The Soloist Reviews

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

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • The film is imperfect, periodically if unsurprisingly sentimental, overly tidy and often very moving.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • A handsomely made but tonally uncertain film; it's unsure whether to be an old-fashioned inspirational heartwarmer, or a paranoid prose-poem about ruined lives on the city's dangerous margins.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • While the narrative occasionally falters, The Soloist wisely avoids the pitfalls of the inspirational biopic by not tidily sewing things up. Instead, it presents a moving tribute to friendship and the power of music.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Hollywood loves the heroics of good intentions, but this is that rare movie that is just as interested in the road to hell.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • The movie, for all its flaws, reminds us that everyone is worth catching, but it's the actors who best embody that message. They go the full human being.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Foxx and Downey's disciplined duet come close to redeeming The Soloist from its visual excesses.

    Ella Taylor — Village Voice

  • A workaholic roused to life by his contact with an extraordinary person. Music healing all ills. The rehabilitation of an impaired genius. The only reason any of this is barely watchable is because of the stars.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • 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.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • It took guts. And I suspect there's no sense in making a cautious film about Nathaniel Ayers.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • While the film is unable to resolve its central subject, its background portrayal of the ongoing dissolution of the newspaper industry -- captured in a few fleeting images of layoffs and downsizing -- is vividly realized.

    Tom Maurstad — Dallas Morning News

  • Perceptive [and] deeply engaging.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • The Soloist is like its two protagonists: It's a little messy and beaten up in spots, but ultimately it's decent and dignified.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • The movie is a noble enterprise, and Downey is stupendous as usual, but Joe Wright's direction is too slick to elicit much feeling.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • I don't know if Beethoven and a sympathetic newspaper reporter can redeem a messy American city, but this movie makes a plausible case for so fervent a dream.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • The Soloist has all the elements of an uplifting drama, except for the uplift. The story is compelling, the actors are in place, but I was never sure what the filmmakers wanted me to feel about it.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Backed by his newfound A-list stardom, Downey brings to the project a wry swagger -- crucial in an essentially reactive role. I wish, though, that "The Soloist" hadn't spent so much time dealing with Lopez's crises of conscience and career, even as they r

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • The tone of The Soloist is wildly uneven. Though unsparing and unsentimental when framing the principals, Wright is hyperbolic when depicting the agitation of the mentally ill and the soothing rapture of music.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • The Soloist is pitch-perfect, a sensitive rendering of challenging social and emotional themes.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • The Soloist foregoes easy solutions, and even more importantly, it foregoes any easy sense of friendship.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

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