MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 451 this week

The Soloist (2009)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  24 April 2009 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 39,298 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 133 user | 206 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A Los Angeles journalist befriends a homeless Juilliard-trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 24 Nov 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 04 Jan 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 05 Jun 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Soloist" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Soloist (2009)

The Soloist (2009) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Soloist.

User Polls

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
Lucky You (2007)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A hotshot poker player tries to win a tournament in Vegas, but is fighting a losing battle with his personal problems.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

Director: Jon Poll
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Due Date (2010)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time.

Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Love & Distrust (Video 2010)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Tale of the passions and perils of love in all its forms. Five unique short films that focus on the lives of a group of beautiful yet troubled twenty-somethings, this compilation explores ... See full summary »

Directors: Lorraine Bracco, Daisy Gili, and 4 more credits »
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., James Franco, Amy Adams
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.

Director: Dito Montiel
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes mockumentary of Tropic Thunder (2008).

Stars: Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Robert Downey Jr.
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.
Game 6 (2005)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Combining real and fictional events, Game 6 centers around the historic 1986 World Series and a day in the life of a playwright who skips opening night to watch the momentous game.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Griffin Dunne
Notorious (2009)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The life and death story of Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), who came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

Director: Shane Black
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Graham Claydon
...
Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
...
David Carter
...
Leslie Bloom
...
Curt Reynolds
...
Flo Ayers
...
Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah ...
Bernie Carpenter
...
Paul Jr.
...
Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
...
Mayor Villaraigosa
...
Harry Barnoff
Edit

Storyline

In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Ayers must find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations to hope for a brighter future for both of them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one changes anything by playing it safe See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imagining Beethoven  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£373,151 (UK) (25 September 2009)

Gross:

£1,060,061 (UK) (9 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As of April 2009, Nathaniel Ayers "has a girlfriend and is doing reasonably well" according to Steve Lopez. He has also taught himself to play the flute. See more »

Goofs

When Lopez pulls over in the tunnel after spotting Ayers, his car blocks the right lane. In subsequent shots, cars are seen in the background cruising through that very same lane, one even merges into it, even though Lopez's car is blocking it just a few yards ahead. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Construction Worker: [greeting his co-workers] Buen dia, muchachos.
Steve Lopez: [narrating] "Points West" by Steve Lopez. A construction worker in Griffith Park heard the
Steve Lopez: [swerving his bicycle to avoid a raccoon] Hey!
Steve Lopez: [continuing narration] He saw a cyclist cartwheel off his bike and slam face-first into the unforgiving asphalt of Riverside Drive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the music concludes with the sound of a cassette tape grinding to a stop, referencing Lopez's omnipresent recorder. See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3 (Eroica), Op. 55, Mvmt. I
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Thoughts To Prepare You for Watching the Film.
16 June 2009 | by (Belleville, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Since Ingmar Bergman's 1962 film, "Through a Glass, Darkly", the 2009 film "The Soloist" is one of the two most accurate portrayals of schizophrenia, from the point of view of the mentally ill person and of people who want to interact with the ill person. I speak from experience. David Cronenberg's film, "Spider", is the other.

I was disappointed in my two favourite critics, James Berardinelli and Roger Ebert, each of who gave "The Soloist" only 62½%.

Berardinelli says, "The Soloist is afflicted with a lack of passion. The story lacks a strong trajectory; it meanders, seemingly unsure of precisely what it wants to do and say and where it wants to go." Actually, that is the reality of schizophrenia. One never knows what is going to happen next. There are many setbacks. He also says, "The soundtrack supplies multiple, overlapping voices. The objective is to invite the viewer to participate in the unhinging of Nathaniel's mind, a first-person perspective of schizophrenia. Unfortunately, it feels artificial and contrived." I have taught seven NAMI* courses on mental illness. One episode in one of the classes involves requiring class members to perform certain simple tasks while being bombarded by random voices from behind. Many class members find that to be the most unnerving, and illuminating, of all the activities in the course.

Ebert misses the point when he says, "Yes, mental illness can be like that, but can successful drama? There comes a point when Lopez has had enough, and so, in sympathy, have we." Dealing with a mentally ill person can be devastatingly frustrating. Must we always be entertained? There is a place for grim reality in drama. Otherwise, how can we learn?

"The Soloist" is as accurate a representation of schizophrenia as you could experience without becoming mentally ill yourself. If you keep that in mind then the film will be rewarding; if, however, you are looking for a film that makes sense easily and progresses from point to point in a logical manner, then look for a different film.

If you choose to watch the film and absorb the reality of mental illness, then you will learn much. You never know when that knowledge will be of great value to you. Then again, you may be spared, and never need it.

The film introduces a very important idea: mentally ill people do better if there is someone, whom they trust, who takes an abiding interest in them.

It also poses one very important question: should mentally ill persons be forced to take medication to stabilize themselves? Different states, provinces and countries have different laws concerning this. Some feel that mentally ill persons should be forced to take medication if and only if they are likely to harm themselves or others. Mentally ill persons are often unaware that they are mentally ill, and cannot be convinced otherwise. Would they have more freedom to decide correctly for themselves if they were first medicated until they become sane? The film addresses this question but does not attempt to give a definitive answer. You will have to think out that question yourself, keeping in mind that different people have different reactions to the same medication. There is no universal answer, but for each individual, there is probably a best answer but not necessarily a good one.

The film captivated me from the beginning to the end. I did not miss the common devices that some movies use to make them exciting. There was excitement enough for me in the growth of the principal characters and in the learning that I did, and in the thinking that I was forced to do.

*NAMI is The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

P.S. Schizophrenia has absolutely nothing to do with having multiple personalities, or of dichotomies (apparent contradictions). The split in the expression "split personality" is the split between the personality and reality. Unfortunately, the word is misused far more often that it is used correctly.


119 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How could you allow these mentally ill people on the streets? thanasaki_mtl
movie with best depiction of schizophrenia? eamo-1
One of the worst performances of 2009. brettjm3
What were the colorful lights Nathaniel sees at the rehearsal? cls-6
His playing heners
Anyone know how a poor boy from Ohio funded muisc tuition? bloovee
Discuss The Soloist (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?