Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx

Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx

Though it plays a little loose with the facts, director Joe Wright's ("Atonement") version of a true story remains inspiring, thanks to excellent work by its leading actors.

Robert Downey Jr. plays a Los Angeles newspaper columnist who discovers that a homeless man ( Jamie Foxx) has remarkable musical talents; if the story seems predictable, that's offset by some surprising choices the stars make – particularly Foxx, who offers a convincing view of schizophrenia.

Catherine Keener and Lisa Gay Hamilton ("The Practice") co-star. DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by Wright; deleted scenes. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

Buy ' The Soloist' on DVD.