7.0/10
57,445
212 user 195 critic

Black Snake Moan (2006)

R | | Drama, Music | 2 March 2007 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A God-fearing bluesman takes to a wild young woman who, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.

Director:

Craig Brewer

Writer:

Craig Brewer
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Popularity
2,402 ( 435)
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Lazarus
Christina Ricci ... Rae
Justin Timberlake ... Ronnie
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Angela
John Cothran ... Reverend R.L.
David Banner ... Tehronne
Michael Raymond-James ... Gill
Adriane Lenox ... Rose Woods
Kim Richards ... Sandy
Neimus K. Williams Neimus K. Williams ... Lincoln
Leonard L. Thomas ... Deke Woods
Ruby Wilson Ruby Wilson ... Mayella
Claude Phillips ... Bojo
Amy Lavere Amy Lavere ... Jesse
Clare Grant ... Kell
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Storyline

In rural Tennessee, Lazarus, a former blues musician who survives by truck farming, finds a young girl nearly beaten to death near his home. She's the white-trash town tramp, molded by a life of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and verbal abuse from her mother, who seems to delight in reminding Rae of her mistake in not aborting her. Lazarus, who is also facing personal crisis at the dissolution of his marriage, nurses Rae back to health, providing her with gentle, fatherly advice as well as an education in blues music. Rae's boyfriend, Ronnie, goaded by the man who nearly beat Rae to death, misunderstands the relationship between Lazarus and Rae, and vows to kill him. Lazarus, exhibiting a street-smart understanding of violence and its motives, calls Ronnie's bluff, senses that he is as troubled as Rae, and becomes a guiding force in the young couple's resurrection. Written by Joe Jurca

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To save his soul he must save hers. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A lánc See more »

Filming Locations:

Memphis, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,143,199, 4 March 2007

Gross USA:

$9,396,870, 11 June 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,903,846, 11 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shipped to theaters as "Bible School Mission". See more »

Goofs

The shape and location of the scar on Lazarus's right shoulder changes several times through out the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Son House: Ain't but one kind of blues. And that consisted between male and female that's in love. In love, just like I sung one of them songs a while ago and I put a verse in there saying that love hide all fault and make you do things you don't wanna do. Love sometimes will leave you feeling sad and blue. I'm talking about the blues! I ain't talking about monkey junk. And it consisted between male and female. And that means two people, supposed to be in love, when one or the other deceives ...
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Connections

Referenced in Cat Run (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Standing In My Doorway Crying
Written and Performed by Jessie Mae Hemphill
Courtesy of HighTone Records
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User Reviews

 
Everything is indeed hotter down South
2 March 2007 | by TheMovieMarkSee all my reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GIST

Black Snake Moan is the type of film that makes you stop and examine your audience before deciding who to recommend it to. It features very solid acting, a great atmosphere, and a strangely different story. But it also gets a bit sick and twisted at times and has no problems doing so. Take my words to heart and then go with your instinct on this one.


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