The Soloist (2009)
Critic Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
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Critic Reviews for The Soloist
A deliriously imperfect film - and all the better for it.
Ultimately, the reason that The Soloist fails is because the writer and the director have been bamboozled by the seriousness of the subject matter.
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.
The Soloist has its imperfections, but its ambition trumps them.
Wright's major mistake is the flashback to Nathaniel's background. Mundane, TV movie simplistic and, ironically, very middle-class patronising, it causes the film's trajectory to go limp.
Audience Reviews for The Soloist
Carried by two outstanding leading men (Downey Jr. and Foxx) this film celebrates the power of friendship without ever getting too sappy or unrealistic in its outlook on curing or dealing with mental illnesses. Next to the great performances, the fine camera work and direction make this an underrated drama with lots of memorable scenes. A little shocked not more people reacted positively to it.
I had low expectations for this movie, based on bad reviews, but in all, it wasn't that bad. The acting was solid - Robert Downey Jr. really is a talent, and Jamie Foxx embraced a challenging role - and the visual treatment was interesting, wandering away from the narrative in places just to throw in odd moments of beauty. The story is one you've heard a hundred times, but for a one-time watch, there's no reason this forgettable movie's any worse than the many like it that have come before. Nothing really original, but not a failure, either. I give it one big "Mmmmeh."
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