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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2017
Excellent film, good story, great acting from Samuel l Jackson and Cristina Ricca, sound track excellent with Samuel l Jackson's input. This film appears to have slipped under the radar a bit, it is difficult to say were this film should be rated, certainly not for children, but maybe 18 rated is a bit high these days.
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on 22 September 2017
Thought Samuel L Jackson was great. Felt the film could have been longer/more complex. Lots of great characters they didn't do anything with.
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on 9 August 2017
Just what I wanted really. Samuel is a brilliant actor in anything he appears in and you get Christina Ricci crawling about in her underwear for most of the film. There is more depth to it than that and the cover is slightly misleading as to the content but fans of both stars should check it out.
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on 31 July 2017
Great film 8 out of 10
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I was drawn to this movie because I enjoyed director Craig Brewer's earlier film, "Hustle and Flow". If anything, I liked "Black Snake Moan" even better. The movie combines tawdry and lurid components with a tale of love, forgiveness, and hope. I don't think the film is exploitative. Instead it suggests in a simple way how sensual and redemptive parts of life often complement each other.

In thinking about this movie, I was reminded of George Eliot's novel, "Silas Marner", the bane of every high school student. In Eliot's novel, Marner, an embittered miser finds redemption when he raises Eppie, an orphaned girl, from childhood to young adulthood. Similarly, "Black Snake Moan" tells the story of a middle-aged black American man, Lazarus, portrayed by Samuel Jackson, who feels embittered when Rose, his wife of 12 years, leaves him for his best friend. Lazarus happens upon a young scantily dressed white woman, Rae, played by Christina Ricci, who has been beaten and left near-dead on a country road following a wild party. Lazarus takes her into his home and tries to teach and care for her. Ultimately, the movie suggests, both Lazarus and Rae receive a kind of hope, Rae by marrying her boyfriend, Lazarus by finding what may be a promising new relationship.

The story gets life through a great deal of tawdry sex. At the turning point of the movie, Lazarus chains Rae to a radiator to prevent her escape. Rae was a victim of sexual abuse and a neglectful mother, and in her boyfriend's temporary absence for military service, she throws herself at every man she can find. She appears in the movie scantily clad, in a cut-off blouse with a Confederate flag and in shorts. Lazarus has his own frustrations to work out from the loss of Rose, his wife. A black preacher, the Reverend R.L., played by John Cotham, helps both Lazarus and Rae and is the quiet hero of this movie.

In this movie, atmosphere and scene count for a great deal. The story is set in a small Tennessee town near Nashville, and the story is redolent with poor Southern life, both black and white. There is scenes in shacks and farms, and small town stores and streets, and in clubs and bars that bring the movie to life. Brewer shows the same love for and knowledge of the rural South that he showed in "Hustle and Flow". Most importantly there is music. The tale of sex and redemption is captured in the flow of the blues in a soundtrack and in performances by Lazarus himself. Jackson spent long hours learning the blues guitar in preparation for this movie. The movie includes two scenes of footage with the great Delta bluesman Son House holding forth appropriately on love, loss, and the blues. Music is a redemptive force in people's lives, and in this movie of the hot-blooded South, redemption comes through the blues.

I found the tawdry elements of this movie an essential part of the story it had to tell. "Black Snake Moan" is rewarding.

Robin Friedman
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on 9 March 2011
I stumbled across this quite by accident when it aired recently on Film 4. As others have commented the distributors clearly thought they had to market the film in a certain way to find 'an audience' and in my opinion grossly mis-sold it. Its a story of damaged souls finding redemption and healing, all set in the deep south with an awesome Blues soundtrack. Samuel L Jackson, gives a superb performance, and shows he can sing a bit as well, and Cristina Ricci gives a performance unlike any other I have seen from her. I loved this movie, its look its story and its music, hence buying the DVD release after watching it on the TV. The CD of the soundtrack isn't bad either, if you like the whole Blues vibe, you cannot help but enjoy it.
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2007
"Black Snake Moan", much like the recent "Bridge to Terabithia", is one of the many victims of a misleading advertising campaign. The movie has been marketed as some sort of depraved sex story akin to a teenager's wet dream. However, "Black Snake Moan" is not such an exploitative motion picture as posters and trailers might suggest. Instead it's a story about two people who form a close bond by whatever means, discovering equality and understanding between each other even as they continue to make questionable decisions the other might not like. More a character study than a sleazy teen boob-movie, "Black Snake Moan" is instead a deeper, more meaningful movie that's more valuable than the movie it has been marketed as.

