Owen Gleiberman
April 03, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Goodbye Solo

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
91 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/27/09
performer
Souleymane Sy Savane, Diana Franco Galindo, Navani Reyes
director
Ramin Bahrani
distributor
Roadside Attractions
author
Bahareh Azimi, Ramin Bahrani
genre
Comedy, Drama

We gave it an B+

William (Red West) is a suicidal geezer who’s like a hostile old cowboy. The moment he starts to snap at Solo (Souléymane Sy Savané), a Senegalese-born taxi driver in Winston-Salem, N.C., the kind, striving, smiley-faced Solo decides to be his buddy and protector. A cynic might peg their young/old, black/white, happy/crotchety chemistry as a convention. But Goodbye Solo director, Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop), slowly weaves the two men’s lives together by stitching in little pockets of mystery, and the result is a playful, elusive movie that isn’t so much heartwarming as soul-cleansing. B+

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