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 … 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


as Mark Cohen

as Roger Davis

as Mimi Marquez

as Tom Collins

as Angel Schunard

as Maureen Johnson

as Joanne Jefferson

as Benjamin Coffin III

as Alexi Darling

as Rent Tenant

as Rent Tenant

as Mrs. Jefferson

as Homeless Squeegee Ma...

as Mr. Jefferson

as Thug

as Homeless Man on Rang...

as Blanket Woman

as The Man

as Steve

as Gordon

as April's Friend

as Floor Dancer

as Floor Dancer

as Guy at Bar

as Floor Dancer

as Punk in Park

as Floor Dancer

as Punk in Park

as Floor Dancer

as Floor Dancer

as Floor Dancer

as Cat Scratch Floor Da...

as Cat Scratch Floor Da...

as Cat Scratch Waitress

as Cat Scratch Waitress

as Subway Punk

as Subway Punk

as Subway Punk

as Subway Passenger

as Subway Passenger

as Subway Passenger

as Subway Grad Student

as Subway Man

as Subway Stockbroker

as Subway Stockbroker

as Slightly Older Subwa...

as Subway Businesswoman

as Street Vendor Who Se...

as Riot Cop

as Life Cafe Manager

as Life Cafe Waiter

as Bohemian

as Bohemian

as Mr Hansen

as Receptionist

as Mr Johnson

as Mrs Johnson

as Female Bartender at ...

as Candy Striper

as Mourner

as Angel's Grandmother

as Angel's Sister

as Used Car Salesman

as Pawn Shop Dealer

as Mrs Cohen

as Mr Cohen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Rent

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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)
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– Submitted by Matt G (3 years ago)

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