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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There are discussions of race, class, and criminal behavior. A mother tells her daughter she has "shamed her family" by sleeping with a black man. But the real message is about making the most of rare opportunities and putting the past behind you to forge a better future.
Violence & Scariness
A character smacks another character in the face; a woman is bruised by her boyfriend; a man accidentally shoots a gun in another man's direction.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Love-making scenes include topless women; one woman's buttocks are shown; Viagra, erections, masturbation, and oral sex are discussed.
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Strong and frequent: "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "piss," "ass," "a--hole." Characters call other black characters a version of the "N" word.
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Products & Purchases
Featured products and brands include VH1, Flavor of Love, the Apollo Theater, Cadillac El Dorado, and the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink on several occasions; one man sells pot, but only the money (no drugs) is visible in the exchange.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this risqué comedy is the last film to star popular comedian Bernie Mac, who died a few months before its release. It also stars Samuel L. Jackson; younger fans of either actor may want to see the film, but it's not being targeted to kids or teens. The jokes -- and sex scenes -- are definitely R-rated (breasts and buttocks are shown during love scenes, and there's frequent strong language and plenty of Viagra jokes). That said, despite the raunchiness, there are overarching themes of friendship, loyalty, redemption, and seizing opportunities. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
SOUL MEN, directed by Malcolm D. Lee, is by no means extraordinary, but it highlights Mac's comedic gifts enough to be a fitting swan song to his film career. Not only does Mac get a starring role instead of his more-frequent supporting gigs, but he's the humor to Jackson's righteousness (as in all of Jackson's films, he spouts some memorable monologues). Mac and Jackson's odd-couple chemistry propels this otherwise forgettable comedy forward, and Mac's improvisational delivery is a reminder of why he'll be sorely missed.
Mac fans should watch through the credits, which are entirely devoted to Mac's outtakes and off-camera interviews. Lee dedicated the comedy to Mac and Isaac Hayes -- "two real soul men" who died a day apart in August 2008. The latter appears as himself, the Black Moses of soul, in a small role. If for no other reason, this comedy is memorable for being their shared encore.
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Our Editors Recommend
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