to a young boy who has leukemia (at his school where she sings a song to him).
  • We hear that Chiles' parents were in prison (she earlier said they were teachers) and that her mother is now out.
  • Beau stating he doesn't think love and fame can live in the same place.
  • Suicide.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As a result of receiving a mean gift, Kelly goes back to drinking. When James tries to persuade and then physically move her out of a closet, she punches him in the face, but is immediately remorseful about that.
  • Kelly shoves James over him giving her song to Chiles.
  • James punches Beau in the face over the latter having an affair with Kelly.
  • Beau enters Kelly's tour bus and finds her fooling around with a man (while she's intoxicated). She's in her bra and slip and on top of the shirtless man, but Beau interrupts them, shoves the man back to a wall and then off the bus, and then struggles with Kelly over her bottle. He then takes that and throws it against the wall where it shatters.
  • Beau kicks open Kelly's locked door to find her.
  • SPOILER ALERT: A person commits suicide via an overdose.



  • Reviewed January 4, 2011 / Posted January 7, 2011

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