The Singing Detective Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2012
A great performance by Robert Downey Jr., an early Katie Holmes role and a small part played by a heavily made-up Mel Gibson do their best, but they don't save this film from its sheer weirdness. Four words: lip-synched ensemble musical numbers.

When it cut to action from the novel our hero (Downey Jr.) has written, I really liked the visual style, and overall, the story told in flashbacks is well-done, near-perfect noir, in fact; when it steps outside the frame, however, and tells the present day story - with the characters from the books interfering in some strange meta-fictional way - it loses its momentum, getting downright hammy in places.

And then, there are the musical numbers...

An ambitious film, but I'm not sure I mean it as a compliment; Joe Baltake probably said it best when he called this one an "interesting failure." Check it out, if for no other reason than this: it's different than most everything else you're watching.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2010
This could have been amazing, but it fell short of an interesting story. The cast was good, but didn't really get to show off their talent due to the script. Mel Gibson's psychotherapist character was by far the best part. If it would've just been an actual noir homage then it would've been great.
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2006
Complete madness...
puffchunk
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
Um...Robert Jr is creepy, and has katie holmes do creepy things to his creepy body.
deano
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2007
This film adaptation of Dennis Potter's acerbic TV drama-comedy-musical sucks.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2011
The film is with the broad supports that are an exhilarating Robert Downey, Jr. and the solid lines he's given. However, the film unfortunately collapses under the pressure of little development, forced and poorly done musical numbers, repetition, inconsistancy and, of course, extreme underwhelmingness. In conclusion, the superb man of the hour doesn't quite keep the notes of "The Singing Detective" from falling flat.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2007
I had two reasons, one mainly for watching it... they were good reasons.

If I take away the enjoyment of those, the movie was pretty lame. I haven't seen the original TV thing of it so I can't compare. It seemed to be pretty pointless and nothing much happened. Yeah... also, I didn't recognize Mel Gibson at all, which was strange because I can usually recognize anyone...
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2008
A very interesting dip into the tortured, sick mind of a mystery author. Downey Jr. was brilliant, as usual, giving Dark more bite than a bottle of Tabasco and more suppressed rage than a caged tiger. And that he is, caged in his own body - which is a nice contrast to the mesmorizingly charming, self-controlled detective-Dark. That being said, the direction is wonderfully weird and the songs completely inappropriate, adding to the mayhem. The flashbacks and digressions into the novel are treated in the same fasion, leading to the blurring of lines between pulp fiction and reality. The pacing is a bit off and I feel that some of the "detective" scenes aren't as revealing as they could be, but you can't help but forgive that for the stunning cast work, both individually and as an ensemble. Great work here!
DrLappos
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2007
This was good but the original tv version was far superior.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2006
I have never left a cinema during a movie, not even during The Avengers - but this made me run as fast as I could. The 20 or 30 minutes that I DID see were bad enough.
½ October 6, 2013
when i first saw this i thought it was horribly miscast but upon re-viewing i realize it is perfect casting and i liked it.
April 19, 2010
its whimsical and the singing aint too bad. its defiantly not like anything you have ever seen and deserves at least one whole viewing
September 13, 2008
some great pre-Pianist film of adrien brody's here! wow, that robert downey jr. sure has beautiful eyes! okay, i would have definitely enjoyed this film had it not been ridden w/ overly promiscuous scenes. very interesting story, but i would not ever watch it again. too sleazy.
August 3, 2008
It was boring and the lip-synching for the songs didn't even look semi-realistic. I was disappointed :(
½ February 14, 2008
Very strange. I can't recommend this to anyone because it will take a special kind of person to appreciate this movie. I am not one of thsoe special kinds of people.
August 6, 2007
A very interesting story of a man who lives in his mind of paranioya and a musical world with singing and dancing Doctors & Nurses.
½ January 17, 2007
I turned it off after the first 20 minutes. This is absolutely the worst 20 minutes of movie I've ever seen. I really can't emphasize enough not to waste your time on this movie.
October 1, 2006
Pretty good. It's funny and a good musical. I thought it was very enjoyable. Mel Gibson was so funny as the therapist and goof looking.
½ September 17, 2006
The movie has its good qualities. The cast members are all top-notch. But it tries to do too much in so little time.
February 9, 2015
Mel and RDJ doing the word association game, brilliant.
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