A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers experience the emotional highs and lows of singer June Carter Cash through a demanding but loving childhood, two failed relationships, balancing a career and motherhood, and finally a tumultuous marriage marred by her husband's substance abuse. Though her struggles were many, the movie celebrates family devotion, faith, and the enduring human spirit.
Positive Role Models
June's loyalty to Johnny is legendary and proved to be his lifeline, but her love for him never came at the expense of her own self-respect. She made difficult, heartbreaking decisions for his sake, but also to protect herself and their son from Johnny's addiction. Her strength of character came from a strong sense of family and faith.
Violence & Scariness
In one scene, a drunk and stoned Johnny hurls a plate at his wife, but it misses her.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults kiss, and there are allusions to extramarital affairs.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Johnny's habitual substance abuse is explored from the point of view of his wife and young son. A handful of scenes show him stoned and/or drunk beyond reason (and, in one case, nearly comatose from an overdose), but the story focuses more on the emotional fallout of his actions on his family. June and their son describe feeling hurt, angry, and frightened because of his addiction, eventually persuading him to get help to preserve their relationship.
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 Ring of Fire is a retelling of the life of legendary singer-songwriter June Carter Cash. After walking viewers through her formative years as a performer, her early family life, and her first two marriages, the story turns its focus to her relationship with Johnny Cash and the emotional turmoil she suffered at the hands of his drug and alcohol abuse. He is shown drunk and stoned, and in one case marginally violent (he throws a plate at her in a stupor), but these scenes stay true to the realistic gravity of addiction. If your teen can handle the tough issue of substance abuse, then this movie is a beautiful, undramatized reminder of the power of faith and the enduring nature of love. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Ring of Fire is told from June's point of view through the words of their son, which gives it an authenticity that isn't always reliable in melodramatic biopics. (This is in contrast to the 2005 big-screen movie Walk the Line, which chronicled Johnny's story.) Jewel does a remarkable job of encapsulating the essence and sound of this legendary and beloved American character, whose poignant tale of loss, pain, forgiveness, and devotion sends an inspiring message that contrasts much of what our divorce-riddled culture accepts as the norm.
Because this story deals with mature issues like addiction and struggling marriages, it's meant to be viewed by those who can relate in some degree to this kind of human drama. That said, the clean content invites teens who can handle the gritty, real-life topics, and the uplifting nature of its messages reminds viewers of the imperfections of life and the enduring stamina of the human spirit to overcome those trials. What's more, it's a good example of the discrepancies between our perceptions of celebrities and what their lives are really like.
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.