Tennessee (film)

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DVD cover
Directed byAaron Woodley
Produced byLee Daniels
Written byRussell Schaumberg
StarringEthan Peck
Adam Rothenberg
Mariah Carey
Music byMariah Carey
Mario Grigorov
CinematographyDavid Greene
Edited bySteve Edwards
Distributed byVivendi Entertainment
Release date
  • April 26, 2008 (2008-04-26) (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • June 5, 2009 (2009-06-05)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$16,100[1]

Tennessee is a 2008 American drama film directed by Aaron Woodley, produced by Lee Daniels, and starring Ethan Peck, Adam Rothenberg, and Mariah Carey. Vivendi Entertainment has acquired all U.S. rights to the film.[2]


Two brothers, Ellis (Ethan Peck) and Carter (Adam Rothenberg), embark on a journey from New Mexico to find their estranged father in the hopes of saving Ellis, who has been diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Along the way while in Texas, they meet Krystal (Mariah Carey), an aspiring singer, who flees from her abusive husband, Frank (Lance Reddick), to join them on their journey.[3]



Mariah Carey co-wrote "Right to Dream" with Willie Nelson and performed it with Nelson's harmonica player, Mickey Raphael, for the movie's soundtrack.[4] "It's not really country," says Nelson, "It's more Mariah."

In May 2010, Carey's cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night," was leaked online. It was originally supposed to appear on the Tennessee soundtrack.

Release and reception[edit]

The premiere of Tennessee took place at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, 2008.[5][6] Tennessee was released to 15 theaters on June 5, 2009.[7]

Box office[edit]

Playing in limited release, Tennessee has grossed $9,438 from 15 theaters for a per-screen average of $629 in its opening weekend.[1] As of June 24, it grossed a total of $16,100.[1]


Critical response was generally mixed, with Metacritic calculating an average rating of 42% based on 8 reviews.[8] Based on 21 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, it had an average rating of 33% with an average score of 4.5/10.[9] The Hollywood Reporter said that the pacing is off and that the movie meanders until it reaches its unexpectedly powerful conclusion.[10] Most of the critics praised Mariah Carey's performance, describing it as "emotional" and "effective". The music behind the film, especially the Mariah Carey written song "Right To Dream" received acclaim as well, and was even considered by notable critics as a contender for an Academy Award.


The DVD, initially scheduled for release on September 1, 2009, has been pushed back to January 26, 2010 according to the film's official promotional site.


  1. ^ a b c "Tennessee (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  2. ^ Vivendi off to 'Tennessee' - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety Archived 2008-09-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Official release plot". Tennesseethefilm.com. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  4. ^ Shirley Halperin (2007-03-21). "Willie Nelson made Mariah Carey's dream come true". Ew.com. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  5. ^ Mariahcarey.com news.news Archived 2008-11-24 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ indieWIRE: TRIBECA '08 | Tribeca Unveils Discovery, Midnight Slates for '08 Fest Archived March 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Theatrical Movie Schedule Additions and Changes". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  8. ^ "Tennessee Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  9. ^ Tennessee - Rotten Tomatoes Archived 2009-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Farber, Stephen (2008-05-01). "Mariah Carey surprisingly effective in Tennessee | Entertainment | Film". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-04-21.

External links[edit]