User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 99
  2. Negative: 13 out of 99

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  1. 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 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
  2. Oct 28, 2011
    10
    Having read the book years ago, and not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised and ultimately delighted with this honest, real, touching, homage to the memory of the man, whose work and presence on this earth, has meant so much, to so many people. The film is light but heavy too. If you just sit back and let it, its charm should engage. It's not for everyone, there can be difficulty, but life's that way, so what? Deal with it. Or maybe not. I can certainly say, I enjoyed it, and will see it again, very soon. Expand
  3. Mar 3, 2012
    8
    "The Rum Diary" I believe is ten times better the movie than critics will admit. Great acting by Johnny Depp in portraying Hunter S Thompson, who is such an iconic figure. Wonderful acting, cinematography, and screen writing. However, the only thing that doesn't make sense is that Johnny Depp is 48 and Thompson was 23 in 1960.
  4. Nov 6, 2011
    7
    Set in 1960, The Rum Diary takes us back to a time when Dr. Hunter S. Thompson wasnâ
  5. Feb 9, 2012
    8
    Id say (if I was going to that... compare that Fear and Loathing was a better adaptation) but as ever [JD], a fitting tribute to one of the 20th Centuries greatest writers.

    Critics?
    Remember Gonzo - as in... Its not about the destination - it's about the journey // its not about what you DO, it's about HOW it's done...
  6. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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
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  7. Mar 18, 2012
    5
    Trailer was edited very sneakily. Made to look something it is not. Very disappointing film & makes Depp look a weaker actor than he is. Cant make up its mind if its a comedy or something else. If a biopic, I think it misses the mark by some way. A few good scenes, but never really takes off & aside from the back drop of Puerto Rico to add a sense of glamour, it sadly left this viewer somewhat underwhelmed. Expand
  8. Oct 31, 2011
    4
    Johnny Depp literally discovered this unpublished Hunter S. Thompson novel, so he produced the movie and stars as the "young" writer. When he gets a job for a newspaper in '60s Puerto Rico, his life becomes a lame version of a Hunter S. Thompson adventure: mildly weird characters, mediocre substance-fuelled situations and weak personal frustration. Unfortunately, most of this is drab and uninspired, so the film falls flat. Did I mention that Depp is probably 20 years older than the character should be? Of interest only to fans of the author. Expand
  9. Nov 12, 2011
    3
    The movie itself should be great. The premise, message - will punch you in the head. But if you didn't understand anything from this movie, there's nothing wrong with you, yes, the problem is the movie. But anyway Ribisi performance and the dialogue are clever.
  10. Oct 31, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can't say that I didn't like the movie, however, I can say that it also wasn't what I expected. I expected a better story and I suppose the director was limited by the screenplay and the original story that they wanted to tell from the book. I think that I may have enjoyed the book more for the "no doubt" description of the characters and situations. Having said all that I just loved Amber Heard ( she is one beautiful girl ) and enjoyed Johnny's performance. They had some nice chemistry between them that wasn't used to good advantage. I think that the movie would have been better if they had more Amber and Johnny scenes. In fact, I would have re-written the final scene with Johnny sailing off and then cut to him knocking on Amber's door in NYC and them looking soulfully and lustily at one another. Then, I would have mentioned that he'd married Amber in the typed aftermath. Perhaps, in the end, I am just a hopeless romantic at times? I think really that the movie would have been so much better with more of that relationship as it was quite pivotal (to me anyway) in many respects.

