, Liam is a superstar country singer who left his bride at the altar to pursue fame and fortune, now returning to his Southern hometown for a funeral…and to face his past head on. The musical drama inspires this week’s gallery of 24 best and worst country music movies by Tomatometer. Forever My Girl
(1984, 100%) Songwriter
Country goes corporate as Willie Nelson tries to become a music mogul by teaming up with his old partner Kris Kristofferson.
(1980, 100%) Coal Miner’s Daughter
Sissy Spacek won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal here as Loretta Lynn.
(1985, 95%) Sweet Dreams
Jessica Lange stunningly portrays Patsy Cline, the velvet-voiced country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at the height of her fame.
(1975, 94%) Nashville
Released 30 years ago, when the nation was still reeling from the Vietnam War and Watergate, this prophetic all-American mosaic reveals our national obsession with entertainment and politics.
(1982, 93%) Honkytonk Man
Clint Eastwood succeeds in revealing his softer side in Honkytonk Man, a surprisingly sweet and heartwarming road movie that hums along at a pleasant pace.
(2009, 91%) Crazy Heart
Thanks to a captivating performance from Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart transcends its overly familiar origins and finds new meaning in an old story.
(1992, 86%) Falling From Grace
John Mellencamp both directed and starred in this drama about a well-known musician who returns to his old home town, opening a number of old wounds in the process.
(1983, 85%) Tender Mercies
Broke, alone, and hungover? You’re not alone, sweetheart, as beleaguered artist Robert Duvall himself rises up and attempts a comeback through his one calling: country music.
(2005, 83%) Walk the Line
Superior acting and authentic crooning capture the emotional subtleties of the legend of Johnny Cash with a freshness that is a pleasure to watch.
(2006, 81%) A Prairie Home Companion
The final film by the great Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion, the big screen adaptation of Garrison Keillor’s radio broadcast showcases plenty of the director’s strengths: it’s got a gigantic cast and plenty of quirky acting and dialogue.
(2000, 77%) O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Though not as good as Coen brothers’ classics, the delightfully loopy O Brother, Where Art Thou? is still a lot of fun.
(2001, 74%) Songcatcher
The story may be a bit too melodramatic, but great performances abound in Songcatcher. The real reason to see the movie, however, is the hypnotic music.
(1980, 71%) Urban Cowboy
“You a real cowboy?” John Travolta traded disco for a mechanical bull in this adaptation by James Bridges and Aaron Latham of Latham’s article on Western nightlife.
(2007, 67%) The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico
A mockumentary about a country legend believed dead for three decades, with appearances by Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.
(1973, 60%) Payday
If you can’t smoke it, drink it, spend it or love it…it ain’t worth it for Rip Torn, who plays a rambunctious and destructive star.
(1980, 60%) Honeysuckle Rose
A romantic triangle erupts between country singer Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, and Amy Irving.
(1993, 57%) The Thing Called Love
The last film River Phoenix completed before his death, The Thing Called Love doesn’t have much new to say about show business, but it’s energetic and well acted.
(2012, 44%) The Last Ride
Inspired by the mysterious final days of Hank Williams’ life, The Last Ride is the story of that final drive through the bleak Appalachian countryside of 1950’s America.
(2009, 43%) Hanna Montana: The Movie
While youthful Miley fans won’t complain, Hannah Montana the Movie is little more than a formulaic Disney Channel episode stretched thin.
(1992, 38%) Pure Country
George Strait, in his big-screen debut, stars as a performer who ditches his hollow stage act behind to return to his country roots as an anonymous farmhand.
(2011, 22%) Country Strong
The cast gives it their all, and Paltrow handles her songs with aplomb, but Country Strong‘s cliched, disjointed screenplay hits too many bum notes.
(2016, 18%) I Saw the Light
I Saw the Light boasts a terrifically talented cast, but their performances aren’t enough to enliven an unfocused biopic that never comes close to capturing its subject’s timeless appeal.
(1984, 15%) Rhinestone
After a big-time country singer (Dolly Parton) brags that she can turn anybody into a country-singin’ star, she must attempt to make good on her boast with a cab driver (Sly Stallone). He’s scheduled to sing at a NYC country night club, and she puts her powers to work in preparing her protégé.
(2006, 5%) Broken Bridges
A cliched attempt at a feel-good drama, Broken Bridges is schmaltzy, predictable, and stiffly acted.