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"SOUL MEN"
(2008) (Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild *Heavy Minor Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild Mild Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Two backup singers are reunited and set off on a contentious cross-country trip to perform at a tribute concert for their recently departed former lead singer.
PLOT:
Once upon a time, Louis Hinds (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) and Floyd Henderson (BERNIE MAC) were backup singers for Marcus Hooks (JOHN LEGEND) in the soul trio, Marcus Hooks and the Real Deal. After Marcus went on to a successful solo act, Louis and Floyd tried going out on their own, but after one hit record, they split up in 1979 for a variety of reasons, never to speak again.

That changes with the unexpected death of Marcus, resulting in a tribute concert being scheduled for him, and the powers that be want Louis and Floyd reunited, putting pressure on record label owner Danny Epstein (SEAN HAYES) to pull that off. Floyd is easy to convince, what with him being bored to death in retirement, but Louis wants nothing to do with that or him despite now living a life of squalor following a stint in prison.

But when Floyd tells his former partner they'll be paid handsomely, Louis reluctantly agrees, and the two set off on a cross-country road trip, given help -- at first via phone and then in person -- by Danny's gung-ho intern, Phillip (ADAM HERSCHMAN), who's their biggest fan.

With their destination the historic Apollo Theater, they make various stops to hone their resurrected act. Along the way, and needing money, they stop at the home of a woman they both loved and fought over in the past. Although they find that she's since died, they meet her daughter, Cleo (SHARON LEAL), who one of them might have fathered, as well as her good-for-nothing, drug-dealing, rapper wannabe boyfriend, Lester (AFFION CROCKETT). With her in tow, the two soul men continue on their trip, bickering and fighting as they proceed.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or period soul music, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language, and sexual content including nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON plays a former backup singer whose life fell apart following the breakup of the act, resulting in drug and alcohol abuse and a stint in prison for trying to rob a bank. Now living a life of squalor, he wants nothing to do with Floyd or performing with him again, but agrees upon hearing they'll be paid handsomely for that. He uses strong profanity, carries a handgun, bickers and battles with Floyd, and casual sex with a stranger is heavily suggested.
  • BERNIE MAC plays his former partner who had a far more successful post music life, but is now bored in retirement. Accordingly, he's happy to resurrect their act, but must contend with Louis not being crazy about that idea, or being paired once again with him. He fights with him, uses strong profanity, must deal with his aging body, thinks Cleo is his daughter, plays with Louis' handgun on several occasions, and has casual sex with strangers.
  • SHARON LEAL plays the adult daughter of recently deceased woman who was once with both men. She must not only contend with Lester beating her, but also the discovering that one of the soul men might be her father. She uses strong profanity.
  • ADAM HERSCHMAN plays Danny's intern and big fan of Louis and Floyd who enthusiastically will do anything for them. He uses strong profanity.
  • SEAN HAYES plays a record label mogul who's putting on the tribute and thus wants the two backup singers there. He uses strong profanity.
  • AFFION CROCKETT plays Cleo's good-for-nothing, drug-dealing, rapper wannabe boyfriend who's mean to her (apparently beating her -- off camera) who turns out to be lily-livered despite his public persona. He uses strong profanity, and takes quite a licking from Louis.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 151 "f" words, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) and song lyrics (non-explicit) are present, as are several sexual encounters (with movement, nudity and sounds) played for comedy rather than eroticism (and still photos suggest an orgy, with nudity, etc.). Scantly clad characters (mostly women, including the sight of one's bare butt, but also one young man) are seen, as is the shape of erections under clothing, while masturbation material is also present.

    Comedy-based fighting and the striking of others (including the breaking of an arm) occur in several scenes, and handguns are present in them and others. Various characters have bad attitudes, but much of that is played for comedy to one degree or another, thus somewhat lessening the severity (as compared to appearing in a straight and more realistic drama).

    Kids may be enticed to copy some of the behavior on display. Various characters drink (a miscellaneous one is intoxicated) and a few smoke, while there are references to drug use in the past, and a drug deal (pot) is briefly seen. Some crude humor is present, as is some tense family material.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a malt liquor ad and/or album cover.
