Reviews

The Soloist

2

Robert Downey Jr helps the homeless

On paper, The Soloist reeks of Oscar. The plight of the mentally ill, the travails of the homeless, the nature of friendship, a pinch of white man’s guilt… worthy topics all. But thanks to heavy-handed treatment, this true story ultimately feels like a work of mannered fiction.

Robert Downey Jr plays real-life Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez, who happens among Nathaniel Ayers ( Jamie Foxx), a former Julliard music student battling paranoid schizophrenia.

As Lopez writes of Ayers’ troubles, he becomes part of the story, the journo seeking redemption for his failings by helping a fallen man.

Beset by flashbacks and voiceover, the narrative doesn’t so much unfold as meander. And after the visual coups of Atonement, director Joe Wright here succumbs to overwrought symbolism (lingering shots of birds flying free over congested roads).

One or two scenes resonate – Lopez’s ex-wife (Catherine Keener) bitterly questioning his motives – but overall there’s little emotional hook.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • DannyJ9008

      Sep 22nd 2009, 21:13

      3

      I am normally 100% on board with what you guys say about films, but here I disagree, especially after seeing you gave The Final Destination a better rating, which was by far and away one of the worst films of the summer...Jamie Foxx's performance is great in this film, and RDJ doesn't disappoint either :/

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    • superfurryliam

      Sep 23rd 2009, 11:56

      4

      Total Film magazine used to print intelligent and accurate film reviews but sadly has seen a huge change this Summer. Films such as Transformers 2 and The Final Destination (etc etc) receiving favourable write-ups is nigh-on embarrassing and not what I expected to see from such a highly regarded publication. The performances in this film are excellent and deserved more than this poorly written summary. One can only speculate at the dramatic changes in the Total Film offices... Very, very poor.

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    • MaggieWilliams

      Sep 24th 2009, 1:09

      The Final Destination was correctly reviewed to what it could offer it's audience; gore and impending doom. Rightly so it isn't the greatest movie in the World but it still entertained an audience that best suited the Film. Hence it's half decent rating. I am looking forward to The Soloist and am slightly upset about the rating it's received and as much as I love RDJ, he can't be amazing in every film now...

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    • Ali1748

      Sep 24th 2009, 21:21

      2 stars is this a joke ? Empire gave it 4.

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    • TVC15

      Sep 25th 2009, 5:30

      2

      If you'd care to double check, Empire's READERS gave it 2. I agree.

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    • tommy6858

      Oct 1st 2009, 12:34

      5

      there was a time where i found total film effective. There reviews were spot-on as well as humorous and on-the-ball. There was also a sense that the reviewers knew what they were saying. Sadly this isn't the case anymore, far from it. After reading the review of the soloist i was quite shocked they had given it such a low rating, and when i actually saw the film last night i was disgusted that total film could give it such a poor 2 stars! this film was immaculate, from the storyline, the structure to the top-notch acting from both main characters. to be honest i think total film are pretty rubbish and unreliable now. i was willing to bite the bullet when you gave transformers 2 four stars when that happened to be the worst film i have ever seen in my entire life, but now this? Wrongly criticizing a strong, profound and thought-provoking film is ridiculous when this has more potential than transformers 2 will ever have. And also to the person who commented above me: empire gave the film 4 stars you gorm, get the facts right yeah? i actually think the film deserves 5 stars as you can see, and in the future i will not be trusting total film anymore as empire does a far more better and truthful response. TOTAL FILM-GET YOUR ACT SORTED OUT!

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    • TVC15

      Oct 3rd 2009, 18:52

      2

      Hello Tommy - Gorm here. If you'd like to re-read my comment for the actual facts, I said that Empire's READERS gave it 2 stars, and I think they've got it right, even if their reviewer hasn't. This is a horrible movie - cliched, over-stated, heavy-handed and, worse crime of all - just plain boring. Profound? You need to get out more. With you on Transformers 2 though - utter rubbish.

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