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53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 176 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on Puccini's classic opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson's revolutionary rock opera Rent tells the story of a group of bohemians struggling to live and pay their rent in the gritty background of New York's East Village. "Measuring their loves in love," these starving artists strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic. (Sony) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. One of the best film musicals in years -- exuberant, sexy and life affirming in equal measure.
  2. 75
    Rent isn't nearly as transporting a film as the Oscar-winning adaptation of "Chicago," but its energies and passions compensate for a lot of its deficiencies.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    75
    It's a pretty good version of a pretty great stage phenomenon.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    60
    Director Chris Columbus has pasted the grungy "La Boheme" update onto film with slavish respect for the original material but a shortage of stylistic imagination and raw emotions.
  5. 50
    Mediocre and recommended only to those who can claim a familiarity with the play.
  6. 50
    Yes, Rent is the movie about AIDS, heroin addiction, homosexuality, strippers, marijuana, cross-dressing, and bisexuality audiences can take their grandparents to go see safe in the knowledge that any lingering trace of danger or authenticity has been carefully removed by director/co-writer Chris Columbus.
  7. 20
    To paraphrase the play's most famous song: how do you measure the lien against your soul when you're forced to sit through something as forcibly maudlin as Rent? I dunno, but 525,600 minutes is about how long this movie felt at times.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 113
  2. Negative: 26 out of 113
  1. Mar 13, 2011
    10
    I am so glad that they made this film. I was four years old when the play opened, and so had it not been for this movie I may have missed out entirely, which would have been a shame. I am not a fan of most movie musicals, because, like novel adaptations, they generally cannot capture the true essence of an original work of art. This movie accurately portrays all of the emotions of the musical; although, regrettably, it only hints at the concept of a dirty, gritty New York without fully embracing it, as the stage version did. The movie, directed by children's movie veteran Chris Columbus, is easily one of the most moving musical films in history, as well as one of the most fun. There are a multitude of themes in this film, and the one I found most touching was the idea of always living life to the fullest, because you never know, this could be your last day on Earth. "No day but today" is a phrase that I believe, now more than ever, should be embraced by everyone. Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    5
    Having seen the musical multiple time (both on broadway and on the broadway tour) this movie was bordering on blasphemy. What a wonderful idea it was to form this wonderful, beautiful, and inspiring movie into film. What a wonderful idea it was to use most of the original broadway cast. What a terrible outcome it came to be. Expand
  3. Jun 21, 2014
    3
    I'd had this one on my radar for a while because I'd heard such great things about the play. Unfortunately, I could tell almost instantly that the whole thing just didn't translate well into movie format. What should have been powerful vocal performances were instead muffled and hushed into submission by the limitations of the format. Having the actors sing the songs separate from their performances was also a terrible idea. The words mismatch the lips constantly and ultimately left me feeling like I was listening to a CD while watching another thing altogether.

    I'd gladly see this live, but I could never recommend this movie.
    Expand
  4. Feb 1, 2011
    2
    The characters seem to be miscast and the movie seems to only want to send a message every 20 minutes....not have the movie-goer leave with a complete message. Skip this. Expand

See all 113 User Reviews