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Rent (2005)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 170
Fresh: 78
Rotten: 92

Critics Consensus: Fans of the stage musical may forgive Rent its flaws, but weak direction, inescapable staginess and an irritating faux-boho pretension prevent the film from connecting on screen.

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 15
Rotten: 23

Critics Consensus: Fans of the stage musical may forgive Rent its flaws, but weak direction, inescapable staginess and an irritating faux-boho pretension prevent the film from connecting on screen.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 340,290


Movie Info

This film adaptation of the Broadway musical based loosely on Puccini's opera La Bohème features many members of the original cast. It follows a year in the lives of seven friends living the disappearing Bohemian lifestyle in New York's East Village. AIDS and both its physical and emotional complications pervade the lives of Roger (Adam Pascal), Mimi (Rosario Dawson), Tom (Jesse L. Martin), and Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia); Maureen (Idina Menzel) deals with her chronic infidelity through … More

PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving drugs and sexuality, and for some strong language)
Romance , Musical & Performing Arts , Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Feb 21, 2006
Box Office:
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Rent

All Critics (187) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (92) | DVD (22)

The movie, directed without a personal stamp of any kind by Chris Columbus, is so slick that the grime comes from a spray can and the grungy bohemian costumes look rented from a Betsey Johnson boutique sale.

December 21, 2005
New York Observer
Top Critic

It's real -- and, on screen, it's really cringe-worthy. Not quite Phantom of the Opera cringe-worthy, but not as much fun to blow raspberries at, either.

Full Review… | December 8, 2005
Top Critic

The film captures the beautiful spirit and the raw energy of Larson's play, and it respects the wonderful, gorgeous, life-affirming music.

Full Review… | November 29, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

RENT is mediocre and recommended only to those who can claim a familiarity with the play.

Full Review… | November 28, 2005
Top Critic

As strong as the music is, there's not much tying Rent together; it's a series of sequences, not a story.

Full Review… | April 25, 2011

A TV-special metallic ring hangs over the whole production, skimming surfaces without touching emotion

Full Review… | September 1, 2009

If a bunch of models living in a huge apartment without income is America, then I live in Bizarro World...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

film, za razliku od predstave, daleko bolje isti%u010De jednodimenzionalnost i neuvjerljivost likova

Full Review… | June 22, 2007

Recommended, but only for shut-ins who can't make it to a local live theater production of the play.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Upstage Magazine

Crafted with obvious care and deep love by director Chris Columbus and his team.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

For all the big themes Rent deals with -- love, death, injustice, community -- it still seems a bit superficial

October 2, 2006
Christianity Today

Fans of the original stage production won't be disappointed, but as a film it's frequently tedious and way too long.

Full Review… | April 6, 2006

Beautiful cinematography and great acting assure an enjoyable experience for fans of the musical, but there are better options for people who don't already love it.

Full Review… | March 8, 2006

Fans of the original might greet this adaptation with mixed emotions, while curious newcomers are left with an earnest but ultimately pointless big-screen byproduct.

Full Review… | February 21, 2006
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

It comes off like a sequel to the ever-annoying Fame where the kids never moved out of New York or learned anything from Debbie Allen.

Full Review… | January 15, 2006

Even more universally entertaining than "Chicago"....the performances are'll be definitely humming some of its tunes in the car ride home

January 3, 2006

Despite my frustration at the willful stupidity of some of the main characters, I had to just sit back and let all that beautiful singing wash over me.

Full Review… | December 23, 2005

If you are a fan of the show, you will very likely enjoy the film.

Full Review… | December 22, 2005
IGN Movies

The play may have felt fresh nearly ten years ago, but the film version is about as edgy as Pat Boone covering Nirvana.

Full Review… | December 22, 2005
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

What we're left with, in place of directorial pizzazz, is the sheer impact of the original show.

December 15, 2005

Rent features an attractive cast, sharp lyrics, bright music and a storyline that has passed muster for over 100 years

Full Review… | December 14, 2005
Atlantic City Weekly

People are always jumping up on tables, bartops, any flat surface available, as if to say 'Who needs nice furniture? Let's scuff the world!'

