The Soloist (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

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.

Movie Info

Columnist Steve Lopez is at a dead end. The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart and he can't entirely remember what he loved about his job in the first place. Then, one day, while walking through Los Angeles' Skid Row, he sees the mysterious bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers, pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin. At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions. But as he begins to unearth the mystery of how this alternately brilliant and distracted street musician, once a dynamic prodigy headed for fame, wound up living in tunnels and doorways, it sparks an unexpected quest. Imagining he can change Ayers' life, Lopez embarks on a quixotic mission to get him off the streets and back to the world of music. But even as he fights to save Ayers' life, he begins to see that it is Ayers--with his unsinkable passion, his freedom-loving obstinacy and his valiant attempts at connection and love--who is profoundly changing Lopez.more
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements, some drug use and language)
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Susannah Grant
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 4, 2009
Box Office: $31.7M
Dreamworks/Paramount - Official Site


Jamie Foxx
as Nathaniel Anthony Ay...
Robert Downey Jr.
as Steve Lopez
Tom Hollander
as Graham Claydon
Catherine Keener
as Mary Weston
Lisa Gay Hamilton
as Jennifer Ayers-Moore
Stephen Root
as Curt Reynolds
Nelsan Ellis
as David Carter
Jena Malone
as Lab Technician
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Soloist

Critic Reviews for The Soloist

All Critics (201) | Top Critics (48)

A deliriously imperfect film - and all the better for it.

Full Review… | September 25, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

The subject matter is a little too easy to overdo for that, but it is pretty good, thanks to a pair of fine performances from its leads and a director who understands understatement. And sometimes those can be as rare to find as a genuine musical prodigy.

Full Review… | April 1, 2011

The Soloist never completely transcends that Hollywood formula feel, but it has enough transcendent moments to make it worth recommending.

Full Review… | January 26, 2011

There's no crescendo in Joe Wright's drama.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010

Develops the feel-good plot in true newspaper style: a few heart tugs followed by a punch in the face.

Full Review… | May 6, 2010
East Bay Express

Una película sobre periodismo y marginalidad, sobre el poder redentor del arte y la solidaridad humana, sostenida por dos buenas actuaciones de Jamie Foxx y Robert Downey Jr.

Full Review… | January 17, 2010
Uruguay Total

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.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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."

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Okay film...

Jameson Worley

Super Reviewer

The Soloist Quotes

– Submitted by Claire F (4 years ago)

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