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

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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
    It's a pretty good version of a pretty great stage phenomenon.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    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. JodiW.
    Nov 26, 2005
    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 It was mind blowing to see everyone back together and to remember what originally made this show so amazing.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
    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
    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
  4. DerekW.
    Nov 24, 2005
    I strongly believe that the critics that have been giving this film low scores just do not have the mental, or creative capacity to understand something as unique and revolutionary as RENT. The stroy and and the MUSIC take the audience member to another level of love and understanding - and if you are not ready to go on that journey you cannot blame the film, the writer, or the director, for you being ignorant and too stubborn to open yourself to something new. Go see this film with an open mind and the story it tells with music will fill your heart and take you to another level of entertainment. Leaving you with a meesage of the current generation. Expand
  5. BillB.
    Nov 24, 2005
    OK, it was a faithful -- and safe -- adaptation of the original, but it mostly worked for me. If Columbus had changed things, people would be howling. Expand
  6. NickB
    Nov 26, 2005
    A self-proclaimed "Renthead," I hoped I was going to enjoy the film. I didn't. The charm, bite, and character of the musical didn't transfer well enough to the big screen. I thought they handled it well, the cast was great with what they were given, but there is something missing. There is no "so what" factor. The movie just sort of sits there. And there were way too many cheesey moments that were too far fetched for an audience to buy into. Angel and Collins running down the street singing "I Will Cover You," the god-awful exploitation of Rosario Dawson's Mimi, and a lack of sympathy for the film characters all added to a so-so show. The negative aside, it is still a solid musical with flare and gusto, but I would save your 10 bucks and put your money towards something better, like the actual stage show. Expand
  7. JakeM-
    Nov 22, 2005

See all 113 User Reviews