Soul Men

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Soul Men
Soul men poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMalcolm D. Lee
Written byRobert Ramsey
Matthew Stone
Produced byDavid T. Friendly
Charles Castaldi
Steve Greener
StarringSamuel L. Jackson
Bernie Mac
Sharon Leal
Sean Hayes
Affion Crockett
Adam Herschman
John Legend
Narrated byRandy Jackson
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Edited byWilliam Henry
Paul Millspaugh
Music byStanley Clarke
Dimension Films[1]
Friendly Films[1]
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company[1]
Release date
  • November 7, 2008 (2008-11-07)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million
Box office$12.3 million[2]

Soul Men is a 2008 American musical comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac, Sharon Leal and Sean Hayes, released on November 7, 2008. It was one of three Bernie Mac films that were released after his death (and was actually released on the same date as another posthumous film, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa).

Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes died in unrelated circumstances on August 9 and 10, 2008, respectively.[3] Director Lee said the film was heavily re-edited to soften the tone of the film, as a tribute to the two actors.

It is the last Weinstein Company film to be distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Two former backup soul singers, Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) and Floyd Henderson (Bernie Mac), who have not spoken to each other in 30 years since their band ended, reluctantly agree to travel across the country together for a reunion concert to honor their recently deceased band member and lead singer, Marcus Hooks (John Legend). Cleo (Sharon Leal), a beautiful young woman in an abusive relationship, accompanies them as a new singer; she is believed at first to be Floyd's daughter but is really Louis’s. A few problems come their way, involving Cleo's wanna-be gangsta rapper boyfriend, Lester (Affion Crockett), Floyd's one-night stand with Rosalee (Jennifer Coolidge),[4] and a lot more, leading up to their big performance at the Apollo Theater. The duo reform a bond that they lost 30 years ago.




The score for the film was composed by Stanley Clarke. The song, "I'm Your Puppet" , which serves as the fictional trio's 1969 hit single, was actually a hit for James & Bobby Purify in 1966. The official soundtrack was released November 4, 2008 by Stax Records, and features music by John Legend, Isaac Hayes, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and others.[5]


Bernie Mac on the set of the film in March 2008
Jackson and Mac with Gabe Witcher prerecording songs for the film in December 2007

Soul Men received generally mixed reviews from film critics. Based on 98 reviews, Rotten Tomatoes reported that 46% of critics gave the film a positive review stating that "Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson, and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script."[6] Metacritic, another review aggregator, reported that critics gave the film an average score of 49/100, based on 23 reviews.[7]

The film opened at #6 with $5,000,000 behind Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Changeling, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Role Models, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (which, coincidentally, Mac was also in; both films are dedicated in his memory).[8] At the conclusion of its domestic theatrical run on February 5, 2009, the film's gross was $12,082,391.

Director Malcolm D. Lee said the movie was a failure because "nobody gave a shit about two old R&B singers."[9]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on February 10, 2009 and by the 5th week, about 483,360 units have been sold, bringing in $9,443,721 in revenue. This does not include Blu-ray Disc sales.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ "Soul Men". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ "Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac star in new film". 2008-08-11.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Soul Men". 4 November 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Soul Men Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  7. ^ "Soul Men(2008):Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  8. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 11/7 - 11/9". Box Office Mojo. 2008-11-09. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  9. ^ "Malcolm D. Lee, director of the record-breaking Girls Trip, feels like he's still paying his dues". The California Sunday Magazine. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  10. ^ "Soul Men". The Numbers. Retrieved 2008-11-09.

External links[edit]