    I'm trying to figure out, if I came up with a more satisfactory ending why couldn't they have thought of it? In effect, it was stated in the written aftermath that they (Johnny and Amber) got together. I don't believe that this will be a good moneymaker and even on an artistic level, it doesn't quite make it although the sleazy flatmates of the Johnny character were quite naturally repulsive losers with foul body odour as well as exuding an alcoholic musk too, no doubt. However, Paul Rispoli's character wanting to get to Mexico sounded good. I also wonder why the final credits didn't update us on their fates etc.? Too may loose ends that would have helped the picture. I wonder why the director missed some wonderful opportunities to make a more entertaining picture by still remaining true to the book? Oh well,it was still acceptable but should have been so much better!
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  11. Oct 28, 2011
    4
    A two hour movie sprinkled with comedy, lots of dialogue, little action. While the movie is mildly entertaining the plot leaves you wondering what the hell was that. There are also several scenes of animal cruelty in the film and because of that I am sorry I had to witness it. I do not recommend this film. I should have seen the new Justin Timerlake film TIME instead.
  12. Feb 19, 2012
    7
    I wanted to see an Adventure film like The Rum Diary . I like this kind of adventure films and The Rum Diary did good. Robinson's Directing was super !! Johnny was amazing like he always is. Rest of the Cast did good. The Views of Puerto Rico was really awesome .I haven't read the book but I felt the script was weak(I don't know its the script or The Book But...) If the story was a bit more wide this could be hell of an Adventure Film.This was one of those films that started slowly and turned out to be freaking crazy . Expand
  13. Dec 1, 2011
    3
    Rhum Express est loin d'être aussi déjanté de ce que nous laissait prévoir la bande-annonce. Il ne l'est carrément pas! Avec un scénario sans queue ni tête, majoritairement chiant à cause d'un manque flagrant d'ambiance (musicale du moins : on est quand même à Porto Rico, la fiesta et l'alcool, que diable!!!) et de moments d'anthologie. De plus, les passages de "trip" passent très mal (la langue qui s'allonge, des bouteilles en guise de quilles au bowling...) car trop expédiés et surtout inintéressants. Au final, que pouvons-nous retenir de Rhum Express? Quand même deux choses : l'interprétation des acteurs (Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart et surtout Giovanni Ribisi, qui se lâche comme rarement) qui tente de faire remonter le film (sans succès, malheureusement), ainsi que quelques passages qui font sourire, voire même vraiment rire pour certains (des jeux de mots, la séquence de Johnny Depp conduisant sur les genoux de Michael Rispoli). Mais bon, Rhum Express n'est vraiment pas la cuite que l'ont aurait voulu prendre... Expand
  14. Nov 3, 2011
    6
    "The Rum Diary" was originally a novella from the twisted mind of Hunter S. Thompson an eccentric journalist and novelist who in addition to smoking, snorting, injecting, drinking every drug, alcohol and carcinogen known to man, managed to change the face of journalism by calling it as he sees it. His writing can repel and enchant with equal measure and has a breakneck spontaneity which is rivaled by its frazzled incoherency. Incoherency would be the best word to describe this film. The story lacks any kind of focus jumping from a love story, a corrupt land deal, drunken antics, workplace politics and racial tensions. Watching "The Rum Diary" was liking talking to a drunk grad student; little flashes of genius may linger but after what seems like four hours you realize you're talking to a drunken idiot and looking for the door. Overall the film is a captivating look into a fascinating and flawed character in a unique time and place. Expand
  15. Oct 29, 2011
    1
    Horribly shot, boring, actionless, faaar too long, unstable pictures (where is your camera stabilizer???), even Mr Dep is not good and has a very blund caracter. What a drag. Don't go!!!!!
  16. Nov 8, 2011
    7
    The Rum Dairy was an excellent film. No, it may not have been as crazy a drugadled experience that was Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" but it was not meant to be. That's why I feel its received such low score by critics. Yes, it is a similar feel with Depp at lead followed by his adventures "partners". Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) travels to Puerto Rico for a free lance journalism job at The San Juan Star where he becomes co-worker/ associates with 2 other strange and eccentric drunkards Giovanni Ribisi as Moberg & Michael Rispoli as Bob Sala. The three end up rooming together as the adventure unfolds and become somewhat of a team to bring back the failing San Juan Star as it begins to fail. During his time in Puerto Rico Pual Kemp becomes entranced by his new business partner Aaron Eckhart as Sanderson, a businessman trying to cook up a new money making opportunity and he believes Paul Kemp to be the right man to do some colorful writing for him, but things come to a grinding halt when Paul becomes entranced by Eckhart's mitress Amber Heard as Chenaul. I enjoyed it, kept me interested and gave me more then a few chuckles and as a fan of Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp I felt it more exemplified their true values. Expand
