At The Movies With Peter Travers: "Tyson," "The Soloist" and "The Informers"


This weekend you'll get your first chance to see the documentary that Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers calls one of the best films he's seen this year. The picture is Tyson, and it tells the riveting story of Mike Tyson in the boxer's own words. Like this King of the Ring used to do to his opponent, the film is sure to knock you out. The doc explores the embattled boxer's entire life, from his violent childhood to his first matches to his marriage to Robin Givens to the rape that put Tyson behind bars for three years and nearly killed him. The whole story, straight from Tyson's "schizophrenic" mind out his helium-voiced mouth. Directed by James Toback, a friend of Tyson's for nearly 20 years, the film is a must-see and earned three and a half stars from Travers in his RS review.

Also out this week: a flawed but ultimately worthwhile film called The Soloist. Originally set for release during Oscars season, the based-on-a-true-story film stars Robert Downey Jr. as a Los Angeles reporter who finds a schizophrenic homeless man, played by Jamie Foxx, with an incredible talent for playing the violin. Both lead actors shine in the film, and the film's refusal to conform to typical Hollywood sentimentality makes it worth seeing.

Then there's the Scum Bucket, and this week Travers throws a film in there which he thinks is somehow even worse than Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It's called The Informers and is based on short stories by author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho.) Despite an all-star cast featuring Mickey Rourke, Billy Bob Thornton and Kim Basinger, the film is an atrocity," vacuuming out all of Ellis' trademark dark humor that made the original source material so great. Avoid at all costs and instead rent the film adaptation of Ellis' Rules of Attraction.