Soul Men

Critics Consensus

Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script.



Total Count: 97


Audience Score

User Ratings: 54,252
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Movie Info

In 1965, Marcus Hooks (John Legend), Floyd Henderson (Bernie Mac), and Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) were just three kids singing doo-wop harmonies around a fire barrel when legendary record producer Willie Mitchell caught an earful of their infectious harmonizing. Two short years later, Marcus Hooks and the Real Deal had signed to Hi Records, and they quickly became one of the most popular soul acts in America. But success can't last forever, and it wasn't long before Hooks decided to strike out on his own. Though Floyd and Lewis did their best to keep the Real Deal going, scoring one breakout hit with "Walk in the Park," clashing egos and "creative differences" would eventually break the duo apart. Flash-forward to the new millennium, when Hooks has won a staggering total of 19 Grammy awards while Floyd and Lewis languish in obscurity. Then, one day, while considering suicide with a mouthful of pills and a bottle of liquor, Floyd is shocked to see a news report that Hooks has suddenly dropped dead just before he was slated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In order to celebrate Hooks' career, Hi Records has organized a lavish tribute concert at the Apollo Theater. Will Floyd and Lewis be able to put aside their differences long enough to drive cross-country and perform together on-stage one last time, or will lingering grudges ultimately cause the pair's already-tenuous relationship to implode long before they reach New York City?


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Critic Reviews for Soul Men

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (53)

Audience Reviews for Soul Men

  • Oct 14, 2010
    Funny, funny, funny. I nice tribute to serve as Bernie Macs last film. Highly enjoyable. My husband and I really got a kick out of this movie. It had some really fun songs, too.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2010
    I had fun watching this movie, much more than I probably should have. The story is simple and predictable. There are some really funny scenes, but they're sporadic and the rest of the humor isn't very consistent. But goddamnit Samuel Jackson and Bernie Mac sure had some great chemistry with each other and they bring a lot of life to a movie that, otherwise, would have been below average. Samuel Jackson clearly gave a shit and he's quite good here, there are some flashes of the old Samuel here, but it's not like this movie would have been a revival for him. If Black Snake Moan wasn't (don't gimme that Snakes on a Plane bullshit) then this movie won't do that. I was never a big fan of Bernie Mac, but he's also quite good here and it looked liked they had a lot of fun working with each other. The plot of the movie is actually pretty sad considering that Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes passed away 3 months (Hayes passed away the day after Bernie, which is pretty sad) before the release of the movie, so that must have been a big downer on the cast and crew. So that sucks, because that was on my mind and some of the scenes (the scene in the giant coffin) were disturbing with the benefit of hindsight. One thing I didn't like was how the movie tried to present the characters as much older than they actually were. John Legend's character was 63 when he died so you expect me to believe these guys are probably older than that....ummm yea, not gonna happen. It doesn't help that Samuel and Bernie play their characters in the FLASHBACKS. Either apply some make-up to make them look older, or have younger actors portray them in the flashbacks, because it just looked hokey. It started the movie out of a sour note. There's also Lester, what a goddamn goofy character, I was greatly entertained by this character. Of course, his goofiness makes it all the more apparent that you're watching a movie, therefore he is a detriment as nobody that goofy exists in real life. There's also Sam's character's oh my what a lovely young lass. I look forward to seeing more of FHM or Maxim, preferably...PIG...ANYWAYS, the music in this movie is quite good as well. So the combination of a likeable cast, some really funny moments (involving Lester), some good music make this a more than watcheable movie. It has its flaws, it's humor is never consistent and its predictability, but it's a perfectly acceptable and entertaining movie to watch if you got a couple of hours to spare. I probably won't remember it years from now, but for now I'm completely fine with this movie for the time being.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2010
    both a buddy film and a road film, this comedy has its moments, but all too often it seems to forget how to be witty, so relies on funny looks and MF's by Bernie Mac way too often. So much of this film seems pasted together and you feel that, in spite of this being Bernie's last film, this was pretty much paint by the numbers, and just about everyone's hearts weren't in it. Sloppy is a good way to describe the direction - flashbacks of "previous" scenes, that were actually on the cutting room floor parred with a "just keep the camera rolling and something magical will happen" feel, keep this film tethered to the ground, where it could have soared. There are some nifty period soul tunes by Stanley Clark, and a nice premise, but oddly for "soul men" no soul. I truly question how a film about a soul singing act, and with such talented musicians involved (the aforementioned Clark as well as Issak Hayes), can be lazy enough to suggest that in 3 different towns a back up band shows up from out of nowhere, instantly knowing all the dudes' material and performing flawlessly. Uh, don't think so Sparky. Using the rehearsing of various backup bands could have been mined for humor as well as giving the film a more authentic feel. This film reminded me of The Blues Brothers, in the road trip aspect, and many a Lemon/Matheau comedy (Grumpy Old Men, Out To Sea, etc), only not done as well. What a waste of two very talented actors.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2009
    Bernie Mac's last movie is a DUD
    Brody M Super Reviewer

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