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Solitary Man

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

(No longer in theaters)
  • Rating: R — for language and some sexual content
  • Director: Brian Koppelman, David Levien   Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, Danny DeVito
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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Genre

Drama

Distributor

Anchor Bay Films

Release Date

May 21, 2010

Release Notes

Limited

Official Website

Review

Solitary Man is another routine morality play, this time the aging-Lothario-gets-his-comeuppance number. But it’s smoothly written and smartly paced, and Michael Douglas is riveting. Douglas has had, at various times, a horndog reputation, he’s the son of a legendary world-beating horndog, and something in his dimpled chin-smirk will always signal “I get more than a toilet seat.” As felonious car dealer Ben Kalmen, he uses his star vanity to generate an amazing amount of sympathy for this incorrigible lech—especially when the younger actors gaze on him with pity and contempt and we think, “Hey, he’s not so bad … ” Among the supporting actors who worship Douglas, even as they feign contempt, Olivia Thirlby is especially eloquent. Jesse Eisenberg (yes, again) plays the gawky kid Douglas tutors in the art of the pickup—a role he first played in Roger Dodger. But his excellent final scenes, after his character has gotten laid, suggest there’s life for this fine young actor after virginity.

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