Rent (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rent (2005)



Critic 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.

Movie Info

In New York's East Village, a group of bohemians struggle to express themselves through their art and strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness and the AIDS epidemic. Roger is an aspiring songwriter who has emotionally shut down after his girlfriend's suicide. Despite his attraction, he is reluctant to start a new romance with his downstairs neighbor Mimi Marquez, an exotic dancer struggling with "baggage of her own." Roger's roommate Mark is a filmmaker trying to balance art and commerce. His girlfriend Maureen, a self-indulgent performance artist, recently left him for a lawyer named Joanne. Also part of this close-knit circle is Tom Collins, a professor of philosophy who, after being mugged, is rescued by his soul mate, a high-spirited street drummer, Angel Shunard. Benny, who alienated his friends after he married their landlord's daughter, has reneged on his promise to provide rent-free artist space to his bohemian friends. Once a close friend, he is now viewed as the enemy, threatening them with eviction.more
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving drugs and sexuality, and for some strong language)
Genre: Romance, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Stephen Chbosky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 21, 2006
Box Office: $29.1M
Sony Pictures - Official Site


Anthony Rapp
as Mark Cohen
Adam Pascal
as Roger Davis
Rosario Dawson
as Mimi Marquez
Jesse L. Martin
as Tom Collins
Idina Menzel
as Maureen Johnson
Tracie Thoms
as Joanne Jefferson
Taye Diggs
as Benjamin Coffin III
Sarah Silverman
as Alexi Darling
Julia Roth
as Rent Tenant
Porscha Radcliffe
as Rent Tenant
Anna Deavere Smith
as Mrs. Jefferson
Stephen Payne
as Homeless Squeegee Ma...
Darryl Edwards
as Mr. Jefferson
David Fine
as Homeless Man on Rang...
Aisha de Haas
as Blanket Woman
Jason Foster
as The Man
Eleanor Columbus
as April's Friend
Sharon Ferrol-Young
as Floor Dancer
Liz Ramos
as Floor Dancer
Matthew McCollum
as Guy at Bar
Kristin Medwick
as Floor Dancer
Brendan Columbus
as Punk in Park
Katie Weber
as Floor Dancer
Austin Shea
as Punk in Park
Angela McConnell
as Floor Dancer
Feleciana Stevenson
as Floor Dancer
Kim Williams
as Floor Dancer
Sharon Ferrol
as Cat Scratch Floor Da...
Jamielyn Duggin
as Cat Scratch Floor Da...
Damia Foti
as Cat Scratch Waitress
Laura Padierne
as Cat Scratch Waitress
Michael Rosales
as Subway Punk
Niyuk Hairell
as Subway Punk
Larissa Kierman
as Subway Punk
Marco De La Cruz
as Subway Passenger
Ericka Harden
as Subway Passenger
Truc Luong
as Subway Passenger
Megan Biolchini
as Subway Grad Student
Nick Scoggin
as Subway Man
John C. Champion
as Subway Stockbroker
Titus West
as Subway Stockbroker
Renda Pettis
as Slightly Older Subwa...
Alison De Oliveira
as Subway Businesswoman
Chris Chalk
as Street Vendor Who Se...
Cory DuVal
as Riot Cop
Coren Rosey
as Life Cafe Manager
Shaun Earl
as Life Cafe Waiter
Gigi Hunter
as Bohemian
Kevin Stea
as Bohemian
Rod Arrants
as Mr Hansen
Jennifer Siebel
as Receptionist
Kevin Blackton
as Mr Johnson
Bettina Devin
as Mrs Johnson
Corinne Blum
as Female Bartender at ...
Annie Barnathan
as Candy Striper
Emily Rahe
as Mourner
Vivis Colombetti
as Angel's Grandmother
Nicole Cherie Flores
as Angel's Sister
James Anthony Cotton
as Used Car Salesman
James Cranna
as Pawn Shop Dealer
Randy Graff
as Mrs Cohen
Joel Sweto
as Mr Cohen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Rent

Critic Reviews for Rent

All Critics (187) | Top Critics (44)

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

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

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


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

– Submitted by Beatrice O (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Mason P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Matt G (4 years ago)

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