User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 141 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 141
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  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.
  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.
  3. [Anonymous]
    Dec 6, 2004
    9
    Cleary a number of critics and other reviewers have never seen the world through hallucingenic eyes. The first time I watched this movie I had not either. I watched it up until the "lounge lizards" scene as a sophomore in high school, before I really knew anything about drugs. I had no opinion of drug use one way or the other, but the fact is if you've never tripped, this movie is Cleary a number of critics and other reviewers have never seen the world through hallucingenic eyes. The first time I watched this movie I had not either. I watched it up until the "lounge lizards" scene as a sophomore in high school, before I really knew anything about drugs. I had no opinion of drug use one way or the other, but the fact is if you've never tripped, this movie is not for you. I had to turn it off because it is disturbing and confusing--but so is tripping on mushrooms or acid. Once you've had that experience, you can focus more on the film's central message and ignore the puking, anti-social behavior and idiosyncratic compulsions of hallucinogenic drug use. Watching the film is a lot like a trip: it's not always funny, not always happy and it can be pretty scary at times, but if you put in enough mental effort to at least try and make some sense of it, you WILL be rewarded in the end. Depending on your openmindedness, your reward may be a valuable discovery of the world or yourself, or just another nightmare that haunts those who missed the point. I've not yet read the book, but I have it on my "on deck" shelf. Expand
  4. AsierR.
    Apr 5, 2004
    10
    Do they know what's all about? Marvellous and dark trip to the heart of an american dream.
  5. LukeH.
    Mar 1, 2008
    10
    This is a very good film the reviews do not do it justice. It is not a stoner film it is a unique, funny, provocative and disturbing view of America, and with Terry Gilliam unique directorial vision it's a powerhouse film.
  6. Buzz
    May 3, 2008
    10
    I love this movie. It's funny and provoking and I can imagine, it's just what Mr. Thompson had in mind when he was writing his novel.
  7. benji
    Aug 16, 2005
    10
    Just brilliant, one of the best movies of all time!
  8. GraemeS.
    Jun 26, 2007
    10
    An amazing film. Incredible acting, suitably psychedelic visuals and, surprisingly, hilarious and profound all at the same time.
  9. M_elleSchulz
    Aug 24, 2007
    9
    I am not a drug addict, in fact, at 35, I have never once partook in any unprescribed narcotic. I am not a fan of drunks, in fact I tend to leave parties early to avoid them. A huge fan of Depp (this is his best ever, if not most popular, performance) and of Hunter Thompson (an irrepressible writer of modern literature), I felt I was adeptly escorted into a world of excess and depravity I I am not a drug addict, in fact, at 35, I have never once partook in any unprescribed narcotic. I am not a fan of drunks, in fact I tend to leave parties early to avoid them. A huge fan of Depp (this is his best ever, if not most popular, performance) and of Hunter Thompson (an irrepressible writer of modern literature), I felt I was adeptly escorted into a world of excess and depravity I could never, in my sobriety, have entered on my own. Depp animates Thompson's paranoid and hilariously caustic commentary on the socially acceptable 'swine' and their equally, if acceptable, excesses. I bought the ticket, and LOVED the ride! Expand
  10. MichaelC.
    Mar 4, 2008
    10
    Hunter S Thompson's stunning book is marvelously captured on screen. A great performance by Johnny Depp. A great commentary on American life, past, present and future.
  11. ChrisJ.
    Jul 15, 2004
    10
    All i have to say about this movie is that it is genius by far my favourite movie in every way.
  12. MarkS.
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    Pure quality, a perfect intimidation of the great doctor!
  13. Aug 19, 2010
    9
    Based off my favorite book, directed by one of my favorite directors, starring on of my favorite actors, what could go wrong? Very little! The film is incredibly faithful to the book and in my opinion one of the great underrated movies. Word of advice, if your planning on watching the film READ THE BOOK FIRST.
  14. Mar 26, 2012
    10
    One of my favorite crazy movies to watch. It's so entertaining and Johnny Depp does a great job capturing his role in this movie. This movie will always be one of my favorites.
  15. Santa
    Feb 3, 2010
    10
    Two genius: Thompson and Gilliam = Master-piece !!!
  16. PeterS.
    Jan 27, 2007
    10
    Spinning visuals and disoriented dialogue.
