Critic Reviews



Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
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.
Arizona Republic
You also get drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. By the time the movie is half over, you'll feel hungover.
The result is a subpar comic adventure that's nonetheless admirable for its restrained vision of Thompson in his early gestation period.
Orlando Sentinel
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.
You can't deny the fun of seeing Depp retro-construct a muted version of his Vegas mugging like De Niro riffing on Brando's Don Corleone. (His reaction to swigging homemade rum is worth the price of admission alone.)
The Rum Diary remains a relatively mild diversion, not at all unpleasant but neither compelling nor convulsive.
Slant Magazine
The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson's amorphous hodgepodge of a film, wants to be many things: period recreation, social commentary, morality play, romance, an insider look at the newspaper game.
Village Voice
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.
Johnny Depp is dismally miscast as the alter ego of the rebellious author with the "screw you" attitude.
To the audience, this stuff seems like awfully old news. We're supposed to be witnessing the birth of a great journalist, but Hunter S. Thompson, as his career went on, got swallowed up by his mystique as an outlaw of excess. In The Rum Diary, that myth becomes an excuse for a movie to go slumming.

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