Best Movies for Fans of Country Music

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

19. The Thing Called Love (1993)
> Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
> Starring: River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney
> Runtime: 116 min

Peter Bogdanovich directed this film about four young country musicians aspiring to success in Nashville, and the rivalries and romantic entanglements that result. The movie is noteworthy for an early-movie career appearance by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and for being the last film River Phoenix appeared in before his tragic death at age 23. According to Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, the film “doesn’t have much new to say about show business, but it’s energetic and well acted.”

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

18. Songwriter (1984)
> Directed by: Alan Rudolph
> Starring: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Melinda Dillon
> Runtime: 94 min

Famed country music singer-songwriters Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson basically play themselves in this easy-going film that traces the lives of two friends in the music industry. The movie holds a perfect Freshness score among Rotten Tomatoes critics, who lauded the music performed in the movie. Dennis Schwartz of Ozus’ World Movie Reviews said, “If you’re fans of country music and especially of Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, you should love this free-wheeling road film.” Kristofferson was nominated for a Best Music, Original Song Score Oscar.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

17. Georgia (1995)
> Directed by: Ulu Grosbard
> Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mare Winningham, Ted Levine
> Runtime: 115 min

“Georgia” stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mare Winningham as sisters seeking fame in the music industry. Leigh, whose mother Barbara Turner wrote the film, plays an aspiring rock star given to reckless behavior that includes substance abuse. Winningham, in the titular role, is a financially secure country and western singer who tries to help her sister. Winningham received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance. Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today called the film a “painful though sadly humorous portrait of sisterhood.”

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

16. Pure Country (1992)
> Directed by: Christopher Cain
> Starring: George Strait, Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser
> Runtime: 112 min

King of Country George Strait stars as fictional country music superstar Dusty Wyatt Chandler, who walks away from all the glitz and glamour to reconnect with his country roots. The movie won positive reviews from 90% of viewers on Rotten Tomatoes, and its soundtrack sold 6 million copies in the United States.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

15. Honkytonk Man (1982)
> Directed by: Clint Eastwood
> Starring: Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, John McIntire
> Runtime: 122 min

Clint Eastwood directed and starred in this road movie about a Depression-era country musician traveling to Nashville with his young nephew with the goal of playing the Grand Ole Opry. The movie, which reveals a more tender side for Eastwood, currently holds a 93% Freshness rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with the late Roger Ebert describing it as “a movie that makes you feel good without pressing you too hard.”