6.7/10
43,770
142 user 210 critic

The Soloist (2009)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 April 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,334 ( 778)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Due Date (2010)
Adventure | 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
Chaplin (1992)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A film about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charles Chaplin.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys
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
The Judge (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

Director: David Dobkin
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga
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.
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
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
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris
Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus falls in love with Lionel Sweeney, an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.

Director: Steven Shainberg
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey Jr., Ty Burrell
Gothika (2003)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A repressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Stars: Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr.
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:

$9,716,458 (USA) (24 April 2009)

Gross:

$31,670,931 (USA) (3 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life, Ayres had little resistance to the cello teacher and has remained close friends and protégé of LA Philharmonic cellists Peter Snyder (the teacher played by Tom Hollander) and Ben Hong. In real life, Ayres had a lot of resistance to attending the first concert at Disney concert hall. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Steve takes Nathaniel to listen to Beethoven's Third Symphony. In the DVD bonus material an interview with the real Nathaniel and Steve confirms that this took place, and that it was the Third Symphony. Reminiscing, the real Nathaniel then plays Steve an excerpt on his cello...except that he actually plays the second movement of Beethoven's better known Fifth Symphony - not the Third. 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

Mr. Bojangles
Written by Jerry Jeff Walker
Performed by Neil Diamond
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wright, Downey and Foxx are good enough artists to lift this above its Oscar bait plot
26 April 2009 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

This film was supposed to be a major competitor for the Oscars last year, but Paramount bumped it to a few months later. Despite the mixed reviews the film has received, I believe it would have been a major contender. I honestly think Paramount's decision not only ruined its chances for Oscars, it gave the impression that there was something wrong with the picture. There isn't, really. The subject matter does scream "Oscar Bait", with Robert Downey Jr. playing a newspaper columnist who writes about a schizophrenic genius musician (Jamie Foxx) who is homeless on the streets of L.A. We all remember Shine. Shine was pretty good (if entirely made up, as we later discovered). The Soloist is probably a little better. I think it's stronger because of its exploration of the relationship between the two central characters. Both Downey and Foxx are extremely good; both are award-worthy. This material could easily have been cheesy Oscar bait, but director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement) is a virtuoso himself. The way he uses image and sound move the story along beautifully, not allowing the clichés to clog up the film.


43 of 65 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
A sleeper film sophia7
Discuss The Soloist (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?