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

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Critic Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 25
    A horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke.
  3. One long offensive treatise on just how vile two human beings can be.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    20
    A lot of talent has gone down the drain, an apt term since bathrooms loom in the picture. [22 Jun 1998, p. 26]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 9 out of 49
  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 underratedAn 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,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. Sep 26, 2013
    6
    I admit, I almost turned this one off early on into the film, but I am glad I made it all the way through. The directing really makes you feelI admit, I almost turned this one off early on into the film, but I am glad I made it all the way through. The directing really makes you feel as if you are under the influence and really puts you into the mindset of Duke (Johnny Depp's character). As for the acting, it was quite good as well and Depp really played the role of the constantly under the influence writer very well. Only gripes were the utter lack of character development, which certainly hurts. The seemingly all over the place plot would normally be a gripe of mine as well, but in a film like this, it certainly makes a ton of sense. Full Review »