Black Snake Moan

 
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  • NOT AS BAD AS THE TRAILER WOULD LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE, BUT.............
    Watching the trailer for this film I sat there rolling my eyes! When I saw this was coming on cable, I decided to check it out. While the film has some good performances, I never felt anything new was brought to light. I could see this girl had "daddy issues" in the opening credit. I give it credit for trying to be different, but it doesn't completely succeed. I never felt emotionally connected to anyone in this film.

    The film is riddled with clich®¶'s and political incorrectness too. Would this film have ever seen the light of day, if the roles were reversed? A white man holding a half naked black woman captive! I can see the movie executives writhing in their seats now! I mention this only because in these times, where everything is scrutinized to the point of absurdity, it's hard to believe we would see this sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with any of this. I believe that political correctness should be completely done away with, along with any other censorship. Bring back my smoking cartoon characters, my stereo-typed ethnic characters, as it seems, "Political Correctness" is never going to be fair. It's only the biggest cry-babies that get the special treatment anyway.

    If you think I'm wrong, why don't they stop making films that portray Italian American's as gangsters and ignorant store/restaurant owners? or German American's as ruthless and evil Doctors and Nazi's? or Irish American's as Drunken wife beaters?.... etc....etc. We either need to stop all stereo-typing or stop catering to whining cry-babies. Censorship and political correctness is just one step closer to a very bland and controlled world. A very boring place, if you ask me. OK....I'm bracing myself.......... ...more info
  • Strange Tale of Sin and Salvation
    Craig Brewer's second film Black Snake Moan is a strange tale of sin and redemption in the new South. The film which could have been merely a lurid sexploitation film about a young nymphomaniac and the aging bluesman who attempts to heal her turns into an interesting if flawed exploration of the power of love and music to heal broken people.

    The films leads Samuel L.Jackson and Christina Ricci do surprisingly good work in this film. Ricci plays Rae with feeling and compassion. She gives a performance that allows her to break free from her usual roles and play a character that while hard to believe at times comes across as broken and likable. Jackson steps out of his usual tough guy role into that of bluesman Lazarus who makes it his job to save Rae. It is in his showing of unconditional love that he leans the power of music to heal.

    The disc I watched was standard definition but was quite good in both picture and sound quality. The musical score by Scott Bomar is quite good and reflects the blues roots of the source material. The dis includes a quite well done commentary by Brewer and three featurettes on the making of the film and its soundtrack.

    All in all not a bad film and certainly better thann expected. Well worth a rental....more info
  • Amazing Movie
    An amazing movie that will keep your eyes clued to the screen. Featuring the talents of Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Timberlake. This movie is one that has to be watched. Samuel L. Jackson plays a man who has been left by his women and is going through a rough time. He finds a women (Christina Ricci) lying in the middle of the street one day all beaten up and half naked. He nurses her to health and trying to help her with her problems. This is a great movie that should not be passed up. Plus you get to here Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci sing! Go get Black Snake Moan today! ...more info
  • Donna
    This movie is awesome, a little intense for the younger audience be aware! I liked it so much I got the sound track too. Samuel L Jackson, does a great job all around for this movie. ...more info
  • Lazarus comes forth
    For a movie packed with graphic imagery, infused with heart-thumping blues music, and then generously splattered with raw emotion, the plot of Black Snake Moan is remarkably simple.

    Samuel L. Jackson plays Lazarus, a Tennessee farmer and former blues guitarist whose wife takes off with his brother for some good times. Naturally he doesn't take the news very well, but before he can even come to grips with his loss, he finds a badly beaten young girl (Christina Ricci, who seems to thrive on challenging roles) dumped on the roadway near his house. Strange as it may seem, being beaten and left for dead are just two of Rae's problems, as her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) has just left to join the National Guard, leaving her out of sync and all alone with her regular attacks of nymphomania.

    Lazarus knows that calling the sheriff could result in some unpleasant interrogation based purely on skin color, so being a religious man, he does the Good Samaritan thing and does his best to help Rae, both physically and mentally. The thing is, when Rae gets her attacks, she's inclined to go running wildly away from the house, and so Lazarus decides to restrain her with chains, which actually sounds a lot kinkier than it actually is. Obviously this is not an ideal situation, and it gets worse when Ronnie returns home unexpectedly.

    Extremely well acted by both leads, with more than acceptable Blues renditions by Jackson, and even the deer-in-the-headlights performance by Timberlake wasn't that bad, given the character he plays. Not recommended for below 17 yrs, due to violence, profanity, graphic scenes and the fact that Timberlake leaves the singing to Jackson.





    Amanda Richards, September 3, 2007
    ...more info
  • Black Snake Moan - En Blu
    This is a very good movie with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson. It focuses on a woman who has a sex addiction who falls into the hands of Samuel L. Jackson after being beaten up. He tries to cure her of this addiction and get her back to a healthy lifestyle.

    I saw this movie on cable, and in Blu-Ray it is just magical!...more info
  • D.A.M. is all I can say.....
    and that is an acronym for dumb @ZZ movie. Jackson and Ricci's performances were on point. Timberlake's was only so-so but at least he was believable. Actually, the only problem that I had with this movie was the writing and the jumbled plot. The cast was there but the writers and the directors must have been on vacation. So much more could have been done with this film. I was just not impressed. I give it 2.5 stars for the cast. ...more info
  • goes nowhere
    Samuel L. Jackson & Christina Ricci do a great job, even Justin Timberlak gives a decent acting performance, but the film goes nowhere. needed moe of a story. worth watching just to see CRs twins....more info
  • Unbelievably full of 'soul'.
    This movie was painful, beautiful and full of soul. What looks like a swanky sex story on the surface turns out to be a touching, spiritual journey. The soulfull music chosen to accompany was a perfect choice as well, and Sam Jackson looked like he'd been born with a guitar in his hands. Christina Ricci plays a unique role, and very different from her 'little girl' days, as a damaged young woman clinging to an equally emotionally challenged young man played by Justin Timberlake. When her beloved leaves, the one thin thread helping her hold her life together is broken and she's back on the prowl, thinking sex is all that can save her from the wretched past. Beaten up and left for dead by the side of the road, Rae is rescued by a black man named Lazarus. It turns out Lazarus is a bit beaten up by life as well. I love how the 'chain' becomes a beautiful tether of love that helps ground these emotionally scattered people trying so hard to cope with all the pain in their lives. What a fantastic story!

