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Soul Food (1997)

Vanessa Williams , Vivica A. Fox , George Tillman Jr.  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer
  • Directors: George Tillman Jr.
  • Writers: George Tillman Jr.
  • Producers: Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, Llewellyn Wells, Michael McQuarn, Robert Teitel, Tracey E. Edmonds
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2001
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059HAB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,569 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Soul Food" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Excerpts from the Soul Food cookbook

Editorial Reviews

Sunday dinner at Mothers Joe's (Irma P. Hall) is a mouth watering, 40 year tradition. As seen through the eyes of her grandson Ahmad (Brandon Hammond), love and laughs are always on the menu, despite the usual rivalries simmering between his mom Maxine and her sisters Teri an bird. But when serious bickering starts to tear the family apart, the good times suddenly stop. Now it's up to Ahmad to get everyone back together and teach them the true meaning of soul food.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An American Family Story July 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I went to see this movie with an African American friend. When he told me about the movie I figured I might not be able to relate, because it was about an African American family. And, in this society we all sometimes get caught up in our differences as opposed to what makes us so much alike. By the end of this movie, I felt like I had just seen the best family movie that I had ever seen. Regardless of the ethnic make-up of the family. Soul Food as certainly more than a movie about an African American family. It is a movie about strong family values and how those values are challenged by tragedy, jobs, deciet, miscommunication and betrayal. This movie depicts how a family can overcome all of those obstacles and maintain the most important value of them all... love for family.
As I further thought about what I had seen, I realized how rare we see movies of this nature featuring African Americans. I also realized how sad it is that most non-African Americans won't go to see this movie for that reason alone. If they only knew how much they missed.
In addition to being hungry following this movie, I also felt a warm spirit come over me. And, I also realized that black or white, family values are pretty much the same. Finally, I realized just how much I miss sitting down with my family over dinner. So, the following Sunday, my wife and I gathered our children, their grandparents and a few family friends and we had the best dinner I've experienced in a long time. We've now made this a tradition. Now if I and my wife can learn to cook the way they did in Soul Food....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT ! February 25, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I can watch this movie all day long.. this movie reminds me so much of my family when i was coming up the sunday dinners, just being around each other , the sibling riviarly i can most defintely relate to.. this a breath of fresh air from the normal hood type movies.. yes that is a part of life but it just a portion of life .. Good to see us as african american people seein an another light .. Hats off to Producers, Directors, Writers .. Love the soundtrack also !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for the soul and the eyes.....good movie! May 30, 2000
By I.B.
Format:DVD
This movie is something everyone can relate to in some way no matter what race you are. Watching this reminded me of my own family. The three sisters also reminded me of my family. The rich child, child with kids and the young one who still is coming up. The grandson reminded me of myself when I was younger. This movie is about the ups and downs of life and how a family sticks together no matter what hard times come around. It shows how one person(the grandmother) had such a strong power over everybody by keeping them together. I guess the big dinners was all part of it because thats when everyone used to get together. Buying this will not leave you in doubt about wasting your money because the story is tight from beginning to end. So far this is the best movie (and soundtrack) to drop from babyface. If your not sure..trust me when I say this is something u just want to have if you like collecting movies and even if you don't.
get it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT film about families, period... August 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the best movies featuring black characters I've ever seen. It was refreshing to see a movie that wasn't glorifying violence, but focusing on the triumphs and tragedies of one family...I saw some of the situations presented in "Soul Food" so much like my own family. I identified most with the Vanessa Williams character. Everyone should see this movie, no matter what their race. It will make you laugh, make you cry...it's that type of movie. GET IT.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Balance, a Strong Family Film Well Worth Seeing November 9, 2003
Format:DVD
Thank goodness someone made a good, warm-hearted film about a family--that's pretty much what I thought when I first saw "Soul Food" in the theater in 1997. Like many Americans, I was starved for a movie that didn't portray the American family as broken or malignant, which appears to be the Hollywood standard. "Soul Food" works primarily because it never loses sight of the importance of family, even as its members may bicker or transgress. The plot focuses on the lasting impact of the family matriarch--Big Mama (played wonderfully by Irma P. Hall)--whose kind heart and wise soul holds the family of mostly younger couples together, despite their foibles. When she passes away from complications due to diabetes, her daughters must overcome their differences to uphold the family traditions, best embodied by Sunday dinners that go beyond simple meals. The cast is generally superb, though Vivica Fox and Brandon Hammond (as grandson Ahmad, through whose eyes we are told the story), sometimes try too hard, making their characters border on caricature in a film that otherwise seems so lifelike. There is a subplot involving a hidden family fortune that also gets in the way--writer and director George Tillman, Jr., seems to want to jam as much into the story as possible when he really doesn't have to, as the main plot is interesting enough. These flaws are oddly more apparent on the small screen than they were on the big screen. Nonetheless, "Soul Food," despite its "R" rating, is an effective family film, one with a sense of authenticity that Hollywood seems to have mostly forgotten.
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