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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An ensemble drama set around the abundant table of Chicago family matriarch Mother Joe, whose extended family revolves around the stabilizing force of her sumptuous Sunday dinners.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Humor, sentiment and melodrama strike a balance as he brings to life nine major characters and a host of others as well.
  2. 90
    Director George Tillman Jr.'s screenplay covers an array of events in the characters' lives so replete with drama it could easily be too much, but the movie's humor is vibrant, the sorrow unexploitive, the sexuality character enhancing, and the love heartfelt--and Tillman is tremendously skilled at bridging the vast shifts in tone.
  3. 88
    George Tillman says Soul Food is based in part on his own family, and I believe him, because he seems to know the characters so well; by the film's end, so do we.
  4. 75
    Soul Food stays a cut above the average melodrama by keeping the characters grounded and the situations from becoming too ripe.
  5. 75
    But it's also old-fashioned family drama that invites audience participation ("Don't you go making eyes at your cousin's husband, you little slut!"), and is surprisingly satisfying, in a gooey kind of way -- like macaroni and cheese or peach cobbler, perhaps.
  6. 75
    Nothing too fancy or ambitious. Instead, writer-director George Tillman Jr. serves up down-home fare that enriches the heart and leaves you satisfied if stuffed. [26Sep1997 Pg.06.D]
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    30
    It could be a distillation of some unaired black soap opera, so predictable are the plot contrivances--adultery, pregnancy, illness, missing money--and so cartoonishly are the characters drawn.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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