FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: The Rum Diary

Depp as the younger Hunter S. Thompson
By ANN LEWINSON  |  October 25, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars



It's 1960 and Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is a young writer who has blundered his way into a job at the San Juan Star, an English-language newspaper on its last legs. Assigned to horoscopes and fleabag lodgings with a photographer (Michael Rispoli), his rooster, and a bedraggled weirdo (Giovanni Ribisi) who distills what he claims is 470 proof rum, Paul finds his writing voice on this island of bowling alleys, duty-free shops, and off-shore banks, thanks to the come-ons of a shady developer (Aaron Eckhart) and his first acid trip. It's neat seeing Depp, more than a decade after his balding Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as the younger Hunter S. Thompson, softening mannerisms later made brittle with cocaine, even if the performance is all surface. Writer-director Bruce Robinson has rewritten Thompson's autobiographical novel in the inebriated-buddy image of his Withnail and I; his dialogue is wickedly quotable, his moral outrage unabashed.

  Topics: Reviews , opinion, writing, English,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ANN LEWINSON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: TABU  |  February 13, 2013
    F.W. Murnau's indelible Tabu (1931), a last gasp of the silent era about young lovers cast out of their Polynesian paradise, gets a postcolonial gloss in Portuguese filmmaker (and former film critic) Miguel Gomes's similarly two-part meta-movie.
  •   REVIEW: GANGSTER SQUAD  |  January 10, 2013
    In the history of Hollywood violence, Gangster Squad scored a footnote when it was pulled from a September release, after the Aurora shooting for a scene in which gangsters machine-gunned their way through the Grauman's Chinese Theatre screen.
  •   REVIEW: RED DAWN  |  November 21, 2012
    High-school football players trade Friday-night lights for AK-47s when North Korea invades Spokane in this remake of John Milius's 1984 hit, whose rallying cry is no longer "freedom" but "family."
  •   REVIEW: CHASING MAVERICKS  |  October 31, 2012
    Directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted, who took over after the former suffered complications from heart surgery, Chasing Mavericks is fair family fare.
  •   REVIEW: THE LONELIEST PLANET  |  October 31, 2012
    Nica (Hani Furstenberg) and Alex (Gael García Bernal) are fit and fearless adventurers backpacking through Georgia's Caucasus Mountains until a split-second lapse of judgment calls everything they took for granted into question.

 See all articles by: ANN LEWINSON