Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. With an outstanding screenplay by Brian Koppelman and disciplined direction by Koppelman and David Levien, a story that could have been generic (or worse, scented with flowery bulls---) turns into a precise, honest, and affecting drama.
  2. It's Douglas' movie - and you've got a fine movie.
  3. 90
    A sharp, small-scale comedy of male misbehavior that turns out to be one of this dreary spring’s pleasant cinematic surprises.
  4. 88
    Douglas plays Ben as charismatic, he plays him shameless, he plays him as brave, and very gradually, he learns to play him as himself. That's the only role left.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Oct 21, 2010
    To say this movie sucks gives it more weight than it's worth. The script is well-matched to the direction because both are done equally poorly. The only reason I watched it was because liked it, but then it turns out that Matt Zoller Seitz reviewed it, and Salon should fire him. The movie had only one surprise for me - that I made it to the end without walking out. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2010
    Michael Douglas fans will enjoy his flawless performance as disgraced businessman Ben Kalmen in the darkly funny Solitary Man.

    Hailed as
    giving his best performance since Wonder Boys and Wall Street, Douglas plays an unlikeable but irresistible car salesman facing a mid-life crisis. His doctor worries about Kalmen's EKG, and orders further tests. Kalmen flees reality as he schmoozes, drinks and parties his way to near-oblivion. We meet him again six years later.

    Kalmen is determined to do all the things he ever wanted to do in life, he tells his loyal ex-wife Susan Sarandon. For him this means cheating, lying, and even enjoying a one-night stand with the daughter (Imogen Poots) of his current girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker).

    Douglas brings much depth and charisma to his character Kalmen. Along his downward spiral he seeks to mentor a nerdy college student (Jesse Eisenberg), and reunites with an old buddy (Danny DeVito), who exudes wit and wisdom as he operates a diner. Yet Kalmen's continued bad choices alienate almost everyone around him.

    Solitary Man not only shows the personal costs of the ego run amuck in Kalmen's sex addiction, but the human side of a detestable man. Jailed for his business transgressions at the height of his fame as "New York's Honest Car Dealer," Kalmen begs with panache from his daughter (Jenna Fischer) and ex-wife.

    David Levien and Brian Koppelman (who wrote and directed Knockaround Guys and The Girlfriend Experience) direct this showcase for Douglas with the help of an excellent cast. Koppelman also wrote Solitary Man's intelligent script.

    Finally Sarandon and DeVito are the characters who genuinely understand and seek to help Ben. In his own twisty mind, Kalmen believes he is helping himself.

    Douglas will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 16, 2011
    The movie is good, but you stay with wanting more, is too short. The best perfomance of Michael Douglas in years contribuites to save the movie, that fails in the poor script and discrete direction. Full Review »