  • A doctor tells Floyd not to mix sleeping pills and alcohol, but the latter does just that, apparently in a suicide attempt. When he hears news of Marcus' death, however, he spits out of a mouthful of those pills.
  • Louis states that he doesn't remember "sh*t" about a part of his past (presumably referring to his alcohol and drug addiction). About something else, Floyd half-jokingly tells him, "You must be higher than a m*therf*cker."
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a small crowd at a bar where Louis and Floyd perform. One drunken man comes up on the stage with them, but later passes out. When Louis starts choking, he grabs and down's a patron's drink to clear his throat.
  • There's a comment about Louis' smoking, drinking and drug problem in the past.
  • People drink in a country and western bar where Floyd has a drink.
  • We see a photo of Floyd, Louis and Cleo's mom holding glasses of champagne.
  • We briefly see Lester selling drugs (he later says it was just pot).
  • People have beer at a performance, while Phillip holds a drink.
  • Louis talks about his past involvement with alcohol and drugs.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Some kids pick their noses in the backseat alongside Floyd who's grossed out.
  • We see a male doctor applying lube to his gloved hand to give Floyd a rectal examination. Floyd isn't happy about that but drops his pants and bends over (we don't see any nudity), and then reacts to that exam (played for comedy). Later, he won't shake that doctor's un-gloved hand.
  • After apparently being beaten up by his boss and others, Louis pulls a blood-soaked plug from his nose. We also see some dried blood on his t-shirt.
  • Floyd says he wants a "sh*t," shower and shave.
  • Cleo has a bruise on her face from where Lester apparently hit her.
  • Louis makes Lester retrieve a wad of money from the front of his (Lester's) pants. Louis then has Floyd take that wad and he barely touches, yet smells it.
  • Louis and Floyd discover Phillip in the trunk of Lester's car. He's in just his briefs (and we see a lot of his bare butt as he gets out), states he needs to pee, and we then see his urine stream as he does so.
  • Floyd and Louis end up in the piano-shaped coffin with Marcus' body (played for comedy).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Most of the following is played for comedy to some degree or another.
  • For much of the film, Louis and Floyd bicker and sometimes battle, all stemming from their contentious past.
  • We briefly see archival footage of Louis trying to rob a bank at gunpoint, but then being hit by guards and/or cops while being subdued.
  • Louis' garage shop boss says Louis better not be selling drugs out of his garage (for talking on the phone). He then uses the adjective "black monkey" to describe part of Louis, prompting Louis to wrap the phone cord around his boss' neck while pushing him back against a wall in a menacing fashion. Later, that boss and some men approach Louis, and we later see Louis walk along and pull a blood-soaked plug from his nose (presumably from being beaten up).
  • Louis agrees to perform with Floyd, but only if he gets a bigger cut of the payment.
  • Various black characters use variations of the term "nigger," while one jokes that the NRA stands for "Negro Retarded Association" (when another says he belongs to that gun organization).
  • Arguing about what ultimately broke up their musical act, Louis states it was Floyd "sticking your Johnson in my woman."
  • A woman tells her adult daughter she (the daughter) has shamed their family for having sex with a black man (despite the mother having done the same with Floyd). We then learn that both of them stole Floyd and Louis' money.
  • Lester has various bad attitudes. Beyond apparently physically abusing Cleo, he's also demeaning to Floyd and Louis and their past music (and apparently wants to kill them after Louis breaks his arm), and sells drugs.
  • Phillip admits he took money from his parents' account without their knowledge to front Floyd and Louis with some spending money.
  • Lester shows that he has a gun in his waistband when he and his thugs abduct Phillip. We later see that they had him in their car's trunk.
  • Floyd and Louis cause a lot of property damage in a hotel while fighting.
  • Floyd holds Louis' gun on a deputy to bust Louis out of jail, and then locks the deputy in the cell.
  • Louis gives "the finger" to Lester's friends when he and Floyd steal their car.
  • Floyd and Louis end up in the piano-shaped coffin with Marcus (played for comedy), where the two men realize that Marcus stole stuff from them in the past.
