Rent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rent Reviews

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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 21, 2005
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.
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December 8, 2005
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.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 29, 2005
The film captures the beautiful spirit and the raw energy of Larson's play, and it respects the wonderful, gorgeous, life-affirming music.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 28, 2005
RENT is mediocre and recommended only to those who can claim a familiarity with the play.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Houston Chronicle
November 28, 2005
A mediocre, unimaginative, inefficient filmmaker, Columbus delivers a Rent that isn't so much bad as perfunctory.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 28, 2005
As directed by Columbus, Jonathan Larson's East Village reworking of 'La Boheme' in the age of AIDS retains its calisthenic pathos, as well as most of its original cast, but you'd have to be a real Rent-Head to envisage Academy Awards in its future.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
November 23, 2005
Director Chris Columbus has done what any smart filmmaker would do with a musical and let the songs dictate his movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 23, 2005
Most of the musical numbers aren't stylized (a natty tango number is an exception) but based in a Hollywood-gritty reality that at times feels silly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 23, 2005
The scourge of rock-opera, a musical mutation that manages to combine the least savory elements of both with the advantages of neither.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 23, 2005
If nothing else, the movie reveals Jonathan Larson's musical to be an illuminating time capsule of a wild period immediately before and after the scourge of AIDS.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 23, 2005
In terms of its music and lyrics Rent flickers more than it flames.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 23, 2005
They're saying Rent was of its moment. They're saying that moment has passed. So the point of making the movie is . . . ?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 23, 2005
Rent takes to the streets of New York and convulses in song and dance for nearly two solid hours.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Christine Dolen
Miami Herald
November 23, 2005
Now a vastly larger audience has the chance to experience the masterwork of a prodigiously talented man who died far too young.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 23, 2005
Although Larson supposedly based Rent on people he knew, the whole enterprise feels as shallow, impersonal and opportunistic as one of those Hollywood action blockbusters designed to be easily translated into other languages and cultural idiom.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 23, 2005
The music and direction feel generic but the cast deserves credit for squeezing every possible drop of emotion out of the material.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 23, 2005
Time has been kind to the impoverished but sexy middle-class dropouts of Rent, who no longer come off as Broadway-mall versions of the last urban renegades in America.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 23, 2005
Rent is still Rent, and devotees should adore it while haters will hate it (there are, apparently, plenty of both).
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 23, 2005
Too often seems like a late-season American Idol episode that's all Abdul encouragement without any Simon snarkiness.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 23, 2005
Columbus should be credited for preserving the showstopping vigor of a stage production that was stronger on oomph than on depth.
Read More | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 23, 2005
Rent falls betwixt and between the odd intimacy of theater and the glorious bigness of film -- and vice versa.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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November 23, 2005
I've never seen the stage musical Rent, but the movie had me at hello.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 23, 2005
Yes, Rent is about penniless artists who can't afford to eat or pay their electric bills. But must their straits extend to the threadbare filmmaking, too?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Lawson
Arizona Republic
November 23, 2005
If Rent works -- and most of the time, it does so flawlessly -- it is because it remains Rent.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 23, 2005
Rent is commodified faux bohemia on a platter, eliciting the same kind of numbing soul-sadness as children's beauty pageants, tiny dogs in expensive boots, Mahatma Gandhi in Apple ads.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
November 23, 2005
Those who have an enduring affection for Rent should enjoy the film, at least on a nostalgia level.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 23, 2005
Rent showcases the hipster trend of getting nostalgic about grime and crime: it's slumtimental.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mike Clark
USA Today
November 23, 2005
Stage original Taye Diggs, playing an erstwhile friend turned evictor, actually made a stronger screen impression in Malibu's Most Wanted.
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Jorge Morales
Village Voice
November 23, 2005
Rent is about as timely now as Gigi.
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Nelson Pressley
Washington Post
November 23, 2005
Onstage, Rent is a series of power surges, but in the movie the songs leave you flat.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 23, 2005
There's still something staid and doggedly stagebound about this Rent, a reluctance to set out for someplace unique and engage the audience on purely cinematic terms.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 23, 2005
Chris Columbus's film affirms that Rent belongs in the pantheon of immortal musicals celebrating the self-dramatizing and resilient spirit of youth.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 23, 2005
Those who haven't seen Rent on the stage will sense they're missing something, and they are.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Melinda Ennis
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 23, 2005
The movie makes the story accessible to everyone, without diminishing the musical's revolutionary, youthful heart.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 22, 2005
Whatever qualities powered Rent to its numerous theater awards and long run onstage are missing from this charmless floperetta.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 22, 2005
No amount of confident theatrical pedigree will carry a movie musical in the wrong directorial hands.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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David Rooney
Variety
November 21, 2005
Chris Columbus has pasted the grungy La Boheme update onto film with slavish respect for the original material but a shortage of stylistic imagination and raw emotions.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 21, 2005
Rent is one of the best film musicals in years -- exuberant, sexy and life affirming in equal measure.