    Chrissy K. McVay - Author...more info
  • More than meets the eye...
    When I first saw the trailer for this movie I couldn't stop laughing. I had no idea what the movie was suppose to be about. All I saw was Samuel Jackson's character dragging Christina Ricci from a chain. It wasn't until I watched the movie from beginning to end that I realized it had a much deeper meaning behind it. Samuel L. Jackson's character, Lazarus, must overcome heartache after his wife leaves him for his brother. While Christina Ricc's character, Rae, is dealing with the loss of her boyfriend and some personal issues from her past. The two characters come together and ultimately redeem eachother. All of the actors in this movie are superb in their roles. Even Justin Timberlake was convincing. Just to give a fair warning, some of the scenes in this movie are very explicit. I've found that a lot of people are finding this movie very cheap and slightly offensive because of it's "rawness". I beg to differ. There is a great story here with real substance. I highly recommend it !!...more info
  • Justin Timberlake was unnecessary
    Christina Ricci has to be one of my favourite actresses. She's one of the few child stars that has managed to make a name for herself in adult films unlike some unmentionables, and not be known as Wednesday Addams anymore.

    Black Snake Moan was a very strange film. Some of it didn't make sense, and Rae and Lazarus's relationship can be quite difficult to watch at times. For the guys, Christina appears topless (only her second topless scene since Prozac Nation), and wears very little. Tiny shorts, and a top cut in half was her wardrobe. Oh, and cowboy boots. The scene that sticks out was her walking along the road, and this giant truck behind her, hooting at her to get out the way, and she sticks her middle finger up.

    Black Snake Moan's reviews/trailers do not do it justice. I watched it expecting something entirely different to what I've read about it. Samuel L Jackson was amazing, and can actually sing and play the guitar (which he learned while filming Snakes On A Plane.) Personally, I don't like his singing voice. The whole blues/jazz stuff really isn't what I would listen to on a day-to-day basis. What I did love was of course the song that is NOT on the soundtrack, and I am now desperate to get my hands on this song. If it is her, Christina has a really nice voice, singing "This Little Light Of Mine", although the song got stuck in my head and I couldn't get to sleep.

    The story goes that Rae's boyfriend, Ronnie (played by the shockingly wooden Justin Timberlake) goes off to fight a war and leaves her behind. Sleep with her and leave her. While he goes, she goes off the rail, and sleeps with every man who comes near her. An addiction possibly? She also drinks and then one night takes something she shouldn't and gets beaten up by Ronnie's so called best friend. Lazarus finds her by the side of the road, and decides he needs to take care of her. Which includes chaining her skinny little self with a 40lb chain to the radiator. They shout, they scream, they gradually begin to understand and help the other.

    The film does get a little waylaid towards the end. I wasn't sure about the ending. I was kinda hoping Ronnie's character wouldn't come back but he did with a (wooden) vengence. The film could have been so much better without him. Still strange, but better.

    Christina plays the character of Rae brilliantly. After watching it I couldn't imagine any other actress who could have played this role. Yes, she was shockingly too skinny, but it was part of the character. (Although recent photos I've seen of her have made her look like a lollipop head.) The dirty blonde hair, the bags under the eyes, and the clothes just fit the character to a T.

    While I wouldn't recommend Black Snake Moan to everybody (I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to watch a young girl being chained by an older man, and not think there's something snapped in his brain to make him do that), it is one of those strange movies that you have to pick up if it's not too expensive. It is worthwhile seeing, although it won't leave a lasting impression afterwards. Just that Christina is too skinny, and I NEED that song!...more info
  • Jerking the viewer's chain
    A politically incorrect melting pot of rural American culture, BSM manages to tackle social, sexual, racial, and political issues without an overly exploitative nature. With an intriguing storyline, an impeccable atmosphere, and great character development, not to mention the incredible performances from both Samuel L. Jackson as a believable southern bluesman named Lazarus and Christina Ricci as a promiscuous Rae, the production and acting are enough to make this a must-see.

    Essentially, the movie is just as the previews showed it: a black, southern bluesman finds a scantily clad, waiflike, white slut beaten on the side of the road, and he chains her to a radiator. What's surprising, however, is that the chaining is more symbolic, more metaphorical than actually being provocative or sexual. In fact, it's probably asexual if anything; Lazarus does it to help the healing process, and, by the way, to keep Rae's "itch" from causing her to screw everyone in sight like an overzealous car dealer.

    Facing the despair of a difficult, small-town, rural life, one in which each has to deal with past demons - Rae's combination of nymphomania, abandonment, and child abuse, Lazarus' betrayal at the hands of his wife and brother - the two undertake a healing experience together in which their souls are resurrected from an unfortunate demise.

    The biggest problem I have with BSM is that it's supposed to be a tale of morality, but it's replete with hypocrisy, thereby tarnishing the message. So the female's carnal urges need to be controlled, but the male sexual urge can be the topic of a crowd-inspiring blues song? Aside from that, the clear racial and sexual messages are askew to say the least. The movie is set in a contemporary setting, but the overtones reek of northern superiority, presenting the premise that if Lazarus had called the police, there is nearly no doubt that he would have been charged, if not convicted - better to just chain the whore to the furnace! Last but not least, for a movie that presumes to teach moral, racial, and sexual lessons, the imagery of enslavement is inappropriate no matter which racial setup is used. Imagine the outcry if Jackson were replaced with Bruce Willis and Ricci were replaced with Gabrielle Union!

    Along with a great blues soundtrack, the emotional plot of BSM makes for a pretty good movie. Ultimately, there is a hopeful, positive resolution for both main characters, and the drama is compelling enough to border on greatness. Highly recommended....more info
  • Unexpectedly good
    This movie has a serious theme which is sex addiction. It is a real problem that some people have particularly someone that has been abused...The performances were emotionally wrenching at times... people saying this movie was ridiculous are just not aware of what goes on around them. If I had seen this movie 10 yrs ago I probably would have thought it was ridiculous too... get out and meet some people is all I can say to that....
    The chain, the anchor became a wonderful symbol and that is in some ways a better symbol of marriage than the rings we wear.
    Overall I must recommend it quite highly....more info
  • An offbeat love story.
    This is one of the better films I have seen recently, and I thought it was very original.

