Walk the Line

  • 12
  • James Mangold (2005)
  • US / Ger
  • 123 min
Walk the Line
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Joaquin Phoenix gives a remarkable performance as country-rock legend Johnny Cash in director James Mangold's impressive biopic. The film begins with Cash's legendary live recording at Folsom Prison in 1968, flashing back to his childhood and feelings of guilt over the accidental death of his brother, then picks up the story with Cash writing songs in the air force, before hitting the road with fellow Sun recording artists Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. Joining them on tour is June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), the woman whom Cash pursued for years despite the fact that both were already married. Phoenix successfully captures the spirit of an artist who writes songs and sings because it is the one thing he does well, but who also drinks and pops pills out of frustration and guilt. He needs the love of a good woman to save him, and Phoenix and Witherspoon (who won an Oscar) convincingly bring the relationship between Johnny and June to life without lapsing into impersonation. This classic tale will be largely familiar to fans, but with both stars also contributing their own vocals, it may now bring the couple - and their music - to a new audience.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning musical biographical drama starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. John R Cash emerges from humble farm beginnings to become country-and-western legend Johnny Cash. But the road to stardom for the "Man in Black" is not without hardship and heartbreak, although salvation appears in his dependable soulmate, June Carter.

Cast and crew


John R Cash
Joaquin Phoenix
June Carter
Reese Witherspoon
Vivian Cash
Ginnifer Goodwin
Ray Cash
Robert Patrick
Sam Phillips
Dallas Roberts
Luther Perkins
Dan John Miller
Marshall Grant
Larry Bagby III
Carrie Cash
Shelby Lynne
Elvis Presley
Tyler Hilton
Jerry Lee Lewis
Waylon Malloy Payne
Waylon Jennings
Shooter Jennings
Roy Orbison
Johnathan Rice


James Mangold

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Swearing and drug abuse.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 3 Feb 2006
Certificate 12