The Rum Diary
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Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson. Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). Sanderson is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's funny as hell in places and touchingly warm."
‑ Cath Clarke, Time Out
"Maybe Depp just doesn't want to upstage his hero."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"I'm glad Depp and Thompson were so close, and I'm sure Hunter would have been touched by the tribute. But that doesn't make it any fun for the rest of us to watch."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"Intriguing performances help The Rum Diary successfully capture the spirit of the source material -- even if the result is a scattered piece of filmmaking."
‑ Ben Kendrick, ScreenRant
"A sprawling, superficial, sporadic story that fails to live up the expectations of it's inspiration, it's star and the previous cinematic incarnations of the man."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"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
"The supporting cast of journalistic riffraff is uniformly excellent."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"An entertaining but misfired take on the formative years of famed Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson."
‑ Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground
"Perhaps this material works better as a novel, where Thompson would have been able to take his time developing each story as it occurred, but as a film, it just doesn't work."
‑ Jeff Beck,
"Feels like its been squeezed out of a tube rather than shot out of a canon."
‑ Simon Weaving, Screenwize
"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."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"There was a reason "The Rum Diary" didn't find a publisher until a late-in-life Thompson resurgence, and it's clearer still in this adaptation - there's no real drama here."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"Depp and writer-director Bruce Robinson ("Withnail & I") pack the script with pithy Hunter-isms, hurling many of Thompson's euphonious locutions at us right from the opening scene."
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"Of obvious interest to Thompson acolytes and of no obvious interest to anyone else. As a fan of Thompson and Robinson, I enjoyed the film's laid-back shagginess."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"For the most part, it's just plodding along with the occasional dash of humour."
‑ Matthew Toomey, ABC Radio Brisbane
More reviews for The Rum Diary on Rotten Tomatoes

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