    Christina Ricci plays a very convincing part as the town tramp, basically. She sleeps with anyone and everyone, and is pretty much into the party scene, anyway, to make a long story short, One night one of her "dates" beats her up and throws her on the side of the road,
    only to be found by Samuael Jackson.

    After a little investigating, he decides he is going to help this girl, and so he literally chains her up in his little shack/house until he feels she is past her evil ways.

    Of course she fights him on this , at first. But slowly and surely, a miracle happens and she begins to respect herself, and others.

    The story is very touching, and it is a love story, but a love story of friendship between these two unlikely characters.
    It is also a story of redemption that I thought was very touching, and I highly reccomend this movie....more info
  • black snake moan
    I thought justin timberlake was a good singer, in this movie a great actor, I found this movie very interesting great performance by christine ricci...more info
  • Really good movie
    Sexy, fun, provocative. Makes you think, but there's a girl running around in her underwear for most of the movie. Rent it....more info
  • Reference: Opera
    Recently I heard the meditation theme from the opera THAIS. Set in ancient times, it portrays a wanton woman who is redeemed by a monk. This film definitely tells the same story with a 3,000 year divide....more info
  • Good...but not great
    This movie was good, but not great. It was a bit slow and nowhere near as good as Craig Brewer's previous film, Hustle & Flow. Yes, Black Snake Moan was a little slow. It had it's exciting parts. It had great performances from Samuel L. Jackson, possible his finest since Pulp Fiction, and also from Christina Ricci. This is definately worth buying. ...more info
  • Well acted unexpectingly good movie
    I first saw this film when it aired on Showtime, never having wanted to see it before as I didn't quite get what the film was about. My first time watching it, expecting that I wouldn't like it, just the opposite happened. The film is wonderfully acted by all actors.. Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, ect. The story to me is a sad one, with a very moving and happy ending. You feel for the characters, and I think Ricci shines in this difficult role. A movie with a more serious underlying note, definitely worth seeing. Great soundtrack too. Am glad to have a copy of this film in my collection....more info
  • Powerful movie with great acting
    I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I love Samuel L. Jackson and he is very believable in this role, and as a blues musician, well, he rocks!

    Christina Ricci is also very believable as the tortured nymphomaniac who is so messed up that it's difficult to find sympathy for her at first.

    If you have ever lived in a small southern town, you'll feel right at home with the characters here. Black Snake Moan gets the crazy balance between religion and sin that you find everywhere in the Bible belt. It's pretty much a story of redemption and love set against the racial/economic backdrop of the poor, rural south. But, it totally doesn't look like it! LOL--the chains, nudity, violence, and despair get all the attention!

    This movie is definitely worth watching and talking about, particularly for people who live in this world. And, in many ways, that's all of us.

    ...more info
  • Blues
    Better than you expect. For a while the watcher is wondering just where this one is going. Jackson commands the screen and Ricci burns it up. The whole premises suggests something nasty, but it turns out to be a feel good movie. You can actually have a good time....more info
  • A surprisingly wonderful story about redemption
    When I first heard of this movie I thought "Oh, Please. How stupid" When I saw it I was blown away. This is a wonderful story about how 2 people help eachother find redemption in an unusual way I grant. It isn't what you think at all and the ending is positive. And don't even get me started on the music. I bought the sound track right away. Don't be thrown off by the title or the cover art, give this film a chance and you won't be sorry....more info
  • Cant miss
    A must see for any Samuel Jackson fan.Really a must see if your a Ricci fan....more info
  • Odd film, bad points outweigh the good.
    I rented this one thinking it was a "blues" flick. It was, in a way...
    I liked the soundtrack a lot, some pretty sweet blues. The acting (even Justin TimberFlake!) was decent (esp. Ricci, Jackson, the guy who played the preacher, and the lady from "Law and Order"), and it was a hoot seeing Jackson perform a really nasty, dirty version of "Stagolee", but these pluses were far outweighed by things like a fairly incomprehensible story, graphic depictions of Ricci engaging in what I think amounts to bestiality, pretty crappy dialog and sloppy direction. I suppose it's worth viewing once, especially if you dig blues music, but I wouldn't recommend going out and buying this one "sight unseen"....more info
  • Great performances make up for lack of substance
    Lazarus Redd (Samuel Jackson) is left by his wife, Rose, after she states that living with him didn't allow her to live her own life. Laz is left bitter and alone, with nothing to fill him except his love of playing the blues.

    Rae Doole, (Christina Ricci) has a $exual addiction disorder. When her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) leaves to join the military, Rae gets one of her "attacks" and goes on the prowl. One of Ronnie's friends gets his hands on her and beats the cr@p out of her, leaving Rae on the side of the road out near Laz's house. When Laz finds her the next morning, he takes her inside and steels himself to cure her of her demons while he fights his own.

    There's some controversy over kidnapping, what with Laz chaining Rae to keep her from running off again, but somehow the movie works itself out and away from any evil involved in the action.

    Can Rae change her ways? Can Ronnie overcome his anxiety issues? Can Laz exorcise his own demons? The plot comes out as the weaker point in this film, giving way to stellar performances by Christina Ricci and Samuel Jackson. Even Justin Timberlake does a decent job. Jackson and Ricci do their own singing in the film, without dubbing in other voices. The film has a real, southern feel to it.

