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Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on the early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, "The Rum Diary" tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalists Paul Kemp. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of PuertoBased on the early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, "The Rum Diary" tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalists Paul Kemp. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, "The San Juan Star," run by downtrodden editor Lotterman. Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault, the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancee of Sanderson, a businessman involved in shady property development deals, is on of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy. When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmen's financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down. (FilmDistrict) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  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: Connie Ogle
    Oct 27, 2011
    75
    A big, rambling, entertaining love letter to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 27, 2011
    60
    In every move, Depp makes you believe this was a passion project for the actor, one he dedicates to Thompson.
  6. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 27, 2011
    50
    That the movie is leisurely and unconventional is all part of its charm, too - until it isn't anymore. The movie is a tale of corruption, but then it's not. It's a love story, but no, not quite. Later, it flirts with becoming a great journalism tale, or at least a whimsical journalism tale, but that vein leads nowhere, too. Nor is it much of anything else.
  7. 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.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 6 out of 27
  1. 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,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
  2. 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 theId 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...
    Expand
  3. 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. HavingThe 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. Expand
  4. 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 ratherYes, 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 ;) Expand
  5. 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 heJohnny 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
  6. 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 aHorribly 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!!!!! Expand

See all 27 User Reviews

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