Black Snake Moan (2006)

Drama
Christina Ricci, Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson
A God-fearing bluesman takes to a wild young woman who, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.
Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.
  • Paramount Vantage Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Mar 2007 Released:
  • 26 Jun 2007 DVD Release:
  • $9.3M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Everything is indeed hotter down South6/10
I'll be honest with you; this is not the type of movie that I'm usually drawn to. All you have to do is watch the trailer and read the plot summary to figure out where you stand. But just to continue this honest streak, I have to admit that Jackson and Ricci are so good in their roles, that they were able to pull me into the story and keep a grip on my interest.

Combining a sweltering Southern setting, blood and guts blues riffs, and a little unexpected Bible imagery, Brewer has definitely given this film a style of its own and an atmosphere that's as effective as the actors in telling this strange little tale of love and redemption.

Though its aspirations run higher, there's no denying that the film has its moments of exploitation. Ricci's half-nakedness for 75% of the film is testament to that. Those of you with more delicate palates might experience a little discomfort watching this, and understandably so. It's raw. It's ugly. It's dirty. Even Brewer agrees that this isn't exactly for everybody.

And that's what makes this such an odd movie to pin down. On one hand, I don't think I'd ever have a need to see it again. But on the other, I'm kind of curious how my opinion might be affected via a second viewing. Did I really like it? Or did I merely appreciate the effort and success in Brewer's ability to tell his unusual story in his own unconventional way? It's definitely a film that inspires discussion ... and a wide variety of adjectives. Strange. Over-the-top. Interesting. Unique. Uncomfortable. Take your pick. All these things combine to make it the theatrical experience that it unashamedly is.

It feels like a gritty, twisted blues song come alive on screen. It's a character study, and if you have any hope of enjoying it then you must accept the fact that the film doesn't shy away from showcasing the underbelly of a very disturbed young woman and the path she's traveling.

No, it's not for everybody. But love it or hate it, I feel safe in saying you likely won't see anything else like it this year. Proceed at your own caution. Just remember, everything is indeed hotter down South.

THE GIST

Black Snake Moan is the type of film that makes you stop and examine your audience before deciding who to recommend it to. It features very solid acting, a great atmosphere, and a strangely different story. But it also gets a bit sick and twisted at times and has no problems doing so. Take my words to heart and then go with your instinct on this one.
Moan hits Home ..9/10
Just got back from seeing Black Snake Moan. I had spent time reading reviews ... most seemed to focus on the obvious ... "skinny white girl chained to a black man's radiator" ... I hate when "critics" miss the point of a film. Now I suppose it helps that I live in Memphis ... and have lived in Mississippi a couple of times too. It may also help that I am the former Director of the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale ... but I get this movie. Brewer's simple "redemption tale" is easy to follow and could have had various themes to tell the story ... but I believe it is highly effect as a "blues". It would be my hope that people don't read all the hype ... and/or various reviews ... and miss a really good movie. Get past the various things like skinny girls in white panties ... get past Justin Timberlake, accept his character Ronnis (which he plays very well) ... get past "Snakes on a Plane" and see how mercuricul Samuel L. Jackson is ... as he has transformed himself into a very believable Mid-South blues man. If you know little about Mid-South culture a lot of what goes on may strike some as cartoonish ... but accept the fact that Craig Brewer KNOWS how to paint the canvas and let the actors tell the story and you will enjoy this film. Not one to tell endings ... so go see this movie ... and yes I will agree with one thing the critics got right ... the music is wonderful!
surprising movie with a good message9/10
Working at a movie theater as a projectionist, I have the opportunity to watch basically every movie that comes out. When I first saw the trailer for 'Black Snake Moan' I laughed and thought, "Great. Another 'Snakes on a Plane' Samuel L Jackson movie". But of course, I wanted to see it for the laugh factor. Many people have judged this movie too quickly based on the innuendo in the title, the images on promotional ads and on the fact that Justin Timberlake is in the film. Personally I loved every second of this movie. It tells the story of an older man and young woman who are both going through rough times and are able to reach out to one another. The story is truly touching and sends out a great message about life and how we live. Of course, I do not recommend it for young audiences due to some graphic material, but if you are looking for a great story and genuine acting from Sam Jackson, Christina Ricci and,yes, even Justin Timberlake, I encourage you to see 'Black Snake Moan'.
An excellent movie with disastrous marketing8/10
We just saw this film previewed before release at the Norfolk (VA) Film Forum, and there was general agreement on two matters: There were excellent performances in a first rate drama by the two leads and by others: and secondly, the marketing for this movie will only bring disaster. We saw a lurid poster with chains and suggestive commentary implying some sort of wacko sexual relationship between Samuel Jackson and Cristina Ricci, whereas the movie has some real depth and some thoughtful ideas. What's sad is that people looking for near porn will be drawn in to see the film and will be disappointed because it will be too "heavy" for them, while the people who would really enjoy it wouldn't be caught dead walking into the theater showing it. Too bad. A good film wasted.
Craig Brewer convinces us that he is for real and Samuel L. makes sweet music5/10
Just saw this fantastic film at the Sundance premier and cannot sing its praises enough. Last time I saw Craig Brewer he was singing Ike and Tina to the audience and turning Sundance upside down with his breakout film Hustle and Flow. This time around he fulfills on his big Sundance payday with another unique vision thats going to get everyone talking about Samuel L Jackson, and if you thought Christina Ricci was just that girl in the Addams Family movies then think again. Ricci plays Rae a complete mess of a women who without her beloved Ronnie, played by the getting better all the time Justin Timberlake, has an uncontrollable need for all things sexual. When Ronnie leaves for the a tour with the Army, Rae's demons send her tumbling down a bumpy road that leaves her used and abused left for dead on the side of the road. Along comes old blues-man Lazarus played by the great Samuel L Jackon, Lazarus himself has a few demons lurking around in his head as well, notably his ex-wife who done wrong by him. Lazarus gets to think about this young women and after some soul searching he takes it upon himself to cure her evil ways with some love, some lessons and a 40 lb. chain. I don't want to reveal too much so I'll just say there's some dark moments, some very funny moments and whole lot of great acting. This movie isn't by any means Hustle & Flow 2, however Craig Brewer does tie the two films together with his hope for redemption and change for the better for even the most unlikely of people. Audiences will find a movie worth watching here and worth thinking about well after it ends.