    Overall, the film didn't live up to the hype I'd heard about it, but was still a good enough film to watch. Rent before you buy. Enjoy!
    ...more info
  • 2.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    Black Snake Moan unfortunately occupies an unpleasant netherworld: it's not exploitative enough to live up to the sleaze promised by its advertising but it's too exploitative to function as a drama--as it stands, the movie offers some neat scenes and good performances but ultimately can't pass muster. ...more info
  • Good Acting; Boring film
    I found Black Snake Moan to be raunchy and boring. The plot never developed like I thought it would and the ending kinda left me hanging. Great acting by the cast but the story had no point, I got tired of Ricci running around in those dirty white underwear, and the whole chaining her up thing was dumb and pointless. Sorry but this one is not worth the money....more info
  • Trust the art, maybe not the artist
    Upon second viewing, as with Hustle & Flow, I grudgingly acknowledge this is the work of a skilled and intriguing director. The style is high, the cinematography sharp, the story compelling and the acting exemplary. While I am no prude it is perhaps the display of so much unsafe sex, self-abuse, and the lurid nature of the luring that still makes me wince. The marketing of this film is simply deplorable. Christina Ricci herself characterized the ad campaign as a great disappointment. But at its heart and in all its particulars this is an accomplished and moving film, and the soundtrack is bloody fantastic. ...more info
  • I Aim To Cure You of Your Wickedness!
    I'm surprised at the number of rave reviews this movie received not because I didn't enjoy it but because it really walks the line in terms of the definition of poor taste. Christina Ricci as the sexually abused and sexually compulsive Rae does spend an awful lot of time writhing around scantily-clad in the grips of post-traumatic stress and has sex with 3-4 different men in the first half-hour of the film. Furthermore, the one man who doesn't want to have sex with her, the dumped and drinking bluesman Lazarus as played by Samuel (there-are-mutha-f**kin-snakes-on-the...) L. Jackson, keeps her confined in his house with a long, black chain. However, perhaps it is the fact that BLACK SNAKE MOAN is so blatant about it's exploitative qualities that saves it from becoming utterly distasteful. Instead, the tale that unfolds on the screen is one of trauma, trust, redemption for two souls, helped along by by the soothing balm of blues music.

    One aspect that I would like to commend this film for is its (in my opinion) nearly complete transcendence of the issue of race. That Lazarus was black and Rae was white was only a minor detail to the film. Perhaps it is simply because Lazarus and Rae are so different on so many levels: him--old, morose, alcoholic, and neglected and her: young, manic, traumatized, and sexually compulsive, that black/white is not really a noticeable factor and ultimately it is their similarities, their sense of hurt and need to heal that bring them together.

    Among the few weaknesses I could name in the film are some features of the ending. The reverend's role and the sort of therapy session that ensued seemed weak as though the producers had run out of ideas or didn't want to do anything too risky and thus went for the mundane ending. Perhaps my dislike of the ending is also because of the heavy presence of Justin Timberlake. I'm not a fan of JT as a character and personally felt that his acting abilities were weak and that his presence detracted from the point that I thought the producers were trying to make with his character. Rather than seeing Ronnie as a sufferer of panic attacks (taboo for a male), I found myself thinking, "Figures, Justin Timberlake would wimp out of military service." On the other hand, I suppose it's better for him to throw his weight and celebrity status behind a movie like this rather than starring in some absurd "romantic comedy" with Jessica Simpson. For that, I commend him.

    All-in-all, Black Snake Moan was a very enjoyable movie that tackled a variety of different subjects in an appealing yet controversial way. It'll be interesting to see how it stacks up when Oscars season comes around....more info
  • black snake moan
    special and very artistic. Mr Jackson is by far the best black actor who can shape the role withing spilt seconds, and i rather see him in this direction of acting ...more info
  • "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine . . ."
    An excellent, underrated movie betrayed by its atrocious theatrical poster, BLACK SNAKE MOAN works on just so many levels. Samuel L. Jackson is Lazarus, a farmer and natural blues guitarist living in rural Tennessee. Lazarus' wife has left him for his brother, and the bitter Lazarus veers like a skirling wind between self-pity, world-weariness, emotionally-charged violence, and religiously-fueled hopefulness.

    One morning, he finds Rae (Christina Ricci) lying beaten, bloody, and naked in the road near his house. Rae is the girl in town with the "reputation"; the least perjorative way to describe her behavior is that she uses her sexuality as both a weapon and a shield, closing herself off from a trauma-scarred childhood. Consequently, Rae manipulates men and is victimized by them. Her boyfriend Ronnie has just been deployed with the Tennessee National Guard, and in her lonely misery, her evening companion has attacked her and dumped her off.

    The lonely Lazarus takes Rae in, but realizing that she is delirious both from the beating and a raging fever, he chains her inside the house so she will not wander. Although Rae first tries to get away, she soon finds in Lazarus a kindred spirit, and the two become friends.

    Unfortunately, the image of Lazarus holding the panty-clad Rae by a length of chain is the image the promoters chose to market this film. This sexually-charged, racially stereotyped symbolism undoubtedly ruined this film's reception. And it's a shame, because BLACK SNAKE MOAN is a splendid film with great depth. Of course, the mostly-naked Ricci is sexy in a trailer park way (it's said that she put herself on a diet of junk to acheive the sallow, sunken-eyed look which typifies Rae), but the relationship between Lazarus and Rae develops into a profoundly moving father-daughter bond as the film progresses.

    It is not one-sided. Both Rae and Lazarus are able to collect the shards of their shattered self-esteem and rebuild their lives. In the Hollywood manner, all their complex problems are resolved by the end of the third reel, but nonetheless, BLACK SNAKE MOAN gives us a wonderful portrait of two deeply wounded people finding themselves in each other's eyes.

    There are many women like Rae; and there are many men like Lazarus. It is the reality of their shared experience that hits home with such force. We know these people. On some level, we are these people. A film can accomplish nothing finer nor more meaningful and lasting than that. The blues soundtrack is a perfect underscore to what we see onscreen.

    VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ...more info
  • Decent
    Black Snake Moan was a decent film overall. I can see where there are those who may delve deeply into the core of a message that may or may not be there. It was a movie that I could take it or leave it. I guess it's a movie that you either love it or hate it. I'm stuck in the middle, undecided. Aspects of it pulled me in. Although it was difficult to really grasp what, who, and where the characters were and where they were going.

