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Soul Men (2008)

tomatometer

44

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 55

Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script.

53

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 16

Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script.

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 54,087

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1965, Marcus Hooks (John Legend), Floyd Henderson (Bernie Mac), and Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) were just three kids singing doo-wop harmonies around a fire barrel when legendary record producer Willie Mitchell caught an earful of their infectious harmonizing. Two short years later, Marcus Hooks and the Real Deal had signed to Hi Records, and they quickly became one of the most popular soul acts in America. But success can't last forever, and it wasn't long before Hooks decided to strike

R,

Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy

Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone

Feb 10, 2009

$12.0M

MGM - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (102) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (55) | DVD (11)

Soul Men could have been so much more.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Considering the canvas the story provides, and the richness of the tradition it taps into, the amount and quality of the music is pretty disappointing.

November 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This one's only fair, but it has its low-down wiles and its moments.

November 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is not a perfect film but it is a nice, solid reminder of how great Bernie Mac was.

November 10, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It really is bittersweet to watch Mac in one of his final performances. He makes the most of pretty average material here.

November 10, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie crams in myriad needless subplots -- ostensibly to provide padding, which only draws attention to how thin the original story really is.

November 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, its lack of originality and extremely low sense of humor keep Soul Men down a lot further than it deserves. There's potential there, but it's never realized.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

Soul Men may get by on novelty, but what novelty!

February 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Be prepared to laugh out loud and move to the music as Soul Men has plenty of both to offer.

January 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Are there two other actors who are able to utter the word 'motherf**ker' with such forceful comic authority? I think not.

December 28, 2008 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

The filmmakers chose to go too often to the well, I mean the toilet, for inspiration.

December 10, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

'Soul Men' is a mediocre film at best, buoyed by the abrasive chemistry of Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson.

November 21, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Awkwardly sentimental but nevertheless sharply spry in song and sass, Lee's acid-tongued Soul Men certainly have something to sing about.

November 21, 2008 Full Review
Movie Eye

Soul Men spins an erratic tune.

November 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Illinois Times
Illinois Times

Mostly, the film works, due largely to the bickering, grumpy-old-men dynamic between the two leads.

November 14, 2008
The Trend

Bernie Mac can say MF too.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Can Magazine
Can Magazine

Sam Jackson and Bernie Mac look positively pained when they squeeze into Pip-like suits and begin to sing.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Nothing great comedy or drama happens in Soul Men. The pleasure comes in seeing Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac do their stuff.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

...a bittersweet pleasure thanks to the two stars.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

This may not be a great movie, but I still couldn't help falling in love with it.

November 12, 2008
Los Angeles CityBeat

...a sweet and occasionally funny, but over-amped and limply constructed comedy...

November 9, 2008 Full Review Source: MTV

Audience Reviews for Soul Men

Funny, funny, funny. I nice tribute to serve as Bernie Macs last film. Highly enjoyable. My husband and I really got a kick out of this movie. It had some really fun songs, too.
October 14, 2010
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

both a buddy film and a road film, this comedy has its moments, but all too often it seems to forget how to be witty, so relies on funny looks and MF's by Bernie Mac way too often.

So much of this film seems pasted together and you feel that, in spite of this being Bernie's last film, this was pretty much paint by the numbers, and just about everyone's hearts weren't in it.

Sloppy is a good way to describe the direction - flashbacks of "previous" scenes, that were actually on the cutting room floor parred with a "just keep the camera rolling and something magical will happen" feel, keep this film tethered to the ground, where it could have soared.

There are some nifty period soul tunes by Stanley Clark, and a nice premise, but oddly for "soul men" no soul.

I truly question how a film about a soul singing act, and with such talented musicians involved (the aforementioned Clark as well as Issak Hayes), can be lazy enough to suggest that in 3 different towns a back up band shows up from out of nowhere, instantly knowing all the dudes' material and performing flawlessly. Uh, don't think so Sparky. Using the rehearsing of various backup bands could have been mined for humor as well as giving the film a more authentic feel.

This film reminded me of The Blues Brothers, in the road trip aspect, and many a Lemon/Matheau comedy (Grumpy Old Men, Out To Sea, etc), only not done as well. What a waste of two very talented actors.
April 13, 2010
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Good plot/storyline, good duo, music, and a cameo from the late Isaac Hayes. Bad, bad script, empty. Expletives can only carry movie so far. Its weird how this was the last thing both Mac and Hayes worked with, soul is dangerous.
March 15, 2009
Chiefilms
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

Having seen this movie,I rated it higher on the laughter scale. Not since the great Richard Pryor or to an lesser extent the late great Rudy Ray Moore has their been a comedian like Bernie Mac that can take a vulgarity into a great conversation. Soul Men works on both levels,because for one,it has the ability to take any random series of insults and off the chain vulgar words and quickly shape them into a beautiful sculpture of apoplectic hatred,a rare skill that is fading fast from the film industry. It is riveting funny as hell to just watch people like this argue. The other is this....this movie shines simply because Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac are two of the best cussers in Hollywood and not since the days of Richard Pryor has there ever been anything like it since. However,the performances between Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac are brilliant in every detail. Since this will be the only movie where you'll get to see two of the greatest actors/comedians of their time. Also to mention here is the appearance of another great who is a legend himself in R&B..the late Issac Hayes who passed away in August of this year(along with one of the greatest comedians ever Bernie Mac). R&B soul king John Legend has a role here as well along with Pamela Anderson in a cameo appearance.
November 20, 2008
rayman0071
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

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