Solitary Man
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Solitary Man is a 2009 American film co-directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The film stars Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker, and Danny DeVito. The film received generally positive reviews, though it grossed just $5.68 million against its $15 million budget.


The film opens with 54-year-old Ben Kalmen (Michael Douglas), a very successful car dealer in the New York area, at his annual medical check-up; his doctor tells him he needs a CAT scan to get a better look at his heart, due to an irregularity in his EKG.

About six years later, Ben s fortunes have drastically changed. He is taking oral medications but never got the prescribed heart tests, and his lost sense of immortality has sent him on a self-destructive binge: habitual lying, illicit sexual affairs, divorce, and bad business decisions that nearly put him in prison. Ben is broke, borrowing money from his daughter Susan (Jenna Fischer), still unwilling to accept his age, ignoring his heart problem, and has a serial sexual appetite.

Ben, who cheated often on his wife Nancy Kalmen (Susan Sarandon), accompanies Allyson (Imogen Poots), the 18-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Jordan Karsch (Mary-Louise Parker), to her college interview at a Boston college campus where Ben is an alumnus, having been a prominent donor during his more prosperous days. On campus, Ben meets an impressionable student named Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg) who appreciates his wisdom and advice. Later that night, Ben and Allyson sleep together.

Back in New York, Ben expresses a desire to continue the relationship, which Allyson dismisses as a one time experiment with an older man, in her words, crossing the Daddy fantasy off her list . Frustrated with Ben and her own mother, Allyson dismissively tells her mother about the sexual encounter. Jordan is incensed and breaks off contact with Ben. She then withdraws the support Ben needs to open a new auto dealership. While discussing his overdue rent with his building manager (Lenny Venito), Susan appears and tells him he is no longer welcome in her family s life, citing the affair with Allyson and his unreliability as a grandfather of her son.

Facing eviction, Ben asks his college friend Jimmy Marino (Danny DeVito) to give him a job at his campus diner. Allyson, now a student, discovers Ben working near her. Ben receives a call from Jordan demanding he leave town immediately, threatening to resort to physical force via Allyson s father s connections. At a college party cruising, Ben recognizes a customer from the diner, then makes a sexual advance toward Daniel s new girlfriend, Maureen (Olivia Thirlby). Shortly after the girl rebuffs him, he is severely beaten by an ex-police officer (Arthur J. Nascarella) sent by Jordan.

After discussing his view of life with Jimmy, Ben collapses and wakes up in a hospital with Susan at his bedside. Ben then leaves the hospital against medical advice. He apologizes to Daniel and discovers Nancy on the bench where they met. Nancy has learned of Ben s medical condition and appears to struggle with the fact that his illness has caused his self-destructive behavior. Ben tells Nancy that aging and the prospect of dying caused him to feel invisible , so he decided to plunge into life with full gusto. She tells him that s no excuse, but understands and offers him a ride back to the city. The film ends with Nancy waiting in the car for his decision and a young woman walking by Ben, still sitting on the bench, in the opposite direction. Ben looks one way at Nancy, then the other way at the woman. The film ends with Ben standing and looking into the camera.


  • Michael Douglas as Ben Kalmen
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Jordon Karsch
  • Jenna Fischer as Susan Porter
  • Imogen Poots as Allyson Karsch
  • Susan Sarandon as Nancy Kalmen
  • Danny DeVito as Jimmy Marino
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Daniel Cheston
  • Ben Shenkman as Peter Hartofilias
  • David Costabile as Gary Porter
  • Richard Schiff as Steve Heller
  • Bruce Altman as Dr. Steinberg
  • Olivia Thirlby as Maureen (uncredited)
  • Arthur J. Nascarella as Nascarella
  • Lenny Venito as the Todd The Building Manager
  • Douglas McGrath as Dean Edward Giletson
  • Gillian Jacobs as Tall Girl


As of June 2020, the film holds a 78% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews with an average rating of 6.79 out of 10. The website s critics consensus reads: Built around a singularly unpleasant main character, Solitary Man needed a flawless central performance to succeed — and Michael Douglas delivers. Here is one of Michael Douglas finest performances , wrote Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and called it a smart, effective film.

Box office

Solitary Man has grossed $4,360,548 at the domestic box office and a worldwide total of $5,682,073.