  • Floyd admits that he lied about him and Louis being paid for their tribute performance.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We initially are led to believe that Louis is dying (and think that might be true when Phillip rushes for help and we see Louis in pain, lying down), but then hear that he's just suffering from kidney stones.
  • Floyd and Louis end up in the piano-shaped coffin with Marcus' body (played for comedy, but those disturbed by dead bodies might be unnerved by that).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We briefly see archival footage of Louis trying to rob a bank at gunpoint, but then being hit by guards and/or cops while being subdued.
  • Louis holds his handgun while Floyd drives, saying they're going through bad parts of the country. Floyd then asks to hold that (while driving) and accidentally shoots it, causing him to swerve through traffic and barely avoid hitting various vehicles (played for comedy).
  • Floyd again handles Louis' gun while Louis changes their flat tire. Floyd then accidentally shoots that tire with the gun.
  • Lester shows that he has a gun in his waistband when he and his thugs abduct Phillip.
  • When Lester walks up to shoot Floyd and Louis in their convertible, Louis drives that car into Lester, flipping him on the hood and windshield, and then back to the street. Louis then gets out and steps on Lester's wrist when he reaches for the gun, but cops arrive on the scene and aim their handguns at Louis when he holds Lester's gun.
  • Floyd holds Louis' gun on a deputy to bust Louis out of jail, and then locks the deputy in the cell.
  • Upset that their performance has been canned, Floyd repeatedly shoots a phone booth with Louis' handgun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck the kids" (nonsexual), "Goat f*cker," "I'm crying the tears of a f*cking clown," "F*ck happened?" "Knock me the f*ck out," "F*cked up," "F*ck you," "What the f*ck /does that even mean/is that?" "Get the f*ck out," "(You filthy) m*therf*cker," "You must be higher than a m*therf*cker," "Bald head m*therf*cker," "Two old f*cks," "Your attitude is F-ed up" (said just like that), "What f*cked your sh*t up," "Shut the f*ck up," "Cold m*therf*cking comfort," "Come f*ck with me now," "I'm gonna f*ck your brains out," "Stop f*cking with me," "Suck it, m*therf*cker," "F*ck you and your baseline," "F*ck you know?" "F*ck his sh*t up," "F*ck is wrong with you?" "Pop this m*therf*cker," "Got f*cked up," "F*ck that," "F*ck you talking about?" "F*ck him" (nonsexual), "F*cking A," "Where the f*ck are they?" "Bullsh*t," "I don't remember sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "May you rest in sh*t," "Sh*t, shower and shave," "They ain't bullsh*tting," "I don't need this sh*t right now," "He don't know sh*t," "Sh*t ain't right," "This sh*t ain't over till we say it's over," "Doctor dumb-sh*t," "You can't see sh*t," "Sh*t-eating grin," "Got their sh*t together," "C'mon in and get your rim job," "D*ck-heads," "Your sticking your Johnson in my woman," "Me love you long time," "You little whore," "Trailer trash hos," "I play the har-muff-ica," "Player," "Piss you off," "Hell if I know," "Juicy ass," "Nigger (please)," "Black ass," "Negro Retarded Association" -- for "NRA" -- "Bye, old niggers" and "That's real black of you" (all said by black people), "What the hell is wrong with you?" "My ass," "Nuts" and "Balls" (testicles), "I'll bust one in your ass," "Oh hell no," "I will knock your ass out," "What up, dawg?" "My bad," "You're straight up, bitch," "(Oh) Hell yeah," "You old dry bitch," "By my damn self," "Hold on there, Chuck Berry," "Where the hell are you?" "Ain't that a bitch?" and "You guys are insane."
  • Some kids might be enticed to imitate the verbal bickering and physical fighting (since both are played for laughs).
  • A doctor tells Floyd not to mix sleeping pills and alcohol, but the latter does just that, apparently in a suicide attempt. When he hears news of Marcus' death, however, he spits out of a mouthful of those pills.
  • A miscellaneous woman wears a midriff-revealing top and has a tattoo on the small of her back.
  • Louis has several tattoos.
  • Phillip admits he took money from his parents' account without their knowledge to front Floyd and Louis with some spending money.
  • Louis gives "the finger" to Lester's friends when he and Floyd steal their car.
