Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Home > Movies > Crazy Heart

Crazy Heart

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

(No longer in theaters)
  • Rating: R — for language and brief sexuality
  • Director: Scott Cooper   Cast: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Beth Grant
  • Running Time: 111 minutes
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

Genre

Drama

Producer

T-Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall

Distributor

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Release Date

Dec 16, 2009

Release Notes

Limited

Official Website

Review

Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart is a grand pedestal for Jeff Bridges as a bloated, washed-up boozehound country-and-western singer called “Bad” Blake. What makes the performance such a beauty is the contrast between Bad when he’s onstage and off. In his cups, he staggers around seedy venues, top-heavy and reeling; but when he slings his guitar around his neck, he leans back so that its weight literally centers him. His music centers him, too. He sings like he’s making his last stand against the universe. Bad’s songs, written by T-Bone Burnett, have an authentic drive: They’re all that’s left of his life. At least they’re all that’s left until he meets a journalist and single mom played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who he thinks could be wife No. 5. Why she thinks the same for even a millisecond is one of the movie’s more movie-ish conceits, but Gyllenhaal has such a delectable spaciness that you almost believe she sees something we don’t. The movie turns out to be another ode to the healing powers of AA (Robert Duvall co-produced—or maybe his Tender Mercies character did), and the final scene is a cornball stinker. But there’s a grounded and shockingly credible turn by Colin Farrell as a Toby Keith–like superstar who throws Bad a lifeline—and the way Bridges looks at it, with both rage and relief and then rage at his own relief, would make a great C&W song.

Related Stories

New York Magazine Reviews