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04.24.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
The opening scene, when Robert Downey, Jr. hurls from his bike onto the unyielding asphalt in an accident giving rise to stitches and a swollen-shut eye, is a clue: The Soloist will be harder edged than most Hollywood social problem pictures about helpers and victims. For one thing, as a helper, Downey is neither sap nor superman. He comes across as a savvy, skeptical journalist, a hipster in hi...

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