Walk the Line
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: -1

Walk the Line is the true story of the early life and career of folk singer, Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), who died in 2003. During his childhood, Johnny lived in the shadow of his brother, Jack. While Jack planned to become a preacher and help people, all Johnny could do was sing and cause trouble. So when Jack tragically died, Johnny's father saw the work of the devil, who left behind the nothing boy. For much of his early life, Jack's death hung over Johnny, who struggled to believe in himself. Even marriage and a successful music career did not lift the shadow. Instead, Cash turned to sex, drugs and alcohol, which destroyed his family and nearly killed him. But with the help of long-time friend and future spouse, June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), Johnny slowly turned his life around, returning to church, rebuilding his career, and even healing some of the old wounds between him and his father. Phoenix and Witherspoon sign all of the songs themselves.

Walk the Line shows how one's actions can have powerful effects on others. For instance, the film connects Johnnys destructive behavior with his father's refusal to accept him. Because his father said so, Johnny always thought of himself as nothing in comparison to his dead brother, even wishing that he had died instead of Jack. Yet just as his father's actions hurt him, June Carter intervened to help him in his time of deepest need. While the film is about redemption and includes several references to Johnny's Christian faith, he is still a rough, crude man. His destructiveness culminates in adultery, drug abuse and alcoholism. And while he agrees that he has done many bad things, he conveys little remorse for his adultery.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Crude Language: Many (20) times mild (hell 9, damn 5); strong (-ss 4, SOB 2)
Obscene Language: Few (3) times strong (f-word 1, s-word 2)
Profanity: Few (2) times moderate (OMG 1); strong (J 1)
Violence: Several times mild (man yells at and threatens his children, man throws things in his home and yells at his wife and children, man throws things around a dressing room and damages property, man and wife yell and struggle physically); moderate (boy shown bloody after being injured by a machine, man threatened by several people with guns)
Sexual Intercourse: Few times mild (married man and another woman shown in bed together, married man shown kissing another woman with sex possibly implied)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times mild (man comments about a woman in a suggestive way); moderate (married man kisses another woman a few times, man refers to his sexual attraction for a woman other than his wife)
Drug Abuse: Many times mild (frequent use of cigarettes and alcohol in parties and family situations); moderate (several scenes with characters drunk, stumbling and incoherent); strong (several scenes show a man taking pills, man overdoses and is taken to the hospital, man shows signs of severe drug addiction)
Other: A few appropriate references to God, faith in Jesus and salvation; woman tells man that God has given him a second chance; depictions of infidelity and adultery; man emotionally abuses his son; man struggles with his self image and personal tragedy; portrayal of the stress and temptation associated with fame and tour performance; boy talks about wanting to be a preacher; man suggests that he will go to hell for singing sinful music, mans friends intervene to stop his drug addiction, man tries to argue that his infidelity to his wife is not wrong.
Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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