Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 19
  2. Negative: 7 out of 19
  1. 25
    A horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. A lot of talent has gone down the drain, an apt term since bathrooms loom in the picture. [22 Jun 1998, p. 26]
  7. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    One long offensive treatise on just how vile two human beings can be.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 46
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 46
  3. Negative: 8 out of 46
  1. Aug 20, 2012
    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
    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
    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 »