6.7/10
44,028
143 user 210 critic

The Soloist (2009)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) 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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Chef (2014)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson
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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson
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
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
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

From his hospital bed, a writer suffering from a skin disease hallucinates musical numbers and paranoid plots.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright, Mel Gibson
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:

Life has a mind of its own 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

The film makers shot on "skid row" in Los Angeles, which is known for being home to one of the largest stable populations of transient persons (homeless) in the United States. See more »

Goofs

In his commentary during the scene when Lopez meets Ayers in the tunnel, director Joe Wright admits that the traffic is all vehicles from the production going around and around (at approx. 17:30). Just after he says that (between 17:35 and 17:59), several vehicles in the background of the shot are indeed visible, though out of focus, making u-turns one after another. 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 »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.22 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132, Mvmt. I and II
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Adapted by Dario Marianelli
Performed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A solid drama on a human scale
28 April 2009 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

After catching snippets of the lackluster reviews (two-stars in the Globe and Mail) I was dis-heartened. It's been a few months since I'd been moved by the trailer. However, the film never came out. I thought it might have been shelved.

I was glad to see it was indeed playing. In spite of the reviews, I persevered on the strength of the trailer. It seemed to me there was too much talent and pedigree involved for it to actually suck. And you know what? it's a terrific film with a poignant story. Perhaps lower expectations propped up my perceptions of it, however, it still stands as time well spent.

The film is based on a true story involving a top columnist at the LA Times, Steve Lopez, played with grace by Robert Downey Jr., who becomes invested in one of his more colourful subjects, Nathaniel Ayers, an accomplished musician overcome by mental illness, now living on the streets of LA portrayed by Jamie Foxx, who rambles his way to a convincing performance.

The film is a satisfying adult drama that doesn't lose it's direction. It doesn't pander to it's audience. There is no random violence, no guns, but indeed simply good story telling with great characterizations. It's a decent film that deserves better treatment in the press. It has a noble heart that succeeds in telling a great human story.

It resonates and strikes a chord.


66 of 80 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:
?