  • Upset that their performance has been canned, Floyd repeatedly shoots a phone booth with Louis' handgun.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A performed song has the possible innuendo line of "I got some boogie for you."
  • Lester does a rap song that uses the term "nigger."
  • A performed song has the lines "If you feel like you want to make love" and "If you want to make love all night." Later, Phillip sings some of that to himself.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 151 "f" words (74 used with "mother," 5 used sexually as is the term "laid," with another said as "F-ed," while at least 4 are bleeped out), 65 "s" words, 5 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy," "poonanny" -- or something close to that -- and "muff"), 4 using male ones ("d*ck" and "Johnson"), 1 for breasts ("t*tties"), 34 asses (1 used with "hole"), 17 damns, 14 hells, 3 S.O.B.s, 12 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Oh my God" and 1 of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see archival footage of Marcus wearing an exaggeratedly big codpiece of sorts in his costume.
  • We see a TV commercial for Floyd's auto business, and it features scantly clad women (tight, cleavage-revealing tops, very small shorts, etc.) washing a car in a sexy fashion. During this, Floyd keeps repeating "C'mon in and get your rim job."
  • While in bed facing insomnia, Floyd puts his hand under the covers and apparently masturbates (we see hand movement under the covers).
  • We see a bottle of Viagra, and then a bare-breasted woman having sex on top of Floyd, with exaggerated movement and sounds (played for comedy rather than eroticism).
  • After his boss makes a racial comment about him, Louis refers to that boss as a "goat f*cker."
  • Arguing about what ultimately broke up their musical act, Louis states it was Floyd "sticking your Johnson in my woman." The term "p*ssy" is used as they continue bickering.
  • Louis states he never got married, and one reason was the only English his woman could speak was "Me love you long time for two dollars."
  • A miscellaneous woman wears a midriff-revealing top and has a tattoo on the small of her back.
  • A performed song has the possible innuendo line of "I got some boogie for you."
  • Floyd takes some Viagra, and Louis jokingly comments about a 4-hour erection. We then see Floyd returning to a hotel room with a middle-aged, cleavage-revealing woman he's just met, and after some kissing up against a wall and then on a bed, she tells him, "I'm gonna f*ck your brains out." However, she says this will be her first time, and he thinks she means with a black man (he says he'll make it memorable), but she then says she was referring to having sex with an older man like him. He then suggests that they combine their decades of sexual experience for a good time, followed by saying he wants to suck one of her "t*tties" and that he wants to "f*ck" himself. She then reveals her crotch area to him (we don't see it) and he reacts in shock to the sight of her copious pubic hair (not seen), while we twice see the shape of his obvious erection in his pants. She then asks if he's ever experienced the "velveteen rub," removes her dentures, and then performs oral sex on him that way (we don't see the contact, but see his horrified if pleased reaction). The next morning, Floyd walks out onto his balcony with another erection in his pants. After Louis notes that from his balcony and asks about him taking more Viagra, Floyd says that the woman is insatiable and he's now "shooting dust." That woman comes out and fawns over him, but the young, midriff-revealing woman (from the listing above) then comes out and fawns over Louis, who then pulls some of her clothing aside, revealing her bare butt (she might be wearing a thong, but the view is brief). It turns out she's the other woman's adult daughter, and the mom calls her a "little whore," while the daughter asks her mom if she took out her teeth for Floyd.
  • Floyd and Louis must share a bed in Cleo's house, and after the lights go out, Louis yells out and is upset about Floyd spooning with him with an apparent (but unseen) erection (Floyd says he took the wrong pill by mistake). Other sexually related talk continues, including that Louis avoided that very thing in prison.
  • Louis makes Lester retrieve a wad of money from the front of his (Lester's) pants. Louis then has Floyd take that wad and he barely touches, yet smells it.
  • We see flash images from Louis' wild, orgy-like past on a hotel bed, complete with nude women on the bed with him (the images are split-second, but bare breasts are seen, as is a woman with her legs spread, but facing away from the camera).
  • Phillips states he's going to get some " poonanny" (or something similar sounding to that, meaning female genitals), adding that he hasn't been "laid" since the show "Friends" was on TV.
