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 Lucy_fan
This was a "GO" for me from the get-go! I am a huge fan of all things in the quirky-Johnny Depp "genre" and, given the cult-following of Hunter S. Thompson, I loved the tie-in there, as well.
Seemed to be a well-acted, character-driven movie, although the female lead, while beautiful, was probably the most poorly portrayed. Of course, eye-candy is always a necessity but her role seemed to be all over the place and left me cold. LOVED Giovanni Ribisi's character and he's always been an interesting actor to me from waaaay back to occasional "Friends" episodes!!
An acquired taste, but if you're a fan, this is worth seeing!
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.
Good Movie... by CBritain
Rum Diary is a good movie...It had some great moments of humor. The actors were great!!! There is a sex scene but it is done very tastefully. I wouldn't bringThe scenery was gorgeous!!! I want to visit Puerto Rico some day!!!
Rum Diary!! It's great by kimponyexpress
I loved it. Knowing how Johnny felt about Hunter this was truly a "love story" dedicated to Hunter. What was also great was that I was there in Puerto Rico when they were filming and spent 7 days being there and part of this project.
The humor is right on.. My theater, everyone "got it"
Well done Mr. Depp!
Rum diary by BScoper
It was dull, boring and had no real story. I enjoy Johnny Depp but he could not save this movie. Save your money and don't waste your time.