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Black Snake Moan (2007)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 157
Fresh: 104 | Rotten: 53

Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.

49

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 23

Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 412,651

My Rating

Movie Info

When a weathered, God-fearing ex-blues musician finds the town nymphomaniac severely beaten and left for dead on the side of the road, he vows to cure her of her wicked ways in Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer's raw and unflinching follow-up. Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a hard-living ex-blues guitarist for whom the troubled days are beginning to outnumber the good. Rae (Christina Ricci) is a 22-year-old sex addict whose wild ways are finally about to catch up with her. When Lazarus

R,

Drama

Jun 26, 2007

$9.3M

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All Critics (157) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (104) | Rotten (53) | DVD (27)

Pitched uncomfortably but compellingly between homage and exploitation in its big-hearted exploration of the steamiest corners of black life.

March 3, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Delightfully outrageous, Black Snake Moan is an explosive mixture of sex, race and down-South swamp water.

March 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For Black Snake Moan to work any sort of magic, it must be viewed as a blues riff on damaged souls and their desperate need for salvation.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie strolls right past absurdity into offensiveness, by trying to pass this pulp nonsense off as noble art.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the kind of movie that's best enjoyed as a stylized fantasy, much like Brewer's most obvious model, Elia Kazan's Southern-fried Tennessee Williams adaptation Baby Doll.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters never connect, and the movie never takes off. Rae may be the one sporting a padlock around her waist. But it's the movie that's shackled.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (2)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

God, sex and the blues are mashed together and deep fried southern style in Craig Brewer's unique Black Snake Moan.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Snaps and crackles with comic verve

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

With excellent performances, plays on morality and sexual behavior, Brewer composes another surefire classic.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Craig Brewer, the promising director who hit it with Hustle and Flow, seems to harbor a need to exorcise his white burden through films centered on black music.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Comment (1)
Boston Phoenix

Brewer knows his music, and how to make it the center of a story; if he only did a better job filling in the rest of the blanks, this might've worked.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

Moan? You're more likely to be groaning - or possibly hooting with laughter at the implausibility of this messy, misogynistic melodrama.

June 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Comment (1)
Eye for Film

I did expect there to be a stronger emotional connection between Ricci and Jackson, but that said, the two actors were impressive to watch.

February 1, 2008 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Pulpy Southern immorality tale is for adults only.

October 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Chaining people to your radiator is a Wrong Thing To Do. This is not the opinion of Black Snake Moan.

September 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Its sleazy, scuzzy nature comes not from a forward desire to push the standards of taste but a been-there sense of the ways of the world.

September 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Deception, freedom and redemption all weave themselves into a moody tale that holds our attention for most of the time, compounded by Ricci's striking performance and waif-like appearance

July 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Basically, the movie is an old-fashioned morality play, for all its lurid details.

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A fascinating, colourful, sometimes outrageous film that succeeds because it was built on a solid foundation.

June 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Black Snake Moan is highly recommended for anyone who is tired of films with scripts that insult their intellect or that boast superficial performances by mediocre actors.

June 25, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

A superbly written, brilliantly acted and frequently surprising film that is by turns sexy, shocking and ultimately moving.

June 19, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Jackson's elegant performance gives the frequently tough to swallow story some credence.

June 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

It's so profoundly, mind-blowingly offensive that you almost have to admire the writer/director Craig Brewer's nerve.

May 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comment (1)
Times [UK]

Sam Jackson delivers the electric blues in a not-so-blue movie that promises more Deep South sin than it actually delivers.

May 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

This is an unusually bold film, but it's also a morality tale that's riddled with hypocrisy and is frankly offensive. Not a blues movie as much as a blue movie.

May 15, 2007 Full Review Source: BBC.com

Frankly, I'm shocked by the number of critics who have been praising the film. To my mind, the movie doesn't even rate to be called camp. It's simply a bad idea gone wrong.

May 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Black Snake Moan

What a completely ridiculous premise this movie has... and although it starts off as kind of intriguing and interesting because you don't know where the plot is going with it, turns out not much really. All of these tortured souls so to speak go way over the top and there's times where I simply was bored because the movie spends way too long on some of the uninteresting characters & aspects of the story. Especially Justin Timberlake's character, which was way underdeveloped and seemed tacked on. He simply wasn't good. Samuel L. Jackson practically carries the movie by himself. He's solid and his singing is actually pretty good. Christina Ricci doesn't really have much to do other than look like she wants to bang everything in sight, which I guess she does well. The blues soundtrack to this is nice, but some of it they could have done without. I feel like 30 minutes could have been cut out of this film and nothing would have changed. If not for Jackson, it would have been a waste of time. With him, it's alright but could have been much better.
February 6, 2014
jlewis07

Super Reviewer

Black Snake Moan is one of those films that had the potential of being a great film, but I felt it fell quite short. For me, this was a film that was quite hard to get into, and it simply didn't deliver. The performances were quite good, but overall this was a decent affair with a plot that was interesting, but was quite eccentric. Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson have good chemistry here, and it's the film's highpoint. However the film's low point is the pacing of the film, I felt that though it had it an interesting plot, the picture moved too slowly. Films that tell a captivating plot and are well paced are good to watch. However Black Snake Moan just didn't have the fire to keep you involved from start to finish. The performances were good and the plot was well thought out, but at the same time, this was a tiresome affair. I felt that the film could have been much better and that director Craig Brewer could have rewritten the script at least a few times to really give the film its just due. This could have been a stellar picture, but it was plagued by too many lows and it just ended up being a decent flick at best. Black Snake Moan is not a film that warrants multiple viewings, and despite the cast and interesting concept, I was disappointed with the final result. Samuel L. Jackson saved the film from being a total bore fest and he really commanded the screen in his performance. If only the ideas could have been thought out slightly better, then I think this would have for a truly compelling feature that would have surely been a great and memorable piece of cinema. Alas the result is an underwhelming movie that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of substance to its plot.
February 1, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Really weird. I'm still not sure if I liked or not, but it was interesting enough. Christina Ricci doesn't really do it for me. But Samuel is his usual cranky self but he sure can sing! He's pretty good if you ask me. Justin Timberlake should stick to singing instead of acting, he's not convincing enough when you hear that whiny little voice in the back of you're head every time his face shows (I won't admit that I secretly liked his debut-solo album).
December 5, 2012
Saxia

Super Reviewer

Even if it doesn't totally work, it's has moments of brilliance and shows that Craig Brewer has something special.
November 18, 2012
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

    1. Rae: Why you old men gotta talk so much? You gotta talk yourself into fuckin' me? Like little boys. It's okay. I'm grown, I know. We can go slow.
    2. Rae: (beat) Are you gonna give me another bath?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Rae: I think... I think we're all fucked up. I know I am. But that don't mean what I feel ain't real, that I can't love somebody. And I know what I've done is real real bad, but um...
    2. Rae: (pause) So if you wanna quit on me that I understand. But please don't.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Lazarus Woods: God put you in my path and I aim to cure you of your wicked ways.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Lazarus Woods: Collar your dog!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Lazarus Woods: I remember my first time, it was out behind my uncle's barn with my second cousin.
    2. Lazarus Woods: She was two tons if she weighed a pound, I could have done better for myself.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Lazarus Woods: So what do you know how to make?
    2. Rae: I don't fuckin' cook.
    3. Lazarus Woods: You know, Rae, I've met a lot of hard mouthed people in my day...
    4. Rae: Alright, alright. Look, I put the God damn dress on alright? I think that I'm handlin' myself with a little fuckin' restraint. I mean you got me all chained up here like I'm some kinda dog!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
View all quotes (21)

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