Much different to previous roles in "Snakes on a Plane" and "Cursed" respectively, Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci take on the parts of lead characters Lazarus and Rae. Lazarus' marriage to his younger wife has recently collapsed, thus causing the god-fearing man to exclude friends and family as his embarassment over his unceremonious split tears him apart. When a battered nymphomaniac named Rae turns up unconscious on the road outside his house, Lazarus carries her inside and begins giving her medicine and water until she regains her health. During her delusional waking instances (each lasting only a few minutes) it becomes clear to Lazarus that Rae is a sex-addicted soul that he believes needs healing of her 'wickedness'. Rae awakes to find herself chained to the radiator, with Lazarus refusing to release her until she is cured. Bizarrely enough, it is these developments that eventually lead to the two forming a mutual understanding and a sympathetic relationship that both have longed for.

Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson are front-and-centre in almost every scene, and the movie is reliant on their two respective performances because of this. Thankfully, though, the two actors are talented enough to carry the movie and share an artistic chemistry that lends strength to proceedings even as their awkward relationship appears more and more dysfunctional. Justin Timberlake is seen only for a few scenes throughout and receives nowhere near the amount of character work and emotional depth attributed to his in-movie girlfriend Rae and Lazarus. Timberlake plays Rae's armybound boyfriend, unaware that his girlfriend's nymphomania is raging the very moment he fights abroad. Timberlake isn't spectacular, and apparently doesn't feel like trying out a southern accent. Elsewhere, S. Epatha Merkerson is a likeable presence as Angela, a kind-hearted pharmacist who helps out Lazarus with his medicines.

"Black Snake Moan" is a good film that can only aspire to be a great one. The characters are well-rounded and built upon enough to make the audience empathize with them and understand some of the decisions and mistakes they make resultantly. The characterization, however, doesn't benefit from several unnecessary plot devices -- including Timberlake's character, Angela the pharmacist, and several others. Were "Black Snake Moan" more content with maintaining focus upon the two main characters (sort of like "Hard Candy" did) as opposed to getting sidetracked at seemingly random moments, the movie would certainly have been more an enjoyable movie. There's no doubt, at least, that Jackson and Ricci are capable of achieving something along those lines.

Early indications may lead viewers to believe that "Black Snake Moan" is going to be emphatic too much on religion. However, such is not the case, with religion solely being used as a method of adding to Lazarus' character and explaining his motives for what he does throughout. So cynics don't have to be fearful of any sort of religious-based dialogue other than on a few occasions where christianity is referenced and used as a means of offering hope to Rae and Lazarus respectively.

Overall, "Black Snake Moan" is unspectacular and isn't likely to retain a place in one's long-term memory. It isn't memorable enough to be announced as something great nor is it poignant enough to be a superior emotional picture. As is, "Black Snake Moan" is passable entertainment, unique in style and storytelling so much that I'd still recommend seeing it.
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This is a far better film than hinted at by some of the critics suggested when released (2006)
A great performance from 'Cristina Ricci' , also a great role for 'Samuel L Jackson'.
Lazarus ( Jackson ) has his own problems after his partner had walked away.
Ray ( Ricci ) is well messed up seeking comfort from various men,when a friend of her boyfriend
attempts to force himself on her,when rejected he beats her, kicks her out of his car and leaving
her for dead or to perish.
Lazerus comes across her crumpled form,and takes her in to his home.
'Ray' now becomes his mission in life,perhaps they will heal each others emotional wounds ?
But, how can he justify chaining her up ?
This is a thoughtful and well portrayed Movie......well worth a spin.
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on 6 August 2011
The perfromances in this film are top quality,the story is very interesting and the soundtrack really helps it along.
Christina Ricci really does put it all on the line with this one,playing a sex addict with what becomes a clearly traumatic past attached. She really makes you notice what a top talent she is.
Samuel Jackson is also once again brilliant,playing a bitter man who's wife left him for his younger brother,someone who needs a new purpose in life.
And it has to be said Justin Timberlake plays the extreme anxiety sufferer to perfection.
So as i'm sure you've read,the tag line is to save his soul he must save hers,and though that might sound too religious to bother with,it dosn't play that way. This is a brilliant story of triumph over demons with a bluesy soundtrack to die for. Many a scene gave me goosebumps because the song and scene just fits perfectly.
I just don't understand how some slate this as being a bad film,even if it's not for you,that doesn't mean it's a bad film,it's superbly done.
I won't go on about how you have to watch it,but it really has become one of my favourite films,it's that good!
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on 31 December 2016
I saw this movie about a week ago and knew at once i would have to own it.
and now i do.
apart from the scenes of nudity and violence, there is a certain magic about the story-line and the soundtrack is pure haunting Blues.
Once seen never to be forgotten.
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