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The Rum Diary (2011)

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American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.



(screenplay), (novel)
4,192 ( 262)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Lustig ...
Tisuby González ...
Natalia Rivera ...


Hard-drinking journalist Paul Kemp takes a job at a besieged newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His volatile editor, Lotterman, assigns him to tourist pieces and horoscopes, but promises more. Paul rooms with Sala, an aging and equally alcoholic reporter, in a rundown flat. Sanderson, a wealthy entrepreneur, hires Paul to flack for a group of investors who plan to buy an island near the capital and build a resort. Sanderson's girl-friend, the beguiling Chenault, bats her eyes at Paul. His loyalties face challenges when he and Sala get in trouble with locals, when a Carnival dance enrages Sanderson, and when the paper hits the skids. Is the solution always alcohol? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Absolutely Nothing in Moderation See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief drug use and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

28 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diary  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,135,369 (USA) (28 October 2011)


$13,100,042 (USA) (16 December 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Sanderson introduces Paul Kemp to Chenault, he asks if they've met before. Kemp says they might have met on the plane. In the original novel, Kemp first meets Chenault on the plane to San Juan. See more »


The red airplane in the opening sequence is a 1974 Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub (tail number N8991Y). However, the Super Cub was relatively unchanged from 1949 to 1994. See more »


[from trailer]
Paul Kemp: We'll nail this bastard to his own front door.
See more »


Follows Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) See more »


Sin Ti
Written by Pepe Guízar
Performed by Xanadu Ensemble Band
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

does not mix well, read the book instead.
6 April 2014 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

Depp is Journalist Paul Kemp who arrives in Puerto Rico to write for the The San Juan Star. Kemp Immerses himself in the island's rum-soaked lifestyle, Aaron Eckhart is the shady property developer who recruits Kemp to write favourable things about his latest scheme, and it's down to the journalist to take the money or the moral high ground... 'The Rum Diary has loads of attractive elements the director 'Bruce Robinson responsible for 'Withnail & i' the beautiful setting, the excellent and faultless production design.

The Tagline reads ''One part outrage. One part justice. Three parts rum. Mix well''. sadly this does not mix well, the screen adaptation of the late Hunter S. Thompson does hold one's attention with a superb cast Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi and Amber Heard. the film would have been a far better experience if they perhaps were given a longer running time, the book was excellent but this adaptation is rather rushed, perhaps the cutting room floor has a lot to answer for?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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