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Movie review: Solitary Man

What's great about Douglas is that these are exactly the odds that he likes to act with and his performance carries the film through some of its more melodramatic moments.

Directors: Brian Koppelman, David Levien

Starring: Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, Imogen Poots

A morality tale starring Michael Douglas seems as likely as a diet book written by a sumo wrestler. Douglas has always been at his best when he's playing someone with no scruples, whether that be in Romancing the Stone, Wall Street or Fatal Attraction. Recently, though, He has been accepting roles where the moral is that at some stage in life it's going to be payback time. Ben Kalmen (Douglas) is a car salesman who got caught committing fraud at work and cheating on his wife at home. He's now trying to rebuild his life by getting a new dealership. His private life remains a mess. He transgresses with the daughter (Imogen Poots) of his girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker). His maverick attitude and inability to be on time has put a strain on his relationship with his daughter (Jenna Fischer) and his ex-wife (Susan Sarandon) seems bemused by his antics. His only friend (Danny Devito) is the manager of a burger bar and he hasn't seen him in 30 years. If that wasn't bad enough, the opening scene reveals that he has a problem with his heart. It seems an understatement to say that he's going through a bad patch. What's great about Douglas is that these are exactly the odds that he likes to act with and his performance carries the film through some of its more melodramatic moments. Unfortunately, not even he can do anything about the message feeling distinctly one-note.

Updated: January 6, 2011 04:00 AM

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