The Rum Diary Reviews

  • Depp stares off into space, as if his brain were being slowly eaten by worms, and he speaks in a robo-monotone. You could call his acting ''cool,'' but a more apt description would be monochromatic and hollow.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • A mild lark disguised as a wild bender, "The Rum Diary" is also a touching tribute to Thompson himself, who committed suicide in 2005.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • Depp adroitly captures the "gonzo" spirit of the journalist/author/ingester of many substances.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • "The Rum Diary" exudes a cheery, beery sense of warmth and affection.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • "The Rum Diary'' has been retroactively Hunter S. Thompson-ized. And not for the better.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • The Rum Diary could use a shot of the mania that fueled Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. As deadpan as he is, Depp could use a crazed Benicio Del Toro to complement his cool.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • The juice that powers "The Rum Diary" has very little to do with the title drink, and almost everything to do with Johnny Depp looking happily intoxicated to play a real character again.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • It's too bad a similar level of thought didn't go into having the screenplay do more with the material than simply place it on-screen.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • 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.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • The undertaking was a labor of love. The results are more a labor of "like, in parts," but they certainly don't resemble anything else on screen at the moment.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Despite some scattered moments of bad craziness involving the hero and his drinking buddies, the spine of the story is no strange and terrible saga but a conventional morality tale.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • 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.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • What's missing is a sense of dramatic urgency. The film is a colorful travelogue unsure of where it's going.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • The Rum Diary is a woozy mess that should never have made it to theaters. But then, it stars Johnny Depp, so it did.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • An imperfect portrait of what so often is overlooked when it comes to Thompson: his writing, and his obsessive dedication to it.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • [It] was made three years ago, shelved in some musty editing room where unreleasable movies go, and looks it. The dust still shows.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

  • The film as a whole is best appreciated as a succession of richly rendered moods, plenty stimulating in the moment but rarely coalescing into something greater.

    Justin Chang — Variety

  • Paul may be played by one of the most charismatic actors alive, but for the most part, he is just another boozy hack.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • Writer/director Robinson is anything but disciplined... and he's more inclined to just turn the camera on and let Depp do his thing. Which Depp does very well, but as talented and watchable as he is, even he can't completely save the picture.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • We have some fun with it, but you can tell the actors (not to mention the characters) are having a lot more fun than we are.

    Eric D. Snider — Film.com

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