Soul Men

Rated 3.0

When the lead singer of a once-popular soul group dies, the estranged survivors of the trio (Bernie Mac, Samuel L. Jackson) try to bury the hatchet for a memorial concert at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone’s script is often coarse and formulaic, and Malcolm D. Lee’s direction doesn’t do much to smooth out the rough edges, but the movie remains a bittersweet pleasure thanks to the two stars. Jackson deploys once again his knack for exasperated comedy, and the late Bernie Mac, even when the script is at its silliest, shows the fine comic actor we lost with his untimely death (as if we needed to be reminded). Sharon Leal holds her own as a young waitress who may be the daughter of one of them. The film is dedicated to Bernie Mac and the great Isaac Hayes, who appears in a cameo.