  • A performed song has the lines "If you feel like you want to make love" and "If you want to make love all night." Later, Phillip sings some of that to himself.
  • Some women at a performance show cleavage, with Phillip trying to come on to one by telling her he's with the band and that he plays the "har-muff-ica."
  • Louis and Floyd discover Phillip in the trunk of Lester's car. He's in just his briefs (and we see a lot of his bare butt as he gets out), states he needs to pee, and we then see his urine stream as he does so.
  • Cleo shows a little cleavage.
  • During the end credits, we see Bernie Mac doing a comedy performance routine about a guy who he bets (about a number of women) "f*cked them all." Other such sexually related talk continues.
  • During the end credits, we see Floyd state that he's going back to his hotel room for a "piece of p*ssy."
  • SMOKING
  • Cleo smokes once, as does a miscellaneous woman, while Louis holds and then has an unlit cigarette over his ear, while a friend of Lester's has an unlit cigar.
  • There's a comment about Louis' smoking, drinking and drug problem in the past.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Floyd was married four times, but all failed.
  • Cleo tells Floyd and Louis that her mom recently died from cancer.
  • Spoiler Alert: Cleo overhears that Louis is her dad (after initially incorrectly learning that Floyd is that man) and isn't happy about that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Friends having a falling out and then trying to get over that.
  • A doctor tells Floyd not to mix sleeping pills and alcohol, but the latter does just that, apparently in a suicide attempt. When he hears news of Marcus' death, however, he spits out of a mouthful of those pills.
  • There's a comment about Louis' smoking, drinking and drug problem in the past.
  • Casual sex.
  • Being a musical performer.
  • Soul music of old.
  • As the guys get to Memphis, we see various landmarks, including the hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated (and we briefly see the photo of the men on the balcony pointing in the direction of the gunman).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the following is played for comedy.
  • We briefly see archival footage of Louis trying to rob a bank at gunpoint, but then being hit by guards and/or cops while being subdued.
  • Louis' garage shop boss says Louis better not be selling drugs out of his garage (for talking on the phone). He then uses the adjective "black monkey" to describe part of Louis, prompting Louis to wrap the phone cord around his boss' neck while pushing him back against a wall in a menacing fashion. Later, that boss and some men approach Louis, and we later see Louis walk along and pull a blood-soaked plug from his nose (presumably from being beaten up).
  • Louis returns to his apartment to find the door open. He slowly goes in, sees Floyd looking around, and then punches him in the face, flooring him.
  • While doing a dance move on stage, Louis accidentally knocks down a drunken man who's on stage with them, while a button on his tight clothes pops off and hits a patron in the eye.
  • Floyd again handles Louis' gun while Louis changes their flat tire. Floyd then accidentally shoots that tire with the gun.
  • Lester purposefully breaks an old record done by Floyd and Louis.
  • Cleo has a bruise on her face from where Lester apparently hit her. Louis then goes to deal with him, and when Lester grabs his handgun, Louis grabs and bends his wrist, disarming him. He then hits Lester on the head with that gun, bends his arm behind him, and grabs him by his hair. After taking him outside, he breaks that bent arm (we hear the sound and later see Lester in a cast and brace -- all of this is played for comedy rather than graphic realism or suspense).
  • An older woman slaps Floyd for something he did in the past.
  • Floyd punches Louis in the face, throws a vase at him (breaking the mirror it hits), and then falls over a sofa, landing on a coffee table that breaks under him. The two then struggle and try to strangle each other, causing more property damage in a hotel room. That ends when Floyd punches Louis in the clothed crotch, resulting in both of them being on the floor in pain.
  • When Lester walks up to shoot Floyd and Louis in their convertible, Louis drives that car into Lester, flipping him on the hood and windshield, and then back to the street. Louis then gets out and steps on Lester's wrist when he reaches for the gun, but cops arrive on the scene and aim their handguns at Louis when he holds Lester's gun.
  • Upset that their performance has been canned, Floyd repeatedly shoots a phone booth with Louis' handgun.



  • Reviewed November 3, 2008 / Posted November 7, 2008

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [Dolphin Tale 2] [The Drop] [No Good Deed]

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