The Singing DetectiveClosed Captioning
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From director Keith Gordon (Mother Night, A Midnight Clear) comes this American feature adaptation of the 1986 BBC miniseries, The Singing Detective. Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big-screen for the first time since 2000's Wonder Boys as Dan Dark, a novelist who is hospitalized with a severe case of psoriasis. As he lays in bed, Dark hallucinates that he is actually a World War II-era private dick embroiled in an oddball web of mystery, intrigue, and musical numbers. Written by the late Dennis Potter (Pennies From Heaven, Gorky Park) and co-starring Mel Gibson, Robin Wright Penn, Katie Holmes, and Adrien Brody, The Singing Detective premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 106
- Fresh: 41
- Rotten: 65
- Average Rating: 5.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Fans of the classic Dennis Potter BBC miniseries: Stay far, far away from this pale, Americanized imitation.
Rotten: If the movie doesn't really work, it's because it's a hard piece to bring off, an extremely high mark to hit. Still, enough magic is left, especially in Downey's performance, to shock and beguile us.
Rotten: Apart from Downey's convincing contribution, the movie feels too contrived, stagy and inorganic to draw any pleasure.
Fresh: When I saw it at Sundance, my attention was divided because I was trying to process the meaning of the jagged structure. Seeing it again a week ago, knowing what to expect, I found it a more moving experience.
It was Okay...
Although not the best of musical films, and TV adaptations, The Singing Detective proved better than horrible as acclaimed. RCJ was decent in his role, but the show was really brought together by the ensemble. The ending scorched, but all in all, a decent film.
Not so great..but
It certainly holds your attention. The Singing Detective fails to pull itself together and live up to the beloved BBC hit, but Downey's performance is enough reason to watch (for me). He is perfect as Dan Dark. However, flashbacks of his life, his current situation, hallucenations, and his imaginary life make it very hard to focus on anything. In the end I just sat down, zoned out, and enjoyed taking a break from reality.
Boring, uninvolving, trainwreck. What was Keith Gordon thinking. He needs to get back on track. Midnight Clear, Waking the Dead, Mothernight, this doesn't even deserve to bear his name. Should have Alan Smithee'd it.