Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
In a bravura performance that is the primary don't-miss reason for its existence, he (Carlyle) gives California Solo all he's got; even in scenes that just exist to pass the time, his presence informs the essence of the man he plays and the humanity of the film itself.
There's a lovely gravity and specificity to the story that transcends instances of bumpy filmmaking.
Even as California Solo plays like a track we've heard before, it's still worth a listen.
California Solo doesn't have much story. All of the details above are established in the first five minutes, then the movie becomes a character sketch, carried by its wealth of detail and a fantastic Carlyle performance.
Slant Magazine
Robert Carlyle's performance compensates for the film's less successful elements and even makes you wonder if they might be strengths.
The minor-key film benefits from Robert Carlyle's soulful performance in the central role, bouncing back and forth between dulled resignation and self-destructive anger.
Time Out
Marshall Lewy's film functions largely as a delivery system for Carlyle's performance. Luckily, Carlyle's tough, tender turn is strong enough to carry the load.
Fans can be forgiven for offering this predictable indie some excess generosity, simply because writer-director Marshall Lewy had the good sense to build a movie around such a versatile lead.
A former rock 'n' roller withers on the vine in California Solo, Marshall Lewy's forgettable sophomore effort (after a promising beginning with "Blue State").
Village Voice
Any transformation feels like a device, and any modest hopefulness comes across as simply the unearned wishful thinking of the filmmaker.

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