California Solo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

California Solo Reviews

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November 11, 2014
So, if you watch Once Upon a Time, then you know why I watched this. If you don't watch Once Upon a Time, I'll catch you up. Robert Carlyle is on the show, and is one of the reasons to watch it. Coincidentally, he is the lead in this movie. And to be honest, he's really the only reason to watch this. It's an interesting character study, and there's some really great stuff for Carlyle to work with. But, I found it all really slowly paced. It also didn't give me a reason to care about this person. I finally started caring once we learned more about him, but other than that, something overall was lacking here. Don't rush to watch this one.
½ November 8, 2014
Carlyle was very good in this movie, but it wasn't an original or memorable story.
September 6, 2014
California Solo is about a Scottish man that is pulled over one night for drunk driving and due to this little incident actions for his deportation start happening and he tries to fight tooth and nail to stay in the USA even goes as far a getting his ex and his daughter involved. THe story is touching etc and shows that immigrants are not just the arabs or the asians it can also be white folk.
The reviews say that Robert Carlyle you may know him better for his role in "The Full Monty"
He plays well but i have seen better performances.
Nice story would be better in novel form.
This does not have anything that would effect children but the subject matter could be found to be boring for young minds.
May 14, 2014
This is one of the best movies I have seen in a while.
½ March 10, 2014
This was a nice little indie film featuring an actor who has faded out of the mainstream (Carlyle) but continues to do solid performances in film. Its kind of a sad film, but it also brings good vibes and inevitably facing your past, sooner or later.
½ October 28, 2013
This film follows Lachlan MacAldonich, a former British rock star, through the inevitable resolution of a lifetime of bad decisions. This isn't a fairy tale; though far from sunny, the promise of a second chance does appear before the film's end. The expertise of this tiny shred of hope further adds to the film's authenticity and emotional impact. Carlyle's performance is deeply honest, and he seems perfectly at home with MacAldonich's rage and fear and regret. The linear narrative expressed isn't what a typical movie-goer would expect, but it works here thanks to an incredibly human story and a good supporting cast. Though there isn't much new ground to tread with the life of a rock star gone wrong, California Solo manages to find its footing in this soulful, truthful tale.
October 10, 2013
Liked Carlyle's performance but not the character he played...and was thankful he never ended up with the much younger woman.
½ April 12, 2013
As always, Robert Carlyle's performance is nothing short of beautiful. Nuanced and layered as his characters always seem to be. He's a man who makes mistakes, but you feel for him, want him to pick himself up and be better. The only thing that holds me back from giving it 5 stars is the ending, which felt a wee bit unsatisfying and anticlimactic.
March 11, 2013
Really disappointed with how it ended... it just kind of ended. How did he handle being back?? What happened with Bo? But up until then very good.
March 3, 2013
Carlyle is pretty much the only reason to watch this
Tired of Previews
Super Reviewer
February 9, 2013
Question: Have you ignored the consequences of your actions, especially when the initial result was so horrendous that you opted out and thought it was best to forget than face it? Burying the pain any way you can, you live a dark, disconnected existence that keeps you oblivious. Exile. However, if you believe in karma, your actions will be rebuked someday, when you probably least expect it, and you will finally be forced to lift the veil. The sight isn't pretty but once concessions are made the sun might shine again.

California Solo quietly tells the tale of a former Britpop band member, played by Robert Carlyle, whose unspeakable actions over a decade ago brought his life to a screeching halt. Most should recognize the Scottish actor from his roles in Trainspotting, 28 Weeks Later or The Full Monty, but Carlyle portrays a man far different from those famous characters.

Lachlan MacAldonich (Carlyle) is a deep character. His performance was touching, enigmatic and heartfelt. He's full of pain, regret and he can't seem give up the booze to look clearly at himself. The layers of this man were slowly exposed and left me with a quandary. In the beginning, he's just a farmer in southern California living a quiet life. Then he makes a stupid mistake and gets caught. Due to his current situation and past indiscretions, Lachlan is threatened with deportation back to Scotland. For the rest of the film his realities are revealed, smacked in his face actually, but he fights to continue his self-imposed exile.

The level of empathy for the middle-aged man started off strong because he seemed like loner happy just being quiet and left alone. Yet, as you discover more about him and his past you become unsure how to feel. In fact, I went back and forth on whether I felt sorry for him.

Marshall Lewy, the writer/director, had me trying to figure this character out, why his demons were so buried, and wondering about his desperation to not go back to the UK. The story is compelling, to say the least. I was almost hypnotized by Carlyle's character and his deep need to push back the demons that were obviously rising up. Lachlan didn't appear to have much to live for but get up, go to work, frequent the local bar and produce a podcast about dead rockers. Was that a good existence? For him it was, but it couldn't last forever as he soon found out.

There are a few other characters in California Solo played by A Martinez, Kathleen Wilhoite, Alexia Rasmussen, and Danny Masterson. These are the few people in Lachlan's life but kept at arm's length - some further than others. All did a fine job in this indie film but Carlyle is the one to watch.

California Solo is a film worth viewing. It is a haunting story that is a cautionary tale about accepting responsibilities for behaviors of the past. Hiding, sulking and ignorance will not heal the pain no matter how many years have come and gone.

Review: 8 out of 10
½ November 25, 2012
2 1/2 stars for Robert Carlyle
September 12, 2012
Robert Carlyle once again gives a brilliant performance in this character driven piece. Watched ot in Edinburgh International Film Festival and loved it
April 3, 2012
An okay indie flick, with all the usual benefits and problems of the genre. It is a generally believable slice of life, but that does not necessarily result in a gripping movie. Robert Carlyle's strong performance made it much better than it otherwise would have been.
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