Soul Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Soul Man Reviews

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March 3, 2017
C. Thomas Howell gets into Harvard law school, but his dad (James B. Sikking) declines the offer to pay his tuition. Unable to find any means to pay it, he stumbles upon an unclaimed scholarship for black students who have been accepted to Harvard from Los Angeles. Naturally he pretends to be black and gets the scholarship. Clearly not a film that would get made these days, even though it's perspective on race relations is pretty progressive. Howell learns things and they're all pretty straightforwardly right, and all the racial humour in the film is at the expense of racists. It's not a particularly well-written film with plot lines dropping and reappearing as conveniently required, but Howell is an okay lead, and some of the supporting cast, including James Earl Jones, Rae Dawn Chong, Jeff Altman, Julia Louis-Drefus and Leslie Nielsen, are quite good. A solid B-.
½ August 4, 2016
One of the most racist movies I have ever seen!
½ June 11, 2016
College student poses as a black man to get special scholarship at Harvard even though Harvard doesn't give scholarship opportunities. The premise is funny but the movie is not.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2016
Some of the scenes in the film where funny and overall the film wasn't boring or unwatchable. Taking pills that make your skin darker so that you can qualify for a university isn't terrible, but acting like a total jerk to other people once you're black is and it's also a little bit racist. Although I don't think it was intentional, it was still racist. The poster says " A comedy with a heart and soul. "...really?
½ January 30, 2016
A dreadfully unfunny and egregiously insensitive 80's romantic comedy. The abysmal concept could have worked if made with less sincerity and pushed to the extreme of self-deprecating humour but it's all played so seriously that it's hard to look past any of the glaring flaws to find anything good here.
January 9, 2016
A Caucasian taking a scholarship intended for Minorities by tanning. Some funny moments.
August 19, 2015
Soul Man is about a white guy overdoses on tanning pills to make himself appear black so that he can use affirmative action to get into college.

Yes that's the plot to this movie and I'm more shocked that such a film like this could exist, but sadly it dose and it's horrible. Who ever came up with the idea of Soul Man should be fired and never work on a movie ever again, because Soul Man is just trash. It's unfunny, tasteless, idiotic and straight up offensive.
½ April 23, 2015
It's just not a funny movie. The fact that it comes off as racist in a goofy way is the only interesting thing about it. Skip it unless you like getting angry at politically incorrect movies.
September 7, 2014
although I liked the movie and recommend you give it at least one watch this movie is a genius idea but the execution is really grade c. c.Thomas does fine in the lead role but the supporting cast I don't know I guess they do OK none of the acting is. really grade a accept with James earl Jones's role but I wished the movie would have tried to be deeper with the racial element of c.Thomas learning what it is like to be black and understanding there struggle they used to face and still face I feel like that would have been a better movie a dim comedy is kind of what this movie approaches it as which is a shame and rae dawn Chong as his love intrest I'm like OK don't get me wrong she is one of the most beautiful black women ever but this movie should have focused more on a deeper message
August 2, 2014
(First and only viewing - 3/24/2011)
July 4, 2014
I loved this as a kid. How wrong was I. Pure wank. The basketball gag was quality but how did it even get made. Shit jokes and some of the humour is pure cringe but in a really bad way.
April 8, 2013
White privilege denial
Anti-affirmative action

Wow, wtf. Yup another white kid in black face, complaining that he doesn't get all the free breaks like black people do.


March 6, 2013
Almost like blackface for the 80's. Some could find this offensive but I find it to be funny based off it's stupidity and badness..Case in point: Leslie Neilsen's prejudiced vision at the dinner table. How they got James Earl Jones to show up in this I have no idea, he must have just gotten divorced and needed to pay court costs. Also..who would buy C. Thomas Howell as a black man? This isn't that bad of a cinematic abortion but it could have come close.
½ January 19, 2013
An 80's college-age flick on Comedy Central is usually just a way to kill a couple of afternoon hours, but this movie was an above-average 80's movie. Worth a watch.
January 13, 2013
Imagine "Legally Blonde," but with flatter characters and poorer dialogue. I just saved 1h 41min of your life. Not even Mr James Earl Jones was able to save this film.
November 4, 2012
For C. Thomas Howell
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2012
Yeah, it's bad, and kind of racist, but I think it's probably well intentioned, just done badly. It has that bad 80's kind of appeal.
Wanted to hate it, but just couldn't.
½ August 11, 2012
14%? What rot! Remember, reviewers, a more innocent time, when a white guy could pretend to be black, and trot out every lame stereotype known to man. And mock political correctness, I suppose. I remember this being very funny, though - and having Leslie Nielsen's last ever straight acting role.
June 20, 2012
Pretty bad so-called comedy. Quite racially insensitive.
½ April 13, 2012
Hilariously politically incorrect concept is really the only thing about this film that was funny.
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