Solitary Man

Michael Douglas

Directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 20, 2010

Michael Douglas deserves serious award attention for his triumphant performance as the tormented Ben Kalmen, a fast-talking, moneymaking New York car dealer facing professional and personal disasters. His method of warding off aging, job scandal and a heart problem is to screw women, the younger the better. That includes Allyson (Imogen Poots), the college-age daughter of his mistress (Mary-Louise Parker). His own daughter (Jenna Fischer) has given up on him, as has his ex-wife, Nancy (Susan Sarandon). He fares better with student Daniel Cheston (Jesse Eisenberg), schooling him on the art of seduction until even the kid sees Ben's methods are outmoded. Yet when Ben hits bottom, working the counter at the diner of a friend (a terrific Danny DeVito), he can't quit lying to himself. The screenplay by Brian Koppelman, who co-directed with David Levien (Knockaround Guys), is a model of acid wit and elusive wisdom. The bumps in the narrative can be jarring, but Douglas never makes a false move, delivering a tour de force in human weakness.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

    This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

    More Song Stories entries »