not for kids
Hazy, rum-soaked cult classic in the making for adults only.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie based on the 1960s novel by notorious gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson has nonstop drinking, drug use, and strong language. As in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp portrays the writer on screen, but this definitely isn't a movie for the actor's younger fans. Swearing is constant, especially "f--k," and characters drink almost obsessively. Although there's more drinking than drugs, the drugs that are used cause hallucinations. Violence comes mostly in the form of threats, but there are brief squabbles, cuts and bruises, burns, and beatings. There's also plenty of sexual innuendo and suggestions of sex, but no actual nudity. Directed by cult filmmaker Bruce Robinson, The Rum Diary has all the ingredients of a cult classic in the making, but only for adults.
- Families can talk about how the movie portrays drinking. Why do the characters drink so much? What are the consequences of their drinking and drug use? Are those consequences realistic?
- Is Paul Kemp (a.k.a. Hunter S. Thompson) a hero or a role model in this movie? What does he accomplish?
- Paul spends this movie looking for "his voice." How important is it for a writer to find that?
The good stuff
Messages: The lead character behaves rather badly at times, and he seems intrigued by the possibility of making big money through some dirty dealings, but the deeper he gets involved, the more he realizes that he needs to stand up for what's right.
Role models: On the upside, the main character is a journalist who tries to stand up to corruption and greed. But on the other hand, he drinks too much and behaves rather badly at times, and when he does make an ethical choice, it's somewhat late in the day.
What to watch for
Violence: Quite a few angry, violent threats, including a vivid, descriptive death threat. The main character spits fire (using strong alcohol) at some would-be attackers and accidentally burns a cop's face. There's a brief squabble in a nightclub, brief images of cops beating rioters, and two cockfights. The main character is seen with cuts and bruises on his face from time to time. In one sequence, bombs can be heard exploding, which creates tension. Dialogue about a man being "raped to death."
Sex: The main character flirts with a woman a great deal; there's some sly innuendo between them, and they nearly have sex but are interrupted (he removes her top, but no sensitive body parts are shown). A woman has sex with her boyfriend in the ocean, up against the side of a boat; it's seen from a distance and no nudity is shown. The main female character dances seductively in a nightclub, and a fellow dancer responds by taking off his shirt. There's strong innuendo and references to a hermaphrodite. A character has "the clap" and asks another character to have a look (nothing is shown).
Language: Almost constant foul language, including many uses of "f--k" in various permutations. Other words include "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "piss," "bastards," etc.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main characters (and most of the minor characters, too) drink very, very heavily -- even obsessively. They drink rum, beer, Scotch, champagne, and many other types of alcohol, including some kind of devilish homemade liquor (420 proof). In one scene, the two main characters also take a bizarre kind of drug that's administered like eye drops, and they both have hallucinations. Characters complain of hangovers, and an editor accuses his writers of being alcoholics.
Fan Reviews provided by
Slow, Boring, and not funny by Gigity
I came into this movie not really knowing what to expect, and left highly disappointed. It was not funny in the least and the polt was boring and dry. Don't waste your time or money.
Rum Diary by mogeyman
If you are any kind of fan of Hunter Thompson its a must see. If you're a die-hard Johnny Depp fan you'll be rewarded with a performance that's not simply dialed in. Plus, because of the subject matter and low publicity, the theater won't be crowded!
Snoring of a good time! by LBOOGIEWOOGIE
Well, not even being elevated watching this movie did it improve in any way. I hate to rate if bad only cuz I'm a Johnny fan but even his acting was or his character was a disappointment :( I agree with everyone, the story was slow hence me falling asleep a bunch of time, kept waking up hoping it would get better but nope. I still don't even know what the point of this movie was. Maybe I'll give it another chance when it's free on cable. Johnny, take my $12 as a faith of my devotion to you but you won't get another $12 for a 2nd chance. Can't wait for Pirates!
For the love of everything that's good, don't see this movie by sak473
It's dull and slow moving with no plot or point. People were walking out in the middle of the movie (and there weren't that many in the theater to begin with). This movie will be out of theaters within 2 weeks.
Rum and more Rum by Shady Bogeyman
If you are a Hunter S.T. fan,
get yer *** off the couch and go. A must see if in fact it is a real (factual) prequel and not a made for Depp story.
Either way, don't expect the Fear and Loathing freak outs,
just not there.
A c plus.
Depp his usual sterling self, the story left too many subplots hanging and was a bit slower than hoped for.
The Rum Diary by cmwlovespopcorn
We were disappointed...slow moving, a few funny moments, a few entertaining moments, and alot of so-so- moments. Thought Johnny Depp would provide a much more fulfilling movie experience. His performance was ok, the body of the film just did not deliver.We were the 1st in the theater on the opening night..and the 1st to leave at the end of the film.
Hunter Was Justified by caitlincaggiano
This was, by far, the greatest of Johnny Depp's work. I have never watched a film that had so much integrity. You can clearly see how much Johnny Depp cared to share Hunter's story. Depp loved the man & now the world knows what a great soul Hunter truly was. Depp channelled Hunter's energy perfectly. I feel as if the audience was shown a part of Hunter's soul that only Depp knew. I have always loved Johnny Depp, but after watching The Rum Diary I have a completely new respect for the man. To truly appreciate the film, one should understand the backstory. What Johnny Depp did to get this movie made is incredible. This story of a man finding his voice will never be forgotten. I hope people will give this movie a chance. They will not regret it.
Very Enjoyable! by catsinla
This story based on a novel by writer, Hunter Thompson, was well worth the money. After a big disappointment in Three Musketeers, this film leaves you very satisfied. You'll feel very much a part of the story - setting, characters, plot - and if you feel as we did at the end, you'll say you enjoyed the story. Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart and Texan, Amber Heard never looked better in contrast to the amazing acting of good friends but used up characters played Michael Rispoli and Giovanni Ribisi. It's a really good film - surprisingly!
A writer finds his voice by squane
While not as far reaching thematically as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, another film adaptation of a book by Hunter S. Thompson, the Rum Diary effectively tells the story of how a young writer finds his voice amidst racial tensions, political corruption, decadence and debauchery in 1960 Puerto Rico. The film is leisurely paced with some laugh-out-loud moments, but still has a very serious tone. A low-key but spot-on performance by Johnny Depp foreshadows his more kabuki-like interpretation of the main character in Fear & Loathing, both autobiographical representations of Thompson himself. Excellent supporting cast with standout performances from Giovanni Ribisi & Michael Rispoli. Beautifully photographed by Dariusz Wolski and director Paul Robinson puts it all together with an even tempered hand. Those expecting a typical Johnny Depp tentpole movie will be disappointed. This is filmmaking that celebrates the literary tradition as well as the visual one.
The Rum Diary by eggamaniac
As a fan of Johnny Depp I really looked forward to seeing this movie. It was to great disappointment. I am not sure how to categorize this movie, drama? comedy? action? It was all around strange. Perhaps if I had reviewed its back ground before going, I would of understood it better.
It did have its funny moments, but many of which had been featured in their promo adds of the movie. Mr Depp's acting seemed to be a bit off. Perhaps cause it was a more raw look into him without any pirate costume, weird hands or other distracting extras. It seemed like a movie without a true meaning..... There were moments where you would think the plot would come together, importance of the child he saw in car and then puff it would go onto another subject matter.
It was slow at times and seemed to have been dragged on a bit. Did not have any idea it was based on someone's life till end of the movie. It was just a bit too strange for my taste.