Year 2009
ReleaseDate 2010-06-25
RuntimeMins 90
RuntimeStr 1h 30min
Plot A car magnate watches his personal and professional life hit the skids because of his business and romantic indiscretions.
Awards Awards, 2 wins & 3 nominations
Directors Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Writers Brian Koppelman
Stars Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg
Produced by Boaz Davidson,Moshe Diamant,Danny Dimbort,Joe Gatta,Jared Goldman,Donna Golomb,Avi Lerner,Heidi Jo Markel,Paul Schiff,Trevor Short,Steven Soderbergh
Music by Michael Penn
Cinematography by Alwin H. Küchler
Film Editing by Tricia Cooke
Casting By Avy Kaufman
Production Design by Robert Pearson
Art Direction by Doug Huszti
Set Decoration by Regina Graves
Costume Design by Jenny Gering
Makeup Department Annemarie Bradley-Sherron,Leslie Fuller,Peggy Nicholson,Katherine O Donnell,Susan Reilly LeHane,Kerrie Smith
Production Management René Besson,George Gale,Todd Gilbert,Mike Harrop,Joseph Lobato,Holly S. Rymon,Becky Di Lallo
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Steve Apicella,Justin Ritson,Derek Wimble
Art Department Pastor Alvarado III,Peter Bundrick,Dominick Cocuzzo,Michael Cory,James Dewolf,Daniel Dietrich,William Durnin Jr.,Adam Goodnoff-Cernese,Greco,Daniel K. Grosso,Richard Hebrank,Mario Herrera,Martin Kirchoff,Glenn Lloyd,Robert Ludemann,Ann Durnin Mckendry,Michael Miller,Richard Vilas Montesanto,Richard Nelson,Laura Nemesi,Kaylie Schiff,Andrew Spagnoli,Alexis Weiss,Sam Weiss,Jasmine Ballou Jones,Mandy Lamb,Paul Alexander Larkin,Wayne Scott Miller
Sound Department Lon Bender,David Boulton,Ryan Collison,Stefani Feldman,Brian Gallagher,Justin Gray,Glynna Grimala,Andy Kris,Josh McHugh,Dave McMoyler,Dror Mohar,David Pastecchi,Jay Peck,Phil Rosati,James J. Sabat Jr.,Adam Sanchez,Damien Smith,Michael Suarez,Thomas Varga,Gayle Wesley,Paul Yurt
Special Effects by Phillip Beck
Visual Effects by Simeon Asenov,Dilyan Aynadzhiev,Svilen Aynadzhiev,Emilia Borisova,Angelina Borisowa,Scott Coulter,Daniel Donchov,Danail Hadzhiyski,Bo Harris,Nikolay Kondarev,Zornitsa Krasteva,Nikolay Kvetsinski,Peter Marinov,Milena Peneva,Tremell Pittman,Stefan Tchakarov,Valentin Todorov,Peter Tomov,Alex Zvezdev,Jordan Markov
Stunts Paul Bucossi,Peter Bucossi,Gene Harrison
Camera and Electrical Department Daniel Beaman,Michael W. Brennan,Kevin L. Bright,Vincent Camuto Jr.,Phillip V. Caruso,Tom Cioccio,Glenn Davis,Maggie Delaney,James P. Dolan,Stanley Fernandez Jr.,Tim Ferraer,Glenn Fishel,Brad Goss,Carlos Omar Guerra,Kevin Haverty,Mike Indursky,Beverly Jones,Ed Koza,Robert Kummert,Eric Kutner,Frida Marzouk,Dave McAllister,Thomas McGrath Woods,Robert Morganstein,Charlie Price,Doug Price,Michael P. Prisco Jr.,Edward A. Robinson Jr.,Josh Rosenblum,Robert Sciretta,Kevin Smith,Mark Stetz,Stephanie Zimmer,Paul Colangelo,Tom Concordia,Ted Goodwin,Martin Jaksa,John J. Moers,Mike Montgomery
Casting Department Lois Drabkin,Lee Genick,Ronen Gevint,Alexander Zahn,Leeba Zakharov,David H. Kramer
