A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Women can do anything, given opportunities to exploit their talents and fulfill their dreams. Though people can be harshly judged for breaking norms of their times, those standards often change. Addiction is very hard to beat for good, as is the co-dependency that often comes with it for the loved ones of people with addictions. Faith can help people through tough times. It's not unusual for women to put their careers on hold for their families.
Positive Role Models
Carter Cash is described and depicted as a thoughtful, talented, kind, generous, ambitious, hard-working, independent woman, artist, mother, and wife. She was called the "matriarch" and "tentpole" of a large community of country artists. She fell deeply in love with a married man while she was married, a difficult situation that was bound to leave some people hurt.
Carter Cash is depicted as ahead of her times in many ways, including that she was an ambitious musician and actor who pursued her career even while raising a family. Her "uncouth hick" stage persona was a carefully studied act. She divorced twice at a time when there was a stigma attached to divorce (she wore a "scarlet letter," one interviewee notes). She describes how her Christian faith helped her in difficult times. She is depicted as generously supporting the careers of many young musicians, across genres.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
The subject of the documentary is no longer alive, and the reaction of friends and family to her death -- even years later -- is heartrending on screen. Johnny Cash's son describes how his father's addiction impacted the family and changed the dynamic. He also describes finding his dad not breathing after one apparent near-overdose.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's kissing and discussion of crushes, love affairs, romance, celebrities considered "hot," jokes about being sexy, questions of who slept with whom, and an out-of-wedlock pregnancy and a pregnancy late in life. Carter Cash jokes to a room of prisoners that they should get their hands "out of each other's pockets."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Bitch," "ass," "whore."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The film could inspire interest in a slew of musicians and their published works, as well as museums and the Grand Ole Opry. Record labels, car brands, airlines, and awards like the Grammy Awards are seen and/or discussed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Interviewees discuss Johnny Cash's addition to pills, and later alcohol is referenced. His son describes as a child finding his dad not breathing, and rushing him to the hospital. Carter Cash talks about flushing his pills in the toilet and doing everything she could to help him get clean. She also talks about learning "co-dependency" by investing so much in helping him, especially when nobody else believed in him. Cash went to rehab after an intervention, but loved ones talk about how his addictions could still be triggered.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the documentary June paints a portrait of country singer June Carter Cash, best known to many as Johnny Cash's wife, as an independent woman and successful artist in her own right, who was ahead of her time in many ways. Mature content includes descriptions of Cash's drug addictions, which led to near overdoses, interventions, and stints in rehab. There's also some language ("bitch," "ass," "whore") and mildly suggestive talk of romance, crushes, and unexpected pregnancies (as well as some on-screen kissing). The film could inspire interest in a slew of musicians and their published works, but mostly it is about Carter Cash and what she meant to her family and the wider country community as a kind of "matriarch." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While this documentary might initially appeal only to fans, it deserves a wider viewership and does a fine job of constructing an insightful portrait of an artist and woman who meant a lot to so many. As with any documentary about a beloved figure, you might wonder what was left out of June. But you'll forget this for a while, particularly when loved ones recount her final days; their still-devastated reactions to her passing in 2003 speak volumes. It also says a lot about Carter Cash as a human -- more than her fame or career successes -- that she was so seemingly universally loved and respected. Friends refer to her as a matriarch, a kind of godmother to many successful musicians across genres -- not least of whom was her third husband, Johnny Cash, whose shadow she lived under for many years and with whom she seems to have had a complicated but profound love story.
The documentary finds a theme in Carter Cash's ambition and professionalism of how ahead of her time she was. (Few know Carter Cash wrote "Ring of Fire," a song he made uber-famous.) A child star with a natural stage presence, she followed her dreams at a time when girls and women weren't expected to forge careers or be so independent. Specific insights stand out, like her notebooks full of performance notes, her boldness in moving with a young daughter to New York to study acting, or how she put Johnny's career ahead of her own for years. When she met Cash, she was already twice divorced (and he had a drug addiction). There's nothing innovative or flashy about the elements or construction of this film, but its down-home look and traditional style only serve to underscore the durability of Carter Cash's legacy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.