Box art for The Soloist

The Soloist


Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr. and Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx star in an extraordinary and inspiring true story of how a chance meeting can change a life.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Memorable, sometimes gritty drama about music, friendship.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this stirring drama about friendship and the beauty of music depicts mental illness in a realistic light, neither overdramatizing nor underemphasizing it. Scenes that take place in L.A.'s gritty areas include some skirmishes and shots of drug use, and a dead body is found. The authentic feel of those scenes (which feature real-life Skid Row regulars) could be upsetting for sensitive viewers. But aside from that and some harsh language (including sparing use of "f--k"), the movie is age appropriate for teens -- there's no sex or blatant product placement.

what families can talk about

  • How is this movie different from many other films set in L.A.?
  • Familiescan also discuss Steve and Nathaniel's relationship. At what point dothey become friends, and why?
  • The movie is based on a true story -- howaccurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers decide to change somedetails in making a movie?
  • Families can talk about what the film is trying to say. Why do you think the filmmaker lingered on the gritty Skid Row scenes? Is it to shock or to educate? Were you aware of the massive homeless problem L.A. faces?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 29
    see all The Soloist reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It took guts. And I suspect there's no sense in making a cautious film about Nathaniel Ayers.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, April 24, 2009

Rotten: The film's biggest problem lies really in its pacing. Every time the plot takes an interesting turn or moves forward, it's stalled by one musical montage after another.

- Ben Lyons, At the Movies, Monday, April 27, 2009

Rotten: Tthis is a maudlin, stereotypical story that never moved at all.

- Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies, Monday, April 27, 2009

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Crazy has no cure and this movie takes too long to make that point!

- Tomassgringo, Monday, November 29, 2010

2 stars

a passionate and engaging film that was also riddled with an unfortunate series of turns that left the film without focus. ultimately every time the film seemed to introduce a sub plot that i thought i would become interested in it went nowhere, leaving all characters but the main two without much purpose. the leads did an alright job getting us through the main point of the film, but i felt that i was left hanging too often to feel great about the final product.

- sanjurosamurai, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3 stars


- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Wednesday, June 30, 2010