Costume and Wardrobe Department Lexy Buiardo,Clare Cardoni,Havi Elkaim,Felicity Gifford,Charlese Antoinette Jones,Chrissy Kuhn,Ellen Mirojnick,Esther Oh,Amy Pickering,Alex Rubin,Autumn Saville,Aneikit Bonnel,Jared B. Leese
Editorial Department Marcus Alexander,David Chai,Molle DeBartolo,Joe Gawler,Duck Grossberg,Nick Houy,Markus Janner,Jack Lewars,Chris MacKenzie,Iain Marcks,Tim Mullen,John Potter,Jacob Robinson,Jonathan Sanden,Darrell R. Smith,Jason Crump,Cristina Esterás-Ortiz,Adam Nazarenko
Location Management Sarah Crofts,Sam Gomez,Stephen Popernik,Josh Rosenblum,Susan Silas,Collin Smith,Matt Sullivan,Dennis Voskov,Richard M. Bartholomay,Jesse Davidson,Jennifer Hoopes
Music Department Selena Arizanovic,Doug Bernheim,John Jennings Boyd,Danny Frankel,Mick Gormaley,Todd Kasow,Randy Kerber,Katherine Gordon Miller,Nic Ratner,Alberto Vasquez,Rob Wasserman
Script and Continuity Department Dustin Bricker,Eva Z. Cabrera
Transportation Department David Buckman,Jim Buckman,Robert Buckman,Peter Connors,Ryan Patrick Cooke,Robert Foster Jr.,Thomas Garrett,Kenneth Garrison,Steve Hollingsworth,Sean McNay,Robert Morgan,Bob O Neill,Joseph Riso,Gary Sherman Jr.,Joe Stapleton,Dan Buckman
Additional Crew Jennielyn Abrot,Adam Asher,Randall Balsmeyer,Jim J. Barnes,Matthew Barone,Gillian Beggs,Jennifer Benharbon,Kevin Black,Jason Booth,Devon Boyd,Kijana Brown,Emma Cooper,Alexandre Coscas,Charlie Dibe,Annie Domingo,Rick Eyler,Lindsay Feldman,Claude Forest,Megan Galizia,Adam Gibbs,Will Gottlieb,Lesa Greenfield,Emmett Harty Jr.,Rebecca Hoobler,Noah Hougland,Marcin Janowski,Paul Kahil,Ben Katz,Ashley Kravitz,Jodie Kuhuski,Alan J. Lam,Brendan Lee,Anne Yvette Legendre,Samantha Lowe,Brendan C. Lynch,Joan Mao,Cisco Marcial,Christian Mercuri,Bruno Michels,Mark Micucci,Melissa Mugavero,Karen S. Neasi,Elizabeth Neveu,Becky Phillips,Angel Pina,Gaby Protell,Dan Rafeld,Lonnie Ramati,Ed Resetar,Tina Rosen,J. Max Ruschak,Gustavo Santana,Kathy Scharer,William Sepulveda,Avivah Sharon,Luke Tomalin Sherman,Anna Gand Sislyan,Patricia Stanley,Ray Tamayo,Mat Thomas,Anthony Torre,Donna Truax,Ron Uribe,Victoria Valles,Eva Vedock,Julie Weisel,Bradley Weiss,Amy Weisshar,John Whitley,Gabriel Wilson,Randy Yang,Brendan H. Banks,Steve Berman,Will Bigwood,Karen Gehres,Bianca Giancoli,Jeffrey Giles,Joshua Jason,Anthony Lote,Dan Majkut,Rouslan Ovtcharoff,John Puccinelli,Mike Reiersen,Ariel Rodriguez,Daryl Sledge,Eugene Stamos,Joshua Williams,Nicholas Williams,Nimrod Zalmanowitz
Thanks Ross Abelow,Deborah Aquila,Martin Bandier,Ethan Coen,Neil Diamond,Jessica Franklin,Jordan Gertner,Emily Henneke,Lauren Hussey,Tad Kubler,Claudine Oriol,Joel Rousseau,Joe Snell,Fredrik Sundwall,John Yarincik
Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Companies Millennium Films, Paul Schiff Productions, Smartest Man Productions
Countries USA
Languages English, Spanish
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.3
ImDbRatingVotes 16453
MetacriticRating 69
Keywords marriage,sex on the floor,womanizer,fellatio,aspirin