User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
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  1. JayH.
    Feb 3, 2009
    5
    Disappointing and not as funny as I was hoping. It's not bad but I saw so much lost potential. The cast does fine, some good music but it isn't at all memorable. Very routine stuff.
  2. ChadS.
    Nov 9, 2008
    6
    Talk about being a consummate professional, before filming began on Michael Radford's "Il Postino", Italian actor Massimo Troisi said, "Wait a minute/wait a minute," to the heart surgeon instead of the fictitious "Mr. Postman". Talk about being a trooper; Troisi suffered a massive coronary because of his selfless dedication. The postman died. In a motion picture about sixties-era Talk about being a consummate professional, before filming began on Michael Radford's "Il Postino", Italian actor Massimo Troisi said, "Wait a minute/wait a minute," to the heart surgeon instead of the fictitious "Mr. Postman". Talk about being a trooper; Troisi suffered a massive coronary because of his selfless dedication. The postman died. In a motion picture about sixties-era soul music that features a posthumous performance by a then-ailing man, the 1964 Marvelettes hit "Please Mr. Postman" and the five-time Oscar nominated film from 1996 seems relevant to mention. Without a doubt, Bernie Mac's untimely death is responsible for many wince-inducing moments that lend a ghoulish fascination to the filmic proceedings. In one pointed scene, he emerges from a coffin like Screamin' Jay Hawkins. In another, he's mixing sleeping pills and alcohol like David Ruffin. Gallows humor, or ironical foreshadowing, call it what you want; seeing Mac before his Mac attack definitely raises the game of this servicable tribute to old-school rhythm and blues. So is The Real Deal more of a Stax, or a Motown act? My money is on Stax(the cameo of stacked porn star Vanessa Del Rio plays like a referential inside joke) as being the label that "Soul Men" pays homage to(also, the late Issac Hayes recorded for the independent Memphis record company), since "Dreamgirls" already essayed the Berry Gordy-run empire. When it comes to black artists in the music biz, especially concerning the little matter about royalties, everybody knows that many R & B pioneers were ripped off. What's notable about "Soul Men" is that the people doing the stealing from black artists are other black people. Like comedian Chris Rock, the star of "The Bernie Mac Show" never was one to shy away from talking hard truths to America, and this includes criticism about his own kind. In particular, the film's attack on sampling in rap is revelatory, when Floyd Henderson(Bernie Mac) and Louis Hinds(Samuel L. Jackson) take issue with an upstart rapper's "borrowing" of a Real Deal bassline. Back in the late-eighties, Alternative hip-hoppers De La Soul sampled the sixties pop group The Turtles' "You Showed Me" for their music collage track "Transmitting Live from Mars", and seriously pissed them off. They sued. Floyd and Louis, like Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman(of The Turtles), concur with ex-Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb's assertion about "rappers stealing everything"(from "Great Dreams of Heaven"). In many instances, the music industry specialized in the thievery of black artists, but "Soul Men" has the honesty and integrity to demonstrate that thievery is often colorblind(remember: Stax's founders Jim Stewart & Estelle Axton were white, and Atlantic Records stole their masters). Expand
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. This contemporary riff on "The Sunshine Boys" generally manages to succeed anyway, thanks to the entertaining performances by Mac and co-star Samuel L. Jackson and its generous doses of raucous humor and sweet soul music.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    70
    There's a nice chemistry between Mac and Samuel L. Jackson in this latest variant of the road movie, which contains comedic elements but actually works better as a drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    70
    Mac and Jackson carry the show--particularly Mac, who's at his crackly, cranky best here. As swan songs go, Soul Men is pretty sweet.