    It was not a waste of time to watch this. However, I've seen better....more info
  • Moan No More
    This film originally caught my interest after I had seen a trailer for it on myspace. Admittedly, it was Justin Timberlake's appearance in what seemed a very odd film that was the true source of my interest. Later however, I read several very encouraging reviews that shed better light on the very strange subject matter and which also praised Timberlake's performance. I had been eagerly anticipating the film which I have finally viewed. I am even more pleased than I had expected. The trailer really did little justice to the small film which essentially turned out to be a love story. Christina Ricci was enjoyable and as strange as usual, Samuel L. Jackson was as commanding and charming as usual, but Timberlake was absolutely unusually vulnerable in his role. Perhaps Timberlake's lack of acting experience adds to my surprise, but I was very pleased to see Timberlake successfully attack a role that was real, dirty, and emotionally charged. He was utterly beautiful. Perhaps my only real complaint as to the performance of Timberlake was his weak accent, which seemed to fluctuate in and out, especially when accompanied by the very smooth and strong accent of Ricci's character. Additionally, his voice was as usual slightly distracting. While his smooth and sensual voice is pure gold for his music career, it can be quite distracting as a character attribute. Overall, however, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

    **I just wanted to add that the deleted scenes should really be viewed as they actually add a lot to the characters, especially that of Jackson. Additionally, there is a cute little flashback between Ricci and Timberlake's characters. It is an enjoyable addition....more info
  • Brilliant!!!!
    I didn't know anything about this film prior too the, obviously, cheap marketing ploys. I'm another one of those "not what I expected" blokes. This is a really thoughtful movie. Ricci is brilliant and Jackson too. I've always appreciated Christina Ricci's affinity for the more quirky films (Pumpkin, Buffalo 66, Fear and Loathing, etc). I thought this was gonna be an attempt at something like that, a failed attempt at that (because of the crappy marketing). But there are so many different relevant themes permeating this movie is makes for something really fantastic. It's quite an experience. Like many, I think the only weakness was Justin Timberlake's casting. I'm not big on Timberlake anyways, but sometimes I don't mind the guy. But they could have done a little better with the role of Ronnie, even though Timberlake was okay. This movie is so many things in one; sinful and saintly, silly and serious, trashy and theological. All sprinkled with a little blues. But on the whole, I'd say it's just a very good movie. Watch it and be pleasantly surprised for yourself....more info
  • Absurd, Southern-Fried Melodrama Never Transcends Its Audacious Premise
    It would be too easy to dismiss this strangely unsatisfying 2007 film entirely because I can't tell whether director/writer Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) is trying to satirize the Southern gothic sensibilities of a Tennessee Williams potboiler or replicate the excesses of an early 1970's blaxploitation movie. Either way, he cannot seem to pull off his audacious premise which involves a cuckolded blues guitarist who enchains a nymphomaniac to his radiator. If the film was played out as over-the-top as the premise, then it might have had a fighting chance, but as it stands, Brewer is too ensconced in his chicken-fried fable to mine the potential black comedy in this hilariously preposterous exercise.

    The hackneyed plot centers on the appropriately named Lazarus, a self-righteous man stinging from his wife's decision to leave him for his younger brother. Meanwhile, a skeletal nymphomaniac, Rae, is so distraught over her boyfriend Ronnie leaving for the army that she goes on a hedonistic meltdown involving alcohol, prescription drugs and indiscriminate sex. A violent episode leaves her unconscious on the road where Lazarus finds her limp body. The rest of the film focuses on how the principals change from the ordeal but not before facing a lot of inner demons along the way. However, unlike Hustle & Flow, I cannot really say that I cared about the fate of these misbegotten characters at the end. Brewer just can't seem to connect the absurdity of the central situation with anything resembling real life, which ironically may be exactly his point here.

    The actors try hard to breathe empathetic life into the overripe characters, but they are ultimately defeated by the lurid dimensions of the story. As Lazarus, Samuel L. Jackson almost makes the situation palatable and even sings several blues numbers with surprising conviction, but Christina Ricci makes Rae a primal stockpile of white trash clich®¶s on top of a condescending back story. Justin Timberlake is completely out of his league as Ronnie and neutralizes every scene he's in with his amateur standing as an actor. Look for former child star Kim Richards (Escape to Witch Mountain) as Rae's defeated mother and a doozy of a fight scene between the two in a grocery store. The 2007 DVD has plenty of extras including an enthusiastic commentary track by Brewer and a half-hour making-of documentary, "Conflicted: The Making of Black Snake Moan". There are a couple of shorter featurettes about the music and five deleted scenes....more info
  • Its Originality and Power Will Blow You Away
    Words can't describe the power behind the storyline of Black Snake Moan. In the sea of movies to feed the masses floats this gem that stands out like no other. I have never seen 'harsh' and 'surreal' blend as they do in this film. Even the unsaid elements compliment the viewer's ability to use their own imagination and power of reason. Impressive and artistic in every way, I was pulled deeply into the movie. For those who are still trying to decide on whether or not to taste this cinematic treat, it is graphic and definitely not for children....more info
  • A Strange Yet Rewarding Film
    This is a strange yet rewarding film. Samuel L. Jackson and the actor who plays R.L. do a very good job of making a semi-ridiculous film seem semi-believable. I believe that Christina's character being tied up in chains by a black man is meant to represent one of the strongest fears that white men had about black men down south; that they were more masculine, overtly sexual and were out to steal and rape "their" women. Of course, Jackson's character, Lazarus, does no such thing. Instead, he takes care of Rae, Ricci's character, and helps cure her of her disease. For those who know nothing about the Blues, this film can be a little misleading. For instance, Blind Lemon Jefferson's recording of "Black Snake Moan" has nothing in common with the version Jackson performs, save the lyrics. The original is much more convincing, musically complex, and features superior vocals. There is also a very strong emphasis on Hill Country Blues in this film, as we can see by the presence of Kenny Brown and Burnside's grandson, who is an excellent drummer. Hill Country Blues is not the form of Blues that is usually thought of when one hears the word "Blues". Instead, the Delta Blues of Muddy Waters or Son House is often pictured. Hill Country Blues was not even known about until Lomax went down south and discovered the magnificent "Mississippi" Fred McDowell. R.L. Burnside, who was a McDowell disciple, has his music prominently featured in this film, though he is not historically important at all. Even at his best, he is a second-rate Fred McDowell. If those who worked on this movie knew more about the Blues, they would have taken out a lot of the Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside music and included songs more representative of the Blues as a whole....more info
  • terrible
    girl running around almost naked the whole time. these actors should be ashamed for making this picture..and that justin timberlake is a joke....more info
  • Facile, stupid and intriguing in small parts
    Other reviews have written about the plot which is pure gumball and at the end of the film you wonder why did you bothered. It lacks credibility however in parts there are bits that get you in and the acting in some segments is enough to hold you in your seat.

