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 HowellFull Review
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 EdelsteinFull Review
Maybe Depp just doesn't want to upstage his hero.
-Peter RainerFull Review
The supporting cast of journalistic riffraff is uniformly excellent.
-Liam LaceyFull Review
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 WhittyFull Review
The Rum Diary is too muted to convey the intensity that propelled Thompson past most of the other magazine feature writers of his boozy era.
-Mark JenkinsFull Review
The Rum Diary is a woozy mess that should never have made it to theaters. But then, it stars Johnny Depp, so it did.
-Tom LongFull Review
It flirts with becoming a great journalism tale, or at least a whimsical journalism tale, but that vein leads nowhere, too. Nor is it much of anything else, except a disordered ramble through Thompson's creative imagination.
-Mick LaSalleFull Review
Depp adroitly captures the "gonzo" spirit of the journalist/author/ingester of many substances.
-Claudia PuigFull Review
Paul may be played by one of the most charismatic actors alive, but for the most part, he is just another boozy hack.
-Kyle SmithFull Review
"The Rum Diary" exudes a cheery, beery sense of warmth and affection.
-Ann HornadayFull Review
The juice that powers "The Rum Diary" has very little to do with the title drink, and almost everything to do with Johnny Depp looking happily intoxicated to play a real character again.
-Joe NeumaierFull Review
We have some fun with it, but you can tell the actors (not to mention the characters) are having a lot more fun than we are.
-Eric D. SniderFull Review
A mild lark disguised as a wild bender, "The Rum Diary" is also a touching tribute to Thompson himself, who committed suicide in 2005.
-A.O. ScottFull Review
There are some good things including a great soundtrack and strong performances from the likes of Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Rispoli, but it is a disappointing and overlong affair.
-Laurence BoyceFull Review
In every move, Depp makes you believe this was a passion project for the actor, one he dedicates to Thompson.
-Betsy SharkeyFull Review
A literal-mindedness about Hunter S. Thompson's metaphors infuses the film: scary Puerto Rican natives threaten Paul and Salas during their wild nights, rich white men look overstuffed in their wicker chair.
-Cynthia FuchsFull Review
At best diverting, at worst drearily conventional, The Rum Diary is pre-gonzo Thompson. But the seeds are there, ready to yield a harvest of fear and loathing.
-Peter TraversFull Review
[D]isappointingly unengaging... [F]eels sadly quaint from our perspective today, half a century into the journo-zombie infopocalypse...
-MaryAnn JohansonFull Review
"The Rum Diary'' has been retroactively Hunter S. Thompson-ized. And not for the better.
-Ty BurrFull Review
If the end result doesn't quite manage to stir up the indignation Robinson obviously intends, it's still a creditable and very likeable offering.
-Trevor JohnstonFull Review
What's missing is a sense of dramatic urgency. The film is a colorful travelogue unsure of where it's going.
-Colin CovertFull Review
It is just disappointing - sadly not interesting or funny enough.
-Roz LawsFull Review
Jazzy and colorful, full of men and women in swell clothes driving cool cars, The Rum Diary has a bit of a seedily exotic Graham Greene vibe, and Robinson moves things along at a nice, casual clip, even in the film's more overheated moments.
-Steven ReaFull Review
It's not until the close that Depp as Thompson's screen surrogate finally uncorks the cascading darkly comic poetic rage that he would go on to direct against the world's 'bastards', but by then it's too late to set the movie on fire.
-Jason BestFull Review
There are times when the story behind the making of a film is more interesting than the finished product. This is one of those occasions.
-James BerardinelliFull Review
There are colorful moments in 'The Rum Diary,' but they don't jell together. It feels more like a 1st episode than a movie.
-Jeff BayerFull Review
Depp stares off into space, as if his brain were being slowly eaten by worms, and he speaks in a robo-monotone. You could call his acting ''cool,'' but a more apt description would be monochromatic and hollow.
-Owen GleibermanFull Review
It's a smart, good-looking adaptation - if nothing else, proof that Robinson deserves more directing work - but just a bit too sober to truly excite.
-Mike McCahillFull Review