Black Snake Moan

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Black Snake Moan Movie Poster Image
Pulpy Southern immorality tale is for adults only.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 5 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Depending on how you look at it, the message is either that extreme promiscuity is an evil sickness or that broken people (in this case the town's insatiable slut and bitter, drunk bluesman) can help heal each other. Lots of racial and sexual stereotypes and tensions.


An acquaintance nearly rapes Rae but instead bloodies her face (so hard she loses consciousness for two days) and then leaves her by the side of a road. Laz holds a broken beer bottle against a man's throat. Two men get in a bare-knuckled fight. A character points a gun and threatens to use it against two different men. Rae attacks her mother with a broom. Laz chains Rae but doesn't actually hurt her.


The entire film is about sex. From the opening shot of Rae and Ronnie having sex (there's only partial nudity, but it's so naturalistic that it seems more graphic) to Rae baring her breasts and basically attacking a young teenager, the plot revolves around the notion that she's a young nymphomaniac "in heat." The girl can't stop getting it on -- whether it's with the local drug dealer or random guys at a drug-and-booze-filled house party. Rae has flashbacks of being abused by a shadowy man in her past. She spends the majority of the film chained to a radiator in small white panties and a midriff-baring cutoff top. Laz flirts sweetly with the local pharmacist.


Samuel L. Jackson stars, so expect many, many utterances of "motherf----r," "f--k," "d--k," "s--t," and the like. Even the town pastor curses. Both white and black characters say the "N" word.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Laz drinks a lot -- at a local bar and in his own home. Rae not only gets incredibly drunk at a party, but she also asks a dealer to give her enough pills to get "f---ed up." Laz and Rae do shots of moonshine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Black Snake Moan is an adults-only movie (which co-stars teen favorite Justin Timberlake) about Rae, a young woman with an insatiable desire for sex. Her urges are so absurdly strong that they cause a literal, overpowering itch that only subsides when she finds a willing partner (and there are many). Rae spends almost the entire film in panties and a cutoff top, and her heaving breasts make many appearances. The man who finds her half-dead decides to "cure" her of her lascivious ways by chaining her up to his radiator. Since the film takes place in the South and follows a black man chaining up a nymphomaniac white woman, the film abounds with racial and sexual stereotypes and tensions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywonder dove October 19, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised!

This was a very good film but it's strictly for adult audiences only! I absolutely love Christina Ricci and she did a tremendous job in her role as Rae. Th... Continue reading
Adult Written bystacymcpherson April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byCade_24 March 31, 2017

Confusing but important message

Black Snake Moan is a very confusing film for most people. There are some very positive messages but they are often overlooked or misunderstood. So on the surfa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeKindofLove September 18, 2017

Full of heart felt love and a good message

This movie came as a shocker to me, because it actually had a real meaning. This movie changed the way I see life in a good way and I loved it. My parents loved... Continue reading

What's the story?

In writer-director Craig Brewer's BLACK SNAKE MOAN, Laz (Samuel L. Jackson), a hard-working farmer nursing a broken heart, stumbles across a "half-naked, half-dead white woman" (Christina Ricci) left on the quiet road next to his farm. But Rae is no ordinary young woman. She's got "the sickness" -- a burning yearning for sex that no one man can sate. Her widely known sluttiness is what landed her in the bloody state she was found in, and now Laz, a God-fearing bluesman, is ready to exorcize her of her "wickedness." Just how is he going to keep her from "getting up under" every man within county limits? By chaining her to his radiator until she repents -- or at least until his best friend, the town pastor, convinces him that it's not his Biblical duty to "fix" her.

Is it any good?

Many viewers will undoubtedly be offended by Brewer's representation of a still-segregated, racist South in which mentioning a black man's "size" to a white man will get you beaten to a pulp. Not to mention Ricci's personification of a promiscuous woman who just can't get enough. But Brewer has a genuine affinity for portraying Southern and African-American culture. Interlacing Black Snake Moan's drama with blues music (including footage of the legendary Son House) and necessary doses of humor (Rae's memorable encounter with a young teen looking for butter beans at Laz's farm is particularly amusing), Brewer creates a clever (im)morality tale about an unlikely (OK, ludicrous) way to heal an ailing heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons for Rae's promiscuity and Laz's unhappiness. How does their unorthodox relationship help them? What do you think happens to them? Will they continue in their destructive behaviors, or is there a sign that there's hope for them each to be happy? What do you think drew the actors to this movie?

  • The film explores many racist and religious themes. What are some examples of each?

  • Is the pastor judgmental or understanding? What is his influence on the characters?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate