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The Soloist Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Inspirational or else. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Catherine Keener is also believable and sympathetic as Lopez's editor and former wife. But the film's power comes down to the strength of the two superb lead performances.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's all a bit shapeless, yet made with sincerity and taste, and the two actors seize your sympathy.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. Wright and his colleagues have made a movie with a spaciousness of its own, a brave willingness to explore such mysteries of the mind and heart as the torture that madness can inflict, and the rapture that music can confer. Bravo to all concerned.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx are on fire in the lead roles: They're both charismatic as hell without sacrificing any of the emotional honesty necessary for you to believe that these movie stars are a scruffy reporter and a mentally ill musician.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Memorable, sometimes gritty drama about music, friendship.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this stirring drama about friendship and the beauty of music depicts mental illness in a realistic light, neither overdramatizing nor underemphasizing it. Scenes that take place in L.A.'s gritty areas include some skirmishes and shots of drug use, and a dead body is found. The authentic feel of those scenes (which feature real-life Skid Row regulars) could be upsetting for sensitive viewers. But aside from that and some harsh language (including sparing use of "f--k"), the movie is age appropriate for teens -- there's no sex or blatant product placement.

  • Families can talk about what the film is trying to say. Why do you think the filmmaker lingered on the gritty Skid Row scenes? Is it to shock or to educate? Were you aware of the massive homeless problem L.A. faces?
  • How is this movie different from many other films set in L.A.?
  • Familiescan also discuss Steve and Nathaniel’s relationship. At what point dothey become friends, and why?
  • The movie is based on a true story -- howaccurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers decide to change somedetails in making a movie?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The movie has an inspiring message about friendship -- two men from very different walks of life become very close friends despite mental illness, professional pressures, and difficulties beyond the realm of daily life. The movie depicts mental illness in a realistic light and goesn't shy away from L.A.'s grittier side.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The main characters are certainly flawed, but they value each other and their friendship. Steve goes out of his way to help Nathaniel.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A character suffering from schizoprenia lashes out at a friend, beats him up, and threatens his life. The same character also bullies his sister. Skid Row denizens get in skirmishes; a woman's dead body is found, and there's blood caked on the spot.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some moments of tenderness -- and tension, too -- between a former couple, but no kissing or any other physical activity.

  • language false3

    Language: Swearing includes "s--t," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," and very limited use of "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man (not a main character) smokes a crack pipe in public. Some discussions about addiction. Characters are shown drinking.