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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 179 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 forBased 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. Reviewed by: Nelson Pressley
    50
    Onstage, Rent is a series of power surges, but in the movie the songs leave you flat.
  6. 50
    I wasn't sure a movie musical could be worse than last year's styrofoam-and-gilt swan-boat travesty "Phantom of the Opera," but I'm afraid Rent proves me wrong.
  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 114
  2. Negative: 27 out of 114
  1. JodiW.
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    I saw the play with the original cast. I have seen it on stage another 5 times since the original cast memebers left. It was mind blowing to I saw the play with the original cast. I have seen it on stage another 5 times since the original cast memebers left. It was mind blowing to see everyone back together and to remember what originally made this show so amazing. Bravo to all involved. Expand
  2. TiffanyD
    Dec 11, 2005
    10
    Awesome movie. I loved all the songs and i have the soundtrack now. I saw it 3 times in theaters and now i am looking forward to seeing it as Awesome movie. I loved all the songs and i have the soundtrack now. I saw it 3 times in theaters and now i am looking forward to seeing it as the actual play. Broadway would be the best. I fell in love with all of the characters, especially Angel. I highly recommend everyone going to see it. Expand
  3. 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 outI 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
  4. [Anonymous]
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    If you have not seen the stage show, I feel that you can not truely encapsulate the entirety of the show. With that said, it is a damn good If you have not seen the stage show, I feel that you can not truely encapsulate the entirety of the show. With that said, it is a damn good show other wise. I do not like that Chris felt the need to put a time stamp on the movie, especially since the music clearly makes a statement that it is in the mid-90s or even now (Alexi Darling refering to cell phones and email, Joanne making phone calls on her cell etc...) I feel the movie missed Mark's purpose in the show, and his plight at being "the last one standing." The movie goes in depth in certain points while missing entire points completely. Rosario Dawson does a phenominal job as Mimi, and truely captures the essence of not only struggling with AIDS but with having a drug addiction as well. Her descent is portrayed very well, as is the rise and fall of her and Roger's relationship. Maureen and Joanne's relationship also goes much more in depth in the movie than in the show. As always Angel and Collin's relationship is a heart wrenching love story, and portrayed to perfection by Jesse and Wilson. Rent-heads that know and love the show will truely appreciate it and take it for what it is as well as find the meaning. Those who have not seen the live show may struggle with knowing what all the hype is about. They will not understand what they are missing. I will be going to go see it again, and again! Expand
  5. PeterB.
    Nov 22, 2005
    8
    The film needed a visual, edgy director to bring the material to live. The musical has great music and a strong book, but Columbus was a The film needed a visual, edgy director to bring the material to live. The musical has great music and a strong book, but Columbus was a bland choice who doesn't bring any passion or point of view to the story. It seems like someone is saying "Next Song..ok check the song list, thanks." Expand
  6. MilesM.
    Nov 23, 2005
    5
    I saw RENT in 1996, when it first came out on stage and became a cultural phenomena. Although I loved the songs back then, I felt the musical I saw RENT in 1996, when it first came out on stage and became a cultural phenomena. Although I loved the songs back then, I felt the musical itself, (plot and structure) were not up to par. And actually a bit simplistic. Here is a musical that celebrates the right to be mediocre, while it makes the enemy of the one minority trying to make his community better. Here is a musical that pretends to celebrate individuality by being mass pop corn entertainment so bland, that it never stands on its own. I have seen Gap ads with more artistic gravitas. However, what made the play worth the while back then is the same element that makes it now. A SUPERB CAST! And this cast surely delivers, making their roles deeper with time and more meaningful. Can Idina Menzel be any more talented than she already is? I don't think so. Still the movie suffers from the same problems the play does. It glorifies not artistic integrity, not taking risks in life, not even living a life well lived. It celebrates youth's right to chose to be mediocre, selfish, and largely lazy. We have a rich kid, Mark, who wants to be a film maker. A poor film maker indeed, someone should just tell him to give it all up. A film maker he will never be. When he chooses to burn his screenplays,to keep warm, this is a large miscalculation in the writer's part. A true artists would rather freeze to death than let those things he slaved over burn. Mark is an example of the whinny wannabe artist who lacks the talent or the drive to be a true artist. It's a shame, because the actor gives a pretty darn good performance. The same can be said of Roger, the singer, spending a year to write a song, this is a guy who should feel the ticking of the clock, HIV+, but still unwilling to grow up and give up his immature ways. I like the songs of RENT, for the most part, like I like a Britney Spears album, it's fluffy sentimentality (largely over hyped in 1996) it is adorable at places, and a lot of fun. I am not saying the movie is terrible, I am saying the source material is highly flawed. The enemy is an African American guy who becomes their landlord, and then tells them he is gonna turn the building into something "we always dreamed about" if they always dreamed about it, why do they stand so against him. Surely, their needs to make their dreams come true would outweigh all else. Surely the need to better the community by bringing in positive influences would make the sacrifice worth it. Sure there were homeless people to think about, but wouldn't a giving,sharing person, see that by helping themselves they could help everyone around them. But no, these characters never think in self less ways, they are obsessed by wanting to leave their marks in the world, and they go about it by doing everything that is opposite to leaving their mark. They are petulant and immature. They, as written are everything they sing about hating. Maybe that is the trick, maybe the musical really is about a bunch of people who hate themselves and their inability to be unique creators. Rent is a product of the end of the 20th Century. It is about my generation screaming, "Look, Don't you feel sorry for me. I am trying so hard." But trying so hard to achieve what. In the end, I guess Love is the answer. The problem is, these people spend so little time loving each other, you're surprised they come to that conclusion, 525,600 minutes later, you are asked to be overjoyed, because they sing, NO DAY BUT TODAY... but what exactly do they do during that day is never answered. This is a movie about wasted DAYS. However, the cast is great, the songs are catchy. And someone may someday be inspired by to write something that is truly reflective of youth's struggle Expand
  7. JakeM-
    Nov 22, 2005
    0
    Everyone has AIDS! AIDS! AIDS! AIDS! AIDSAIDSAIDSAIDSAIDSAIDS AIDS!

See all 114 User Reviews

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