The Singing Detective
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The Singing Detective tells the story of crime novelist Dan Dark (Robert Downey Jr.) who, languishing in his hospital bed, occupies his time by mapping out a screenplay in his head about a cynical private investigator who doubles as a singer in a dance band. His lead character is slowly drawn into a web of intrigue during the murder investigation of prostitute in 1950s Los Angeles. Heavily medicated, the border between reality and fiction starts to blur in Dark's mind. The plot is woven together with his own painful memories, and soon he is living in a fevered film-noir hell constructed by his own twisted psyche, where everyone is his enemy and no one can be trusted. Mel Gibson co-stars as the enigmatic Dr. Gibbon, the hospital psychiatrist who dares to take on Dark's tortured mind.

User Reviews
kizmet's adjutant 2020-10-19
In practically every single way that this remake diverged from the Denis Potter script and original BBC mini-series the change was at best unnecessary, and at worst downright offensive. In his attempt to make this truncated version his own, the director has dumbed it down, gratuitously sexed it up, and overall mashed it beyond regocnition. One feels for the many good actors who presumably signed up based on what they had seen, only to find this disappointing bait-and-switch. Oh, Gambon, where are thou?

LL93 2010-12-22
....this movie was extra bizarre and i was kind of confused

sangwyn 2010-04-20
This is an interesting movie with a truly all-star cast. Produced by Mel Gibson's Icon Productions, Downey stars as a pulp-fictionesque writer with some serious issues to overcome. Hospitalized with a severe skin disease that has about 18 syllables to pronounce, he's literally trapped in his own head, and as such the lines of fantasy and reality have become blurred in his mind. This is not standard Hollywood fare by any means--which is one of the reasons to watch it in the first place. The movie has neither the typical climax scene, nor as many true secrets/twists as might be expected from anything with "Detective" in the title. The action is often figuring out what's in Dan Dark's head and what is actually real... what some might call a far more frightening experience. Biggest personal complaint is that Downey did not sing all of the songs himself; he is an able vocalist and surely the songs that the character from his novel sings could have been set in keys that best fit Mr. Downey's range. This would have lent great veracity to the story as a whole, making the scenes more believable for Dan Dark--and for the audience as well. My advice is rent, do not buy, until you are sure you are interested in "indie" or atypical fare (or you are a Downey or Gibson completist).

petallya 2010-03-02
I cannot say that I was in love with the scenario but I can confirm that it was, as always, a great pleasure to see Robert Downey Jr's acting performance. What an amazing actor! He can interpret anything. I do hope that he has now tamed his demons and that we, common mortals, will be blessed to enjoy his acting for a very very long time. What an amazing gift he is a gift to all cinephiles!

Outlaw Pete 2009-02-11
Downey was fantastic as Dan Dark and you could never tell that Gibson was the psychiatrist. If you are looking for a shallow movie that won't make you think much don't get this movie, but if you are interested in a movie that will make you think and reflect on the film then this is for you.

fabled 2008-11-13
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.

Bekah0688 2008-10-19
This movie was wierd and aweful!

heydonnie 2008-07-15
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.

Actor043 2007-01-25
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.