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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Black Snake Moan

Posted on Thu, Mar 1, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***1/2
Black Snake Moan
Studio: Paramount Vantage
Rated: R
Website: http://www.moanmovie.com/
Release Date: 2007-03-02
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, John Cothran Jr, Michael Raymond-James
Director: Craig Brewer
WorkNameSort: Black Snake Moan
Our Rating: 3.50
For his follow-up to Hustle & Flow, writer-director Craig Brewer skillfully evokes an atmosphere of lingering racial hostility in America's Bible Belt for Black Snake Moan, a cleverly scripted redemption story that defies genre and is filled with surprises both harrowing and pleasant. Equal parts Larry Cohen and David Gordon Green, the film feels slight despite the lyrical ambience of place and character ' probably because the deliberate Confederacy symbolism and references to mules and enslavement are never explored deeply enough for the subversive critique of race relations the movie seems to be hinting at. Still, Black Snake Moan is highly original and cool as hell, with Samuel L. Jackson's broken-hearted, God-fearing blues musician finding his inspiration in a mistreated sex addict with a history of abuse (Christina Ricci, stunning in her best Brittany Murphy impression). Justin Timberlake adds competent support in his acting debut, opening this hard R with a few choice LoveSounds. Jackson fans, have no fear: He gets plenty of chances to shout a certain 12-letter expletive beginning with 'M.â?� (R)

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