The Rum Diary

Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 26, 2011
    83
    Thompson's fans will embrace its twisted verbal dexterity, romantically imagining the author feverishly pulling strings from the beyond.
  2. Reviewed by: Philip Wilding
    Nov 7, 2011
    80
    A fitting tribute to Hunter and the demise of the American Dream, but first and foremost a thrilling and funny snapshot of a country on its knees and a writer finding his feet.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Holleman
    Oct 28, 2011
    75
    Depp shows again that he truly understands Thompson by delivering a nuanced performance that is remarkably different, but subliminally similar, from the wonderfully outrageous turn he provided in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 27, 2011
    75
    Jazzy and colorful, full of men and women in swell clothes driving cool cars, The Rum Diary has a bit of a seedily exotic Graham Greene vibe, and Robinson moves things along at a nice, casual clip, even in the film's more overheated moments.
  5. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Oct 27, 2011
    75
    A big, rambling, entertaining love letter to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 27, 2011
    70
    An agreeable time-waster for the onlookers and its star. The Rum Diary isn't a corrective to Johnny Depp's kid-centric career, more like a vacation from it, in a resort where the visitors are strange, the natives are restless and the flow of alcohol endless.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 27, 2011
    70
    The Rum Diary is enjoyable enough, after its digressive, episodic and voyeuristic fashion. But neither Depp nor Robinson seems quite aware that Thompson's story - both in terms of his brief career in Puerto Rico and in terms of his life - was at least as much a story of tragedy and self-immolation as it was of genius.
  8. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Oct 27, 2011
    70
    The Rum Diary is so visually enchanting that many viewers may be too lost in a haze of charm to care that the film never develops Thompson's then-nascent wisdom any further than the young writer did in the novel itself.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 26, 2011
    70
    You also get drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. By the time the movie is half over, you'll feel hungover.
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Oct 22, 2011
    70
    Temperance of a different sort, a willful abstention from trippy stylistic excess, is what makes this 1960-set Caribbean picaresque easily the most lucid screen adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's work, even if it's still several drafts shy of a fully developed yarn.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 28, 2011
    67
    Depp is disappointingly recessive here, as he often is when he's playing characters who don't have an antic streak.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 26, 2011
    67
    "Fear And Loathing" star Johnny Depp more or less reprises his role as Thompson's alter ego, once again playing a journalist whose yen for excess obscures the idealism at his core. But the film, despite its obvious intelligence and flashes of wit, doesn't bring that passion across.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 22, 2011
    67
    The result is a subpar comic adventure that's nonetheless admirable for its restrained vision of Thompson in his early gestation period.
  14. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 28, 2011
    63
    Essentially an affectionate and personal project to honour Thompson's memory, The Rum Diary occasionally strains to evoke the journalist's surreal black humour.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 28, 2011
    63
    Intermittently interesting, but well-intentioned, it almost makes up for "The Tourist."
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 27, 2011
    63
    The tale was no doubt meant to convey Kemp/Thompson's boozy aimlessness, but the film feels disjointed and meandering as a result.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 27, 2011
    63
    At best diverting, at worst drearily conventional, The Rum Diary is pre-gonzo Thompson, before the fusion of fact and trippy fantasy that flowered into a brilliant delirium.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 27, 2011
    63
    There isn't a sophisticated or "adult" perspective to be found in The Rum Diary.
  19. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 26, 2011
    63
    We have the feeling that Kemp/Thompson saw much of life through the bottom of a dirty glass and did not experience it with any precision. The film duplicates this sensation, not with much success.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 26, 2011
    63
    Though it only rarely reaches the level of gonzo farce that it might have been, "Diary" is still an agreeably drunken stagger through the novel Thompson based on his formative year as a writer.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31
  1. Oct 30, 2011
    10
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  2. Oct 31, 2011
    10
    superb film. thats all that needs to be said. like fresh air to parched lungs. the film does everything it sets out to do! don't be put off bysuperb film. thats all that needs to be said. like fresh air to parched lungs. the film does everything it sets out to do! don't be put off by delusional reviewers who have become so blinded by the hollywood blockbuster. the film provides a welcome change to the film industry that i believe everyone should be a part of Full Review »
  3. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. "We're not like the others. We're your friends." Oscar Z. Acosta aka Dr. Gonzo

    If you are a Hunter S. Thompson fan, an aspiring writer or just a weirdo freak, then this is one more great movie that will make you feel at home, no matter where you happen to be. Of course, it makes much more sense to actually read nowadays, for all sorts of devious advantages, but, with the main vein strapped into the American Dream Machine, this is a sobering second place for lost souls and harmless maniacs alike. Be warned though fellow traveler in the land of the weird, Johnny Depp does not want to tell you what you want to hear in this movie. HST speaks from the grave through Depp to tell you exactly what you need to hear. As a result, it is little wonder this movie did not receive a wide release but, it is, however, an instant underground classic for swine who prefer to see the world as it is, sans the rose colored glasses of hypocritical greed, clinically depressed decadence and gross debauchery.

    A word of caution lest you be of the meek and timid sort. This is a dose of reality seldom seen in a movie or work of literature. This is a story for what Nietzsche referred to as the "Ã
    Full Review »