    Overall its 20% bleeding heart plot, 60% facile and that leaves 20% where the actors actually do a good job despite the direction and context of the whole plot, and the biggest surprise for me was Justin Timberlake. Why he took a role in this movie I don't know but for what it had to be I thought that he did a good job....more info
  • Different
    Jackson was very good, as usual, but the plot was pretty contrived. I found I was paying more attention to the sound track (which is outstanding) than the story line....more info
  • Chained To The Radiator Blues
    Black Snake Moan isn't awful, but it didn't miss by much. Two fine performances, Ricci and Jackson, stop the bleeding. The blame for BSM belongs entirely to Craig Brewer who wrote and directed. Many of you will recall his earlier effort, Hustle & Flow, starring Terrence Howard as Djay, the pimp who couldn't slap straight. I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, no matter how hard it is out there for a pimp, it's not hard enough. Hustle & Flow, despite a brilliant performance by Howard, was poorly conceived and very badly written.

    BSN is just as ludicrous, but Brewer has cleverly reversed some cliches. Rae, Ricci, is a sex addict, while Lazarus, Jackson, is morally upright, fighting demons. When he chains her to his radiator - a slight, sexually charged white woman imprisoned by a large, imposing black man - the overtones of America's colorful past are loud. Most notable of all about this film is Ms. Ricci's body. After growing chubbier and chubbier apparently she has taken the bull by the horns and gone to one of those top-secret Hollywood fat farms. She looks fantastic. So much so that she must have had a clause written into her contract specifying that at least 90% of her on screen minutes be spent showing at least 80% of her skin. I'm not complaining but - enough already - you got the job!

    For a film with a blues song as a title, and bonus features of Sun House, BSM gets low grades for music. With a show of hubris quite common today, Jackson actually sings and plays guitar, Ricci sings as well. This obnoxious arrogance calls to mind an obvious question - When was the last time you saw the Funkadelics perform Shakespeare in the park? From Walk The Line to Ray and so many others, actors feel qualified to sing, it's a mystery. Another puzzle is the highly charged name, Lazarus. While the biblical reference is obvious, surely Mr. Brewer knows the rule for naming blues musicians. After all, the song, Black Snake Moan, was recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1927. (Infirmity-Fruit-Name of President). A name like Gimpy Kumquat Taft would have served admirably.

    Justin Timberlake is less horrible than one would expect (whew!) while S. Epatha Merkerson is wonderful as always. The third act, the resolution, is appallingly facile. Ricci is an amazing actress, she has a lot of room to work, and she shines. Jackson is blessed with on screen gravitas; he holds your attention throughout. If you can ignore the poor direction and sheer stupidity of the story, you'll enjoy the picture. ...more info
  • As good as it gets: Great pace, superb acting, terrific story
    I saw a picture of Ricci kneeling on the grass with only scanty pants on in PLAYBOY. The snapshot--a key part of the movie--enticed me to see the
    movie. I had not read any of the reviews or even dreamed of Sam Jackson's
    versatility. So many have reviewed the movie in detail that I will
    disappoint. Ricci's gutsy performance done with total abandonment and yet also grace has to been seen. Sam Jackson shows his versatility, firmness, tenderness and musical abilities in a role that no one else could play as well. There is a great supporting cast. The music adds to the movie and
    brings some liveliness into a story that otherwise could have been very
    cold. Seeing intermingling of races in a southern town is refreshing yet one has to wonder if this could happen in more liberated northern cities.
    Yes there is some nudity yet it is essential and handled in a delicate
    artistic manner. Those who want to drool at Ricci's anatomy will find the film disappointing. Those who appreciate superb acting and a lively moving plot will find Very Few Better. Atypical and great!
    ...more info
  • An improbable association
    The talented Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci both shine brightly as the main characters in the unlikely union of two abandoned individuals in the Craig Brewer directed drama, "Black Snake Moan".

    Jackson stars as religious Southern farmer and erstwhile blues guitarist Lazarus who has been cuckolded by his wife for his brother. Jackson finds the severely beaten, half naked Ricci lying unconscious beside the road near his house. Ricci playing the lewd, lascivious town trollop Rae has been for years subjected to physical and sexual abuse. She'd also been abandoned by ber boyfriend, the anxiety ridden Ronnie played nicely by Justin Timberlake.

    Jackson takes Ricci in determined to heal her and also exorcise the demons within her making her nymphomaniacal. Chaining her to the radiator he along with lifelong friend and preacher Reverend R.L. played by John Cothran Jr. strive to use religion to cure Ricci.

    Ricci and Jackson provide each other with solace and rejuvenation as Jackson once again picks up his long forgotten guitar and Ricci is on her way towards normalcy in her life.

    The movie which ended in satisfying but incredulous fashion provided for closure in the revitalization of two potential wasted lives....more info
  • Black Snake Moan - Best film of the Year
    Director Craig Brewer follows up his stellar work in Hustle n Flow with another provocative southern drama but this time he takes us from the halls of hip hop to the down and dirty bars of the blues. Hustle n Flow was about a man with a dream, Black Snake Moan is about what happens to those who no longer have them.

    This film is energized from beginning to end with the kind of images that will excite your senses and perhaps even make you a bit uncomfortable. If the thought of an intimidating black man chaining up a white woman to his radiator doesn't quite fit with your world perspective then this film is clearly not for you. Samuel L. Jackson is Lazerus, a man who just lost his wife of many years to another man. He speaks with the kind of authority and thunder that can only come out of the bible days. When he speaks other characters listen and that's just how it goes. Christina Ricci plays Ray a girl who wants nothing more then to just stay at home with her lover, played by Justin Timberlake, but when he goes off to war she goes into one of her many nymphomaniac fits and eagerly seeks out the most nearby rod on which to satisfy her urges. After one particularly bad night of drinking and sex she ends up on Lazerus' doorstep, beaten and knocked out, this is where both of their lives will change forever.

