The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary

3.2 185 Ratings

Directed by : Bruce Robinson

Release Date :

  • Critics Rating 2.3/5
  • MJ Rating 2.5/5
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Paul Kemp is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean. Paul is challenged on many levels as he tries to carve out a more secure niche for himself amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction.


“Fantastic screenplay, powerful performances and funny dialogues overpower the slow, half-baked storyline of this Johnny Depp movie. An enjoyable watch!”

The Rum Diary Credit & Casting

Johnny Depp


Cast (in credits order)

The Rum Diary Audience Review

Never Judge a Movie by its Book

Rated 1.5 / 5

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Director Bruce Robinson hadnt directed a film in nineteen years and had been sober for six and a half years before he took this project in hand as writer and director. Unfortunately that old menace of writers block struck and he hit the bottle again, harder than ever this time around only to run dry again once he had hammered out the script. Wonder if that is a good enough excuse for this excuse of a script, was it the drinking or the desperation to sober up again that caused Mr. Robinson to crank out a script that seems to waddle around like a sloshed man aware of the fact that he has to get home but cant seem to figure out the road or the footpath. There is something of everything in here, except the genius or the spirit of the man who was responsible for the book that the movie is based off and the inspiration for countless writers around the world.

The story is about Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp), a washed up American journalist who moves to Puerto Rico and starts writing for a local newspaper only to be seduced by the booze and the boobs of this exotic land, not to mention an unscrupulous businessman, Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) who wants Kemp to write things that shine a more positive light on his illegal endeavors. Sandersons fianc, Chenault (Amber Heard) becomes Kemps object of desire, while he sinks lower and lower into a pit of decadence. Is there light at the end of this long tunnel for Kemp, is there some sort of awakening?

Like I pointed out earlier, the script flounders around like a drunk, unsure of how to get to its destination. The main points of the story arch are laid out way before, such is the predictability; but I wouldnt necessarily watch a movie with Johnny Depp & rum for the story now, would I? Unfortunately while the man could have hammered home yet another unforgettable character he just sleepwalks through a role that has none of the energy or spark that seem in such abundance in most of his performances. The dialogues which are supposed to be witty come off as rather perfunctory and unimpressive. Gags often get reduced to slapstick and drama to clichs. If not for Giovanni Ribisis turn as a burnt out journalist and Amber Heards captivating smile, Id be mighty bored in this movie.

Give it a miss, go out and grab a bottle of Old Monk and pop in a DVD of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and just sit back and let the craziness take you in.