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Overall Rating

Worth A Look38.3%
Average: 4.26%
Pretty Bad: 19.15%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Black Snake Moan
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Doug Bentin

"Corn brew, southern style"
4 stars

When the title “Black Snake Moan” comes up on the screen, you know just where this picture is going. What you see is Christina Ricci as Rae, a white trash nympho from Mississippi, strutting her stuff down the center of a country dirt road. She is walking toward the camera and blocking the progress of a large harvester that is crawling along behind her. She’s wearing cut off shorts and a cut off tee-shirt, and she responds to the harvester driver’s impatience with a gesture that isn’t exactly hand jive.

It’s a bravura moment of baby doll - tobacco road - trailer trash - save your confederate money boys - southern gothic, and you just know this movie may be everything from guilty pleasure to cult classic, but the one thing it won’t be is good.

Rae’s fella Ronnie (Justin Timberlake trying once again to create a tougher screen image for himself) is a member of the National Guard and he’s being shipped out to a foreign land, where people dress funny and don’t know how to talk good English—Boston, I think. Not really. Rae begs him no to go, but he’s got this duty bug up his butt and he goes off with his buddy Gill As soon as Gill’s pickup goes around the bend, Rae goes over the top, one of her nympho fits comes over her and, after a quick cut, we see her doing the nasty with a black man named Tehronne (David Banner).

Soon after she gets wasted at a shindig and Ronnie’s buddy Gill (Michael Raymond-James) offers to drive her home. On the way he points out the errors of her ways by trying to rape her and then beating the living hell out of her and kicking her out of his truck. Robert E. Lee, he ain’t.

Next morning she is found on the road by Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) a middle aged black man who’s just been dumped by his wife. He takes this girl in and decides to provide her with some intervention, deep south style. He chains her to the radiator (Ricci, half nekkid and in chains, looks she fell off the cover of a Mandingo the Barbarian paperback, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

And so it goes until Ronnie, suffering from “anxiety,” is discharged and sent home early only to discover that his girl is now living with a black man. A few racial slurs are tossed around but race plays less of a role in this melodrama than you think it will. Writer/director Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”) has aspirations of seriousness. Rae is the slut she is because of sexual abuse at the hands (at least the hands) of one of her mother’s boyfriends. Laz is an old bluesman who has given up his music but must find it again in order to complete himself, and Ronnie, sensibly enough, freaks out at the thought of killing or being killed.

Ricci is better here than in anything I’ve seen her in since “The Opposite of Love,” and Jackson delivers a no nonsense portrayal of a man finding his way back into life. Note the facts that Ricci is half nekkid most of the time (or have I already mentioned this?) and Jackson gets to say “motherfucker” a lot don’t hurt.

It’s all a little too deep fried to be anything but camp as far as I’m concerned, and the earnestness of the ending is actually part of the fun. If you’re in the mood for a big ol’ steamy pile of Jimmy-cracked corn, try “Black Snake Moan” and, as God is my witness, you’ll never be hungry again.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/23/07 01:56:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/17/09 Billl Flowers Awesome performances by Jackson and Ricci 5 stars
6/15/09 art A REALISTIC MOVIE!,realistic and gritty! 3 stars
3/24/09 lalaland whoever said this movie is cute is stupid wth? 5 stars
1/25/09 Anonymous. i loved the story, great acting-a must see. 3.5/4 :] 5 stars
11/30/08 Samantha Pruitt great movie and great story, the music brings it all together, Ricci is so great! 4 stars
11/23/07 Random How powerful a story of freedom this is--steeped in the blues of heartache & wretchedness. 5 stars
10/16/07 Beau timberlake can actually act, ricci is lucious and dialogue suited theme of movie! 4 stars
7/03/07 William Goss A Southern-fried screwball sermon with a surprisingly soft soul. 4 stars
6/20/07 Lamb Check it out You'll be pleasantly surprised/ moved. 5 stars
5/07/07 skdju what a movied 5 stars
3/21/07 malcolm an old black man in tenn. knows better than to chain up a white girl in her panties 2 stars
3/20/07 Ole Man Bourbon Cute but forgetable. 4 stars
3/16/07 dmitry Samuel jackson in a bad hairpiece and more stereotypes than you can shake a stick at 2 stars
3/07/07 Jean Y Superb acting, good music, good photography, poor editing. Too long. 4 stars
3/06/07 Donny M First 45 mins good. Then went to shit. RICCI HOT! 3 stars
3/03/07 David Pollastrini Ricci is hot! 4 stars
3/03/07 ericdog11 sucky 2 stars
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  02-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jun-2007

  18-May-2007 (15)
  DVD: 17-Sep-2007


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