  17. NinjaMafia
    Apr 4, 2004
    10
    This is one of the best comedies I have ever seen. Fear and Loathing brings together everything that one should have from a comedy. Hilarious moments, good storyline, and some deeper underlining message. The storyline to Fear and Loathing is pretty basic, Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney go to Las Vegas to work on a story about a race. However, they pack up a briefcase full of all This is one of the best comedies I have ever seen. Fear and Loathing brings together everything that one should have from a comedy. Hilarious moments, good storyline, and some deeper underlining message. The storyline to Fear and Loathing is pretty basic, Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney go to Las Vegas to work on a story about a race. However, they pack up a briefcase full of all kinds of drugs. When they finally get to Las Vegas, their work seems unimportant, the only thing they care to find out about is the American Dream. Thus begins a madcap tippy adventure into the drug world. The storyline really keeps you into the movie while throwing around the message of days gone by here and there. The comedy is great. From bat country to lizard people, this is all hilarious. Believe me, you will get it once you see the movie. Plus, Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro play some of their best roles. Depp really takes home the gold with his perfect portrayal on Thompson, who mind you is very real. Depp even went so far as to spend a few months with Hunter just to get down his personality, and it paid off big time. That's not to say Del Toro isn't equally magnificent. He even gained some weight just to make his character a bit more disgusting. Fear and Loathing takes you into the ultimate ride and is currently on my top ten favorite movies of all time list. Expand
  18. ChrisW
    Jan 4, 2006
    9
    Man, this is a genious movie based on a genious book written by a genious author, hard to believe not very many people can actually understand his work. Rest in piece Hunter.
  19. Eon
    Oct 25, 2006
    10
    One of those few movies that deserve a 100 out of 100, and this, of course makes it one of the most underrated movies of Metacritic. I really think it had something to do with the fact, that Drug War is the best-selling war nowadays ( those of you who didn't get it - this movie makes fun of your life style, maybe that is why you hated it so much, I mean, it must really hurt too look One of those few movies that deserve a 100 out of 100, and this, of course makes it one of the most underrated movies of Metacritic. I really think it had something to do with the fact, that Drug War is the best-selling war nowadays ( those of you who didn't get it - this movie makes fun of your life style, maybe that is why you hated it so much, I mean, it must really hurt too look inside damaged self). Overall - a kind of masterpiece, that is really RARELY made. Expand
  20. BlakeJ.
    Mar 11, 2007
    9
    I love it. It holds a special place in my heart. I was won over in the first 10 minutes...right after Johnny looks around all glazed eyed and says "We can't stop here...this is bat country!" A precursor to druggie movies as we know them.
  21. SamA.
    Dec 20, 2008
    10
    A brilliant capsule of what Gonzo is all about to the new Thomsonite. Beautifully disgusting, lovable, hate-fueled and terrifying all at the same time.
  22. LukeS
    Oct 11, 2009
    10
    This movie is nothing less than a work of art, and in my opinion is Johnny Depp's best film, no questions asked. I find it discouraging that many critics failed to grasp the true aim of this movie, which is not to explore drug use (in which case it actually would suck), but rather to explore the shift in the American culture and spirit that was taking place at the time. Great movie, This movie is nothing less than a work of art, and in my opinion is Johnny Depp's best film, no questions asked. I find it discouraging that many critics failed to grasp the true aim of this movie, which is not to explore drug use (in which case it actually would suck), but rather to explore the shift in the American culture and spirit that was taking place at the time. Great movie, and GREAT acting by both leads. Expand
  23. SlingS.
    Dec 23, 2006
    10
    First off i would not recommend watching this while under the influence of any serious drugs (the dinosaur blood orgy comes to mind but there are other scenes as well). um, phenomenal book I'd read it first. best ever reflection on what the American dream really amounts to. if you are a religious republican voter you will hate this film, which is why i love it.
  24. PatrickJ.
    Jun 15, 2008
    10
    A masterpiece. A stunning combination of visually pleasing effects that bring to life the hilarious anarchist antics of a genius subculture outlaw.
  25. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece, simply the epitome of excellent acting by Johnny Depp who lived with the character he portrays for a period of time, just to ensure a competent imitation of him.
  26. Jul 31, 2012
    10
    Meaningful, thoughtful, and excellently crafted. Movies like this help us explore ourselves and reality we create. This one additionally make this in a very entertaining way. If only You can keep up with the movie... Just like with Natural Born Killers it's best to watch it couple times.
  27. Feb 3, 2014
    10
    simply amazing. watched so many times and it still gives me joy. i suspect only ones that dont like it, are the ones that are 100% against drug use. and to those i say, it clearly shows the bad side of bad trips that are results of overuse as well, and in no way glorifies it after all. movie has a massive points on many levels, just not all can spot them apparently.
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: 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.
  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. 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.