  17. Nov 7, 2011
    8
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Johnny Depp is seriously unappreciated in this critic's opinion! He is thoughtful in choosing his roles and is not willing to compromise his values and artistic integrity for a quick $! His movies are not always marketed well, because he is careful to surround himself with writers and producers who tend to be just like him! They are more interested in making thought provoking films which almost always contain a message and make a point of doing so in a manner that may require a little more from it's viewers than just "setting back to be entertained". His films most always make you say, "Hmm." Not too mention his ecclectic, eccentric and very definitely sexy mannerisms! You go, Johnny-keep staying elusive and mysterious-we love that about you! Expand
  18. Nov 10, 2011
    6
    I guarantee you will laugh at this movie, I can't guarantee you will walk out satisfied. Great acting jobs all around by everyone involved. My problem was that the story didn't go anywhere. There is so much built up early in the movie that doesn't matter at the end. Then there are issues you want to see evolve that are tossed aside or resolved off screen. I was just left with a "Meh..." feeling when I walked out of the theater. Collapse
  19. Nov 20, 2011
    3
    Dont bother with this movie. Apparently it is based on a true story... however although it has great some good moments, in the end it doesnt really work. Johnny Depp is unconvincing as a serious actor.
  20. Jun 4, 2012
    1
    I've never been more disappointed by a movie. I saw this movie right when it came on dvd. I thought it was okay. I am a huge fan of Hunter S. Thompson so I recently picked up the book. The book is nothing short of a masterpiece. Right after I finished the book I watched the movie to compare while the book was fresh in my mind. It's as if whoever made this wanted to ruin the book. They took out a WHOLE character in the movie, Yeamon. Chenault isn't with Sanderson in the book, she is with Yeamon. Who the hell changes the book that much. Not too mention all the other parts they left out and the bullsh*t parts they added such as the eyedrop drug and the chicken fights. This is an absurd travesty of The Rum Diary and Hunter S. Thompson is probably turning in his grave because of it. Expand
  21. Jun 23, 2012
    7
    I don't even know why I watched this. I knew the trailers would prove to be the deceiving, it just seemed right to watch a movie that stars the actors that it does. The cast just don't portray anyone interesting. Nonetheless, this isn't a bad film. Just a boring one.
  22. Aug 18, 2012
    5
    Yes, it's based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson but don't expect the movie to be anything like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It's rather slow, has lots of seemingly useless scenes and althogether there's not much happening...One of Depp's pet projects but they didn't realy have to make it into a film and you realy don't need to see it. Move along, these aren't the stories you're looking for ;)
  23. Sep 29, 2012
    3
    I love Johnny Depp, but this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen him do. It is extremely hard to follow, I dozed off three times, and the rest of the time I couldn't understand what they were saying. This is truly a disgrace to Mr. Depp's career. Just terrible.
  24. Oct 16, 2012
    9
    Original and funny movie, with good acting all round. Set on the exotic island of puerto rico our protagonist (Depp) himself is already colourful to begin with; and as to be expected during his adventures there, is surrounded by all sorts of people of the same league.

    The story builds up slowly but never gets boring, it's an intelligent way of storytelling and a fresh breeze of air in a
    movie market, mainly dominated by predictable hollywood action movies.
    It reminds me a little of the recent Woody Allen movies in that it contains a original plot, good acting and a a slow but steady storyline mixed with lot's of funny moments.
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  25. Feb 18, 2013
    6
    The Rum Diary, based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson, is definitely an homage to Thompson. Gonzo followers will find it a must-see. Having read the book a few years ago, I was looking forward to the movie. Depp, although expectedly cast, did fit well.
  26. Nov 13, 2014
    6
    "The Rum Diary" 10 Scale Rating: 6.5 (Decent) ...

    The Good: Zany and outlandish, "The Rum Diary" is entertaining from start to finish. Just like in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", Depp plays a character who is essentially Hunter S. Thompson himself and pulls it off with ease.

    The Bad: Even though you expect it from a movie like this, it seems to lack a plot at all and at times is
    flat out random. Like I said, it was entertaining ... but ... not an instant classic or remotely deep. Expand
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
  1. 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.
  2. 30
    The Rum Diary has no mighty gonzo wind. Even with a push from its Thompson-worshipping star, Johnny Depp, it leaves our freak flag limp.
  3. 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.