Metascore
41

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 19
  2. Negative: 7 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    100
    Does for psychedelics what "Boogie Nights" does for cocaine; displaying in graphical detail the ultimate failure of drugs as an escape route.
  2. Reviewed by: Cintra Wilson
    100
    It is as deeply satisfying as only the yowling, primal trashing of several rental cars and hotel rooms while in the grips of a hopelessly depraved ether jag and several sheets of blotter acid can be... A cinematic masterpiece.
  3. The strongest magnet in this psychedelic morass is Johnny Depp who, as the story's antic, disgusting and seductive spirit guide, is impossible to look away from.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Klein
    70
    Gilliam captures the chaotic visions of debauchery with his trademark aplomb, bringing to life the already trippy patterns of hotel carpets and populating the dark bars of Vegas with genuinely reptilian lounge lizards.
  5. The closest sensory approximation of an acid trip ever achieved by a mainstream movie and the latest example of Mr. Gilliam's visual bravura.
  6. Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    50
    Gilliam's visual style has never been more energetic or inventive, and nobody could be attracted to dope after this portrait of drug abuse as a hallucinatory quagmire.
  7. Disappointing, pointless and repetitive.
  8. 50
    There is a reason why books are books and movies are movies, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas makes a pretty good case that the two don't always mix.
  9. The one source of relief comes from the score -- a sampling of period ditties by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Neil Young.
  10. 50
    A peculiar and oddly haunting achievement.
  11. Reviewed by: Anthony Miele
    50
    On this ride we follow the two characters from casino to casino and from hallucination to hallucination with no real destination.
  12. There's something about that extra layer of distancing that a book can offer and the screen can't, which in this case might account for why film viewers feel vaguely discomforted by an icky fifth-wheel sensation.
  13. The movie is a true folly, yet there's no denying that Gilliam has gotten some of the hallucinogenic madness of Thompson's novel on screen.
  14. Part of the idea here was to play in the ambiguous zones where Las Vegas tackiness, LSD hallucinations, Gilliam beasties, and lots of vomit become difficult to separate.
  15. 25
    A horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    20
    Johnny Depp's impersonation of the Thompson figure is effective up to a point, but it's hard to imagine any segment of the public embracing this off-putting, unrewarding slog through the depths of the drug culture.
  17. A lot of talent has gone down the drain, an apt term since bathrooms loom in the picture. [22 Jun 1998, p. 26]
  18. Watching it is like being forced to listen to bad heavy metal music turned up to 11 while fat guys in Bermuda shorts compete in a puking contest in the john.
  19. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    0
    One long offensive treatise on just how vile two human beings can be.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 45
  3. Negative: 8 out of 45
  1. Aug 20, 2012
    10
    An audio-visual Masterpiece. It shows the devastating consequences of drug abuse mixed with brillant acting. This movie is greatly underrated and I guess some people voting it down don't understand it. Full Review »
  2. Nov 6, 2010
    10
    Truly a masterpiece. I appreciate the extreme divisiveness of opinions about the film, but simply don't understand it. Faithful adaptation, and nearly perfect film. Full Review »
  3. Jul 4, 2012
    8
    This film is EXTREMELY underrated on this metascore thing. But not surpirsing-people usually really like this movie or are incredibily irritated with it. Obviously the visuals take you by surprising which will add to your experience or make you ill. Additionally, the dialog is a bit disjointed. But the two elements together define this film. Definite cult classic. Full Review »