Who's in It:
Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich, Rosamund Pike
The Basics: John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester, was a 17th-century poet who drank and dallied his way into a nasty case of incurable syphilis and then, of course, death. You'll be waiting with serious anticipation for that moment in this big dull drag of a movie because that way you'll know it's almost over.
What's the Deal? So they tease you with this title, The Libertine, and you think, "Yeah, Johnny Depp's gonna get all crazy!" But then the whole movie is about his downfall, a sluts-get-what-they-deserve death by sores and boils and blindness, and you wonder if there will ever be a movie made in which the 24-Hour Party People get to just have a good time and not die or learn important moral lessons about how to keep it in their pants. It's like Sunday school at the art house.
Sickly Cam: To hammer the point home visually, the entire film is shot in shades of gray and green. Everyone looks vomitous, like they just got off the Tilt-a-Whirl.
What's Kind of Awesome About It Even Though It's Super-Boring and Dreary: There's a weird fantasy sequence in which lots of people have an orgy in a tree, which is hilarious. Then there's Depp's syphilis makeup, which is as good as any horror movie monster face you've seen recently. You get the feeling that he sat in the makeup chair every morning saying, "More sores. Make me look grosser, please."
Rosamund Pike Goes Three for Three: She's basically unknown in this country, but she's pretty great here, just like she was in Pride and Prejudice and, of all things, Doom. So watch out for her. Meanwhile, Samantha Morton gets a whole lot of not much to do.