Top 5 Movies About Country Music
There's no shortage of country music representation on screens big and small. Unfortunately, the way that the genre is portrayed in film is sometimes ... well, let's just say inaccurate. From cheesy costuming, predictable plots and cringe-worthy stereotypes, it's easy to point out where movies about country music go wrong.
But thankfully, sometimes they go right. From fictional blockbusters to biopics, there are (believe it or not) movies out there that do right by country music as a genre, while also holding their own as films.
The Boot has narrowed down our five favorite movies about country music. Scroll through this list to see if one you love -- or love to hate, or hate to love -- made it into our picks!
This movie is technically more a “comedic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey” than a film about country music … which is the only reason it’s not higher on our list. But, it makes this list because of the Soggy Bottom Boys, the fictional folk band, formed in the movie, that makes it big with their recording of “Man of Constant Sorrow.” The soundtrack -- which featured country and folk greats such as Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, John Hartford and Gillian Welch performing songs that appear throughout the movie -- also won Album of the Year at the Grammys. (Two of the soundtrack's tracks won individual Grammy Awards as well.)
Pure Country features George Strait in his first -- and only -- starring role in a feature film. While the country icon has played himself (and been included on countless soundtracks) since, his only other acting credit is in a 2003 episode of King of the Hill -- maybe because Pure Country was a box office bomb. Still, the movie managed to launch two sequels (which you’ll notice are purposely not on this list) and had a killer soundtrack. Incidentally, the Pure Country soundtrack is Strait’s most successful album; it's sold more than 6 million copies.
Not the 1969 song nor the 1970 album of the same name, the Coal Miner’s Daughter on this list is the 1980 movie about the life of Loretta Lynn. Sissy Spacek nabbed the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn in the movie, which also stars Tommy Lee Jones. The movie was adapted from Lynn’s autobiography, which is titled -- you guessed it -- Coal Miner’s Daughter.
Jeff Bridges took home the Oscars trophy for Best Actor for his performance in Crazy Heart, as Otis “Bad” Blake, a fictional country singer inspired by real-life musician Hank Thompson. The movie follows Blake, an aging and washed-up country star who finds himself playing small-town bars and bowling alleys. Crazy Heart explores the music industry while highlighting Blake’s relationships, from his romance with a young journalist (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) to his tense partnership with a current star -- and former mentee -- played by Colin Farrell. T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham won Best Original Song at the Oscars for writing “The Weary Kind,” a song that features prominently in the film.
Did you know that Joaquin Phoneix and Reese Witherspoon could sing? We didn’t either until we saw their performances as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. The film documents Cash’s early life, from his tragic childhood to his ascent to country stardom, and the two actors capture the voices and mannerisms of Johnny and June -- from their stage presence to their vocals -- pretty perfectly. Critics and viewers fell in with Witherspoon's performance in particular: She won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carter Cash (and Phoenix was nominated for Best Actor).