    There are some very strong images in this film, besides of course the obvious one of Ray tied up in chains. Its like the south is getting revenge for all those years of slavery. It's a racially charged image and when it hits you you're not quite sure what to do with it. Even more so when she embraces them in order to calm down one of her carnal fits. Sexual tension is ripe in the air as Ray tries to tempt the noble Lazerus who finds enough strength to turn down her advances and try to truly help this lost soul. Lazerus never comes off righteous as he even admits to Ray that he is not a perfect man, in one particular scene he goes into a fit mistaking Ray for his wife ranting and yelling at her because he just couldn't hold onto her. Strangely now he gets his control over this one particular woman, although of course with the best of intentions.

    These are just a few of the many underlying themes explored in the film. The situation itself is downright absurd but it's used to such amazing effect that it truly is the best way to explore the places most films dare not tread. Another strong point in the film is the music, its electric, it soulful and haunting. The blues is a living breathing element and theirs a reason the characters sing it and you can see them live it in every frame. Even Ray gets her chance to let out her woes in one very simple yet beautiful scene where she sings the only song she knows, "this little light of mine." Somehow within the confines of all this imagery the film manages to create some very real and lovely characters. Lazerus and Ray have formed a bond that will last a lifetime.

    The film is shot like its straight out of a pulp comic book. The south is never stylized but it comes off raw and carries within it a spark of blood and dirt in every scene. It's got strong characters and a well-written script. Its the kind of film that will be long forgotten come award time but those who truly seek out films that are immersive experiences will find this movie and enjoy every minute of it.

    ...more info
  • Oh, Stop Your Moaning
    Okay, so I'm a good lil' boy who grew up in church. Okay, so this movie had all the signs of something quite...uh...un-churchlike. Here's the funny thing: Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci take part in a fantastic redemption tale.

    "Black Snake Moan" starts its story with two hurting people who deal with their pain in very different ways. Rae, played by Ricci, is left alone when her boyfriend heads off to war, and finds herself giving way to her fleshly desires. There's not much hidden here, the rating is well-deserved, and yet there's little that's gratuitous. This is a woman looking for unconditional love in all the wrong places. Lazarus, played by Jackson, also wants the real deal of love, but he's been burned by his cheating wife and brother. He's withdrawn from everything.

    Two people. Two lives, caught in the black snake's coils. And somehow, through a set of circumstances that are at once over-the-top and wholly believable, Rae and Laz forge a chaste relationship that leads them both through the storm of evil to the light on the other side. Both see glimpses of hope, but neither is guaranteed of grasping it. They must act in faith and move forward.

    While jerking the chains of all who want to criticize, "Black Snake Moan" actually hides a beautiful tale of love and forgiveness. Even while performing his own tough love and intervention with Rae, Laz admits to his own weakness and deals with it. Both do a wonderful job of acting, with the music and the direction providing superb counterpoint to their emotional and spiritual journey. Timberlake is okay in his role, and the other supporting players do credible jobs.

    This here is not only a well-told story, it's also much closer to the Jesus I know from the Bible than the one we often see camouflaged in overly pious renditions. When this black snake moans, it's good to know that Rae and Lazarus still want to keep that little light shining....more info
  • Worth viewing
    I enjoyed the movie. It was a little different but good. Some reviewers say the "black snake" reference was sexual......maybe but if you actually watch the movie Laz is playing the guitar and refers to what he calls "the black snake moan". It shines light on a taboo subject, sexual abuse. It gives insight on why a lot of "loose" women behave as they do. If nothing else I'm sure it provokes thought about that. It does require you to think while watching the movie so if you like simple movies it's not for you. Some parts are stereotypical but the story overall is good....Worth checking out. ...more info
  • Black Snake Moan
    I'm a big fan of Christina Ricci and Samuel L Jackson, so despite or because of the soft porn material I found this movie very entertaining. Both stars do not disappoint in their roles and Justin Timberlake gives a believable performance as a wacky boyfriend. Since the "Blues" and hard luck love, sex in this case, seem to go hand in hand the mixture in this film seems like a good fit. Samuel L's guitar playing is a big suprise and overall the music is great....more info
  • Harsh yet hopeful for all of us
    In the racist South, the last thing an African American man needs is to find a half-naked White woman out on the road behind his home.

    Yet, that is exactly what bluesman Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds when he discovers Rae (Christina Ricci). The bruises don't just cover her face, but they run deep as well. Rae's a childhood victim of sexual abuse, who sublimates her shame in nymphomania. Laz is recovering from the ache of discovering his wife, Rose, has cheated on him--with his own brother.

    After meeting, the two of them take on a journey of healing together that's harsh, but very real. There's a tenderness in Jackson putting a chain leash on Rae til she can gain some control over her own feelings--and come to realize what they mean. You want to cheer when Rae finally confronts her mother asking her--"Why did you let him do it? When did you know?"

    And Laz as well begins to learn to move on and heal his own wounds. The differences in the two characters only highlights the fact that we all can begin again.

    Jackson is one of those actors who totally loses me in his role. He can move from the assured FBI agent in "Snakes on a Plane" to an old, poor bluesman in the blink of an eye. His performance is so seamless you really don't see Jackson on the screen, but who he's portraying.

    And Christina Ricci's part was amazing. For the most part, she was semi-naked on film--yet her inner character was peeled back like the petals of a rose as she began to regain her dignity and cover her exterior. This is not a role most Hollywood glam actresses would even want to try because it didn't cast her in a great light, but I think in the end she truly did triumph with her acting ability.

    Very well done. I'm not sure I would want to do more than rent the film as I did. I would love to own the soundtrack, though!

    ...more info
  • More than what the ads promised
    I expected "Black Snake Moan" to be a kind of guilty-pleasure movie, something along the lines of a "Death Proof", "Planet Terror", or "Kill Bill". You know, trashy fun. But it's really much better than that. Yes, it has a half naked girl chained to a radiator. But it also has two damaged people reaching out to one another, a rich array of supporting characters, a couple of serious themes (in particular, how past abuse informs everything a person does for the rest of their lives), wonderful music, and top-notch acting. Sure, there's some trashy fun to be had, but it's a shame that the film's marketing team only played up that aspect in the ads and ignored the richer stuff. The film might have done a little better in theaters.

