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4.0 out of 5 stars I fell into a burning ring of fire, Feb. 23 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Johnny Cash was one of those awesome, almost legendary figures that needs no introduction. He was Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. Nuff said.

And you would think that no actor could adequately capture his mystique, but the ever-brilliant Joaquin Phoenix came pretty close in "Walk The Line." The story of the first half of Cash's life runs through a lot of the typical tropes -- drugs, sex, hitting rock bottom, finding love -- but Phoenix's eerily perfect performance elevates it. And yes, he sings.

The story begins in Cash's boyhood, which was marked by A) the open contempt of his alcoholic father, B) the shocking death of his brother, and C) his love of music. When he was grown, Cash (Phoenix) joined the Air Force and married his reluctant girlfriend Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin).

But his love of music never died. Despite Vivian wanting him to get a "real job," Cash successfully impressed a record executive with his gravelly voice and gritty songs -- and became a megastar with his very first album. While on tour, he encountered June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), and was immediately smitten by her both professionally and personally.

But his growing love for June quickly destroyed his marriage, and his increasing drug use seemed to be doing the same to his career -- even landing him in jail at one point. June stepped in to save him from his downward spiral, inspiring him to clean up his life and go back on the road -- even to Folsom Prison, where he had a lot of fans. But his true goal was her hand in marriage.

"Walk the Line" has a rather rough task -- tell the life story of one of America's most beloved singers, warts and all, without diminishing any of what made him great. So yeah, there's adultery and drug use here, but it never blots out the wounded, romantic soul that walks the line in the center of it, tangled in barbed-wire issues.

And the triumph of the film is Joaquin Phoenix, who gives a scarily perfect performance as Cash. His body language, his expressions, even his VOICE are all altered to be as close as possible to Cash's -- and yes, Phoenix sings Cash's songs. But what makes his performance great is not mere mimicry of Cash -- it's his ability to give a pitch-perfect imitation of Cash while also giving a powerful, heartfelt performance as an artistic soul covered in scars, who had to fight his way past everyone who doubted him.

James Mangold focuses a lot on the shaping influences of Cash's life here, setting up his brother's horrific, bloody death as the place where his life changed. But when June enters the story, it becomes less about Cash by himself, and more about the love story between them -- lots of significant glances on brightly-lit stages, lots of impassioned pleas on tour buses.

Sadly, Reese Witherspoon can't stand up to Phoenix's spellbinding performance. She isn't bad, but her "perky li'l Southern belle" performance just feels immature and shallow when she's standing next to him. It's hard to see what depths Cash saw in this woman.

"Walk the Like" is a movie entirely revolving around the breathtaking performance of Joaquin Phoenix, who practically BECOMES Johnny Cash as few other actors ever could. Witherspoon just can't stand up to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, April 5 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Line (DVD)
I bought this as a gift for my husband. If you are a Johnny Cash fan. Then this is the dvd for you. I watched it with him and learned more about the man in black
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever, March 27 2006
This is a great movie, bar none.
Everyone has to see this movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Sept. 20 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Watched 2x so far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Cash, Jan. 10 2012
By 
Greg "neurosky" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NEW Walk The Line (DVD) (DVD)
One of my favourite films. I was never a Cash fan but I fell in love with the characters, the performances, the story and before too long I found myself addicted to Cash's own music. Whether you're a Cash fan or not you should enjoy this film. It's a dramatic, witty, deep and very emotional film that should endure for many years to come!

ADDED FOOTAGE: Of course the extra time slows the film down a little but I loved every bit of added footage because it all added something to the film and actually feels like it belongs here. Watching the Extended Cut was like being reintroduced to a film that I already loved, for now it has even more depth.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Famous musicians and relatives of Cash and Carter talk lovingly about different aspects and chapters of Cash's life and his relationship with June Carter. There is real substance in what they have to say and the story told is so powerful that it should bring a tear to your eye. My only complaint is that there wasn't more on the actual making of the film. Still, the bonus features are so excellent that I feel I shouldn't complain. Just the inclusion of the extended musical performances is enough to make anyone smile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellente et fidèle biographie, Nov. 22 2011
La vie de Johnny Cash traitée avec tact, justesse de ton et exactitude historique. Les acteurs sont excellents. On a vraiment l'impression de revivre le destin étonnant de Johnny Cash. VO sous titrée français. Son et image excellents
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4.0 out of 5 stars vey well done, Nov. 21 2010
I really enjoted this movie. I was surpised that they didn't mention the death of Luther Perkins (Johnny's origional guitar player).
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5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning biography of Johnny Cash, Nov. 22 2007
By 
falcon "disdressed12" (canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
wow!!!i'd heard this was a great film,so i finally decided to watch
it.i have to say,it exceeded my expectations.the acting was amazing in
this movie,as was the direction.i really liked the fact that it showed
Johnny Cash at his worst,as well as his best.there was a great
back-story to Walk the Line,beginning with cash as a twelve year old
child,and how he had a less than perfect childhood.his father was a
jerk,to put it mildly while his mother just stood on the
sidelines,allowing young John to be treated poorly.the supporting
performances were also very good.but it was Joaquin Phoenix(as a grown
up cash, and Reese Witherspoon,as June Carter(who would eventually
agree to marry him and become June Carter Cash),who were both
brilliant.there was great chemistry between the two,and you really
wanted them to get together.i really liked the interplay between the
two.the dialogue was well written.i also loved the old songs,from the
50s and 60's. this film showed Cash as a rockabilly type singer,before
he became famous for his country songs.he was very popular as a
rockabilly singer,much more popular than i think most people realize.he
wasn't a perfect person,by any means.he had his problems,but was deep
down a good man,and really tried hard to turn his life around.you felt
sympathy for him and felt his happiness when June carter finally agreed
to marry him.this is one of the best movies i have ever seen.great
movie all around.wow!!!i highly recommend it.even if you are not a
Johnny Cash fan(which i wasn't),you will be entertained.as an
aside,apparently both Phoenix and Witherspoon did all the singing
themselves,making their performances even more amazing. 5/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a story about redemption, July 1 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I have always enjoyed both Johnny and June. However, I was not too interested in their lives. In addition, I have to admit that this film was a bit depressing at first. It reminded me too much of Steinbeck. I started to question my purchase when before I could finish the thought, I was sucked into their life and this movie. This adds a new perspective on the classic songs. We see that they were just people and subject to personalities and environments as we, all are.

You will find these songs going through your head days after viewing this movie. Note at the ending credits the real thing as the real duo sings "Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man"
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesoe cd of I Walk the Line, Aug. 4 2014
love it
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