Black Snake Moan

Written and directed by Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow), this provocative parable suffers from far-fetched premises, bad montage sequences, and facile symbolism. But any movie that can make Samuel L. Jackson convincing as a great Memphis bluesman must be doing something right. Christina Ricci, barely recognizable, plays a drug-addled nymphomaniac Jackson finds passed out in the road, chains like a dog in his shack, and sets out to cure. Brewer knows how to guide his leads through this improbable story, and he kept me interested in spite of everything. John Singleton served as coproducer. R, 116 min. (JR)

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