    "Black Snake Moan" looks and sounds great on DVD, and there's a full array of extra features. Writer/director Craig Brewer is featured prominently in the extras, and he's an interesting guy to listen to. He's grounded, creative, and has a great sense of showmanship... but not at the expense of knowing what's really important in a film. I'll have to check out his earlier movie, "Hustle & Flow", now that I've seen what he can do. ...more info
  • Nasty, Gritty, Sweaty Redemption
    I knew I had to see this movie when I first saw the advertising art cruising past me on the side of a Los Angeles Transit Bus. A sweaty Samuel L. Jackson clutching a thick chain, while a near-naked Christina Ricci crawled on the floor. "Yup", I said to myself, "this looks unusual". I know this isn't a feminist-correct thing to say, but I swore right then and there to pay my $6 just to endorse the ad art. Since that time, I have acquired the DVD, and I still think that "Black Snake Moan" is a most unusual picture.

    This is not a movie for the faint-hearted in many ways. Ricci's character, Rae, is a truly degraded soul - she can't drink enough or have enough sex to make her pain go away. It's not presented as theory, either - you have to watch this young woman doing some pretty rank stuff. I personally wanted to take some strong action to sober her up and straighten her out. Thankfully, Jackson's character, Lazarus, took care of this for me -- "I aim to heal you of your wickedness," he says to her, and that's a good thing.

    Most of the action in this movie takes place in a pretty limited physical space - Lazarus' cabin. It realy does seem in some ways as though it could have been a stage play - maybe that's why so many people have remarked that it has a Tenneessee Williams feel to it. I kind of wish it had been written as a stage play - I would have been interested to see what interpretations a variety of actors would have brought to these roles.

    The other reviews on this site will pretty much explain the rest of the picture. Some people apparently feel that the ending is unbelievable -- a bit too pat and happy. Me, I liked it -- heck, the entire film is unbelievable. Why complain about the happy ending? The blues music was wonderful -- there's a sequence where Lazarus is playing his guitar while a lightning storm goes on outside his cabin and Raew sits on the floor, clutching his leg. Wow, that was a fine sequence.

    One reviewer here remarked on the "unrealistic" fact that Ricci's underwear/costume stayed white throughout and did not get all grimey. Personally, I appreciated that. I don't think that costuming choice on the director's part was pornographic - it was more like a courtesy to the viewers. There's enough grime and sweat in this picture, why add to it? Maybe the perpetually white underwear was symbolic of her basically pure soul. Or maybe not.

    Great ad art, great music, clean underwear, lots of sweat and a happy ending. That's about it. Except that this is a film for grown-ups. ...more info
  • The Odd Couple
    Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci are two of my favorite screen actors. They're both quirky iconoclasts who occasionally make studio films, but always seem to really shine in offbeat, smaller pictures. The relationship between their two characters, Lazarus and Rae, is the heart and focus of this film. Both characters have been wounded by sex in ways that strangely complement one another: Lazarus has been betrayed by his cold, promiscuous wife, and Rae's history of sexual abuse has brought about her character's uncontrollable sexual compulsion.

    Lazarus and Rae meet when Rae is beaten and left unconscious by the side of the road after humiliating one of the many suitors who take advantage of her compulsive promiscuity. Lazarus nurses her back to health, and then feels a self-righteous desire to "cure" her of her "illness", however, it is clear that he is trying to save himself somehow as much as he is trying to save her.

    As much as Ricci and Jackson carry the film, a lot of credit is also owed to the soundtrack. The blues music wonderfully complements the emotions and circumstances of the two tormented characters. The songs speaks of sex, betrayal, sadness and redemption; the perfect musical complement to the themes of the film....more info
  • Simmering Deep South Style
    Once you get over the initial seemingly ridiculous plotline of this film there is a lot of enjoyment to be had. Christina Ricci plays an incredibly brave role as a nymphomaniac who is left for dead on the side of the road after one two many sexual trists. Samuel L Jackson plays the damaged but moral rescuer who chains her to the radiator in his house and attempts to cure her wicked ways. There is some great tunes in this film with ol Samuel belting out some of his own along the way which i must admit is pretty darn good. Justin Timberlake again impresses as the anxiety ridden and troubled boyfriend of Ricci's character whose actions will have consequences for everybody. As silly as it sounds this film is well written and terrifically performed and has a very moral and decent undercurrent flowing throughout and has a lot to say about the healing power of love and care and redemption. Recommended for those who are after something a bit different and not just an excuse to watch Christina Ricci wonder around half naked for most of the film....more info
  • Theatergoer's Moan
    Contrived plot. Very unrealistic handling of psychological elements of the story -- Rae didn't "get" nymphomania because she was abused by Mom's boyfriend, nor was the behavior portrayed consistent with nymphomania. And she sure didn't get cured by being chained up, released, and talked to by an understanding blues player. Nonetheless enjoyable performances by the major actors. And who doesn't like tales of redemption?...more info
  • Worth seeing again
    I saw this film on Cinemax last night and I think I need to see it again. What started as a taut, emotional, sexual rollercoaster ended up losing steam midway through and wrapped up too neatly for me.

    Some incredible themes were explored in this film, mainly the exorcising of people's personal demons.

    I absolutely loved the relationship between Rae and Laz, brilliantly portrayed by Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson. Really, I think it's some of the best work either actor has ever done and the film is worth watching just for that!

    And Justin Timberlake was surprisingly moving in his role. Very impressive!

    And the blues! Oh! The blues! AWESOME MUSIC! I loved getting a taste of that culture.

    But again, there was this weird drop in pacing about 2/3 of the way through and I really wonder what got lost on the cutting room floor. I'll have to give it another view to see what I might've missed.
    ...more info
  • Black Snake Moan
    I never had a chance to watch this DVD due to the fact it would not play. I tried 3 different players with no luck. I returned it for a replacement. I received the replacement and it would not play either. Would love to have this DVD, but it has got to play. I think you receive a bad shipment. I've never had any problems with the many other DVDs I have bought from Amazon. Please check and see if you had any others returns of this DVD. Thank You

    Larry Bishop...more info