Full Review… | December 8, 2005
Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)

Audience Reviews for Rent


At one point in time, I would have said that I would probably go my whole life without ever watching this film adaptation of one of the longest running and most popular Broadway musicals of all time, that is also loosely based on the opera La Boheme. What changed all that? Well, this film is one of the favorites of my most recent ex, and, during our time together I had her watch several of my favorite films, so why not be fair and watch some of hers.

And, surprisingly, I actually kinda liked this, and more than I thought I would.

The story, set in 1989/1990 New York concerns a group of friends struggling to eek out an existence in the Bohemian neighborhood of Alphabet City. Besides being a bunch of hipstery artists and creative types, what unites these people is their shared struggles with poverty, and, in some cases, addiction recovery, and the AIDS epidemic. Pretty grim stuff for a musical, but obviously it has worked.

When this film adaptation was announced, I vaguely remember a lot of people getting irked because not only were they making it PG-13, but it was being director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, the first two Harry Potter films). Still, even then, it got a decent reception, even with some pretty mixed views as well.

When it came to pass that I finally saw this, I tried to be open minded about it, both in general, and because I'm a good guy and a great boyfriend.

And yeah, I ended up actually kinda liking it. Ganted, it's overlong, and yeah, with Columbus directing it, it is a very shiny, pretty movie that downplays a lot of the grimness and grittier stuff, but even then it still manages to get the point across .I do think this would be an even better and stronger work if it was darker, grittier, and more streamlined, but that's how I would feel no matter who directed it.

As for the music, it's good. Very contemporary Broadway show tunes style, but I expected that. Sometimes it gets a bit rock operaish, which is cool, but it's mostly very popish. In my ideal version, it'd have more of an edgier rock presence, but whatever.

The cast (almost all of whom are reprising their roles from the stage) are terrific, really nailing both the singing and the characters and their chemistry with one another. Again, since most of them are reprisals, it was expected, but nevertheless cool. As for the new people (like Rosario), they do fine too. No real complaints here.

In my review for Frozen, I mentioned how the music was very Broadway show tuneish, something I shouldn't be too surprised about since Idina Menzel features prominently in both.

The set pieces are well done, the subject matter is still relatable and relevant, and this movie gives you a lot to chew on.

The cinematography is pretty decent, and I recall at least one well executed long take, but a lot of it just feels like a filmed version of a play, which, depending on how you feel, is either good or bad. For me it depends on the thing in question, but here, I kinda wished it was less stagy, as that keeps the fiom from ultimately being it's own thing.

All in all, I ended up liking this a hell of a lot more than I ever thought I would. Yeah, it's not really my thing, and I think it is kinda overrated, but a lot of it just comes down to personal preferences with aesthetics. Yeah, it should be a lot less pretty and watered down, but at least they still get the point across.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Life-affirming and sexy-fun :~P There was much criticism about reuniting the now thirty-something original Broadway cast to play twenty-somethings, but I rather prefer the older cast because now, their lack of jobs seems to come from a wiser, existential place, rather than a lazy, youths in revolt place. The deleted number "Good Bye Love" is melancholic, and the alternate ending with Angel's encore appearance is so much better than the gang crowding around Mark's lame single-shot "film."

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

RENT is, all in all, truly lovable. I listened to the soundtrack to the Broadway musical after I watched this, and I realized immediately that a good chunk of the music was cut out and transformed into dialogue (i.e. the argument at the café which ends in the waiter telling Mark that he could not pay for his coffee last time he visited the café), but, defensively, that makes the film more cinematic.

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer


In trying to let the classic songs and the classic story speak for themselves, Chris Columbus' direction comes off as totally uninspired and boring. Despite this the movie succeeds because the songs are classic and so is the touching and timeless story. The actors are all too old for the roles, but since they originated them it's nothing but natural. "Rent" is an iconic musical with an important message.

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

Rent Quotes

Joanne Jefferson:
Be wise, 'cause this girl satisfies. You got a prize? Well don't compromise, you're one lucky baby.
– Submitted by Beatrice O (2 years ago)
Mark Cohen:
Time flys; time dies. Glory.
– Submitted by Mason P (2 years ago)
Mimi Marquez:
There's only us, there's only this. Forget regret. Or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today.
– Submitted by Matt G (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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