Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
An estranged pair of singing partners make a comeback.
It doesn’t say much about a movie when its final credits are the high point, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. Unfortunately, that’s the case with Soul Men. The end credits pay tribute to Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, two of the film’s stars, who both died just months after filming concluded. But the rest of the movie, which chronicles a reunion tour of Motown music partners (Mac and Samuel L. Jackson), doesn’t offer more than a few laughs. The film’s clever premise “promises far more than it delivers,” said Nathan Rabin in The Onion. Director Malcolm D. Lee takes an inspired cast and makes a “completely joyless film about life-affirming music by skimping on musical sequences and piling on crude sex jokes and stupid stereotypes.” Only Mac and Jackson maintain their dignity—a “testament to the gravity and authority” of both performers. Soul Men isn’t the goodbye Mac and Hayes deserve, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. But, it’s “still good enough to remind us what we’ve lost.”
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