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.



Total Count: 173


Audience Score

User Ratings: 341,048
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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.

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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 Man
Darryl Edwards
as Mr. Jefferson
David Fine
as Homeless Man on Range Rover
Aisha de Haas
as Blanket Woman
Jason Foster
as The Man
Eleanor Columbus
as April's Friend
Sharon Ferrol-Young
as Floor Dancer
Matthew McCollum
as Guy at Bar
Liz Ramos
as Floor Dancer
Kristin Medwick
as Floor Dancer
Katie Weber
as Floor Dancer
Brendan Columbus
as Punk in Park
Angela McConnell
as Floor Dancer
Austin Shea
as Punk in Park
Feleciana Stevenson
as Floor Dancer
Kim Williams
as Floor Dancer
Sharon Ferrol
as Cat Scratch Floor Dancer
Jamielyn Duggin
as Cat Scratch Floor Dancer
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 Subway Woman
Alison De Oliveira
as Subway Businesswoman
Chris Chalk
as Street Vendor Who Sells Coats
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 Engagement Party
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
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Critic Reviews for Rent

All Critics (173) | Top Critics (38)

  • High hopes, flat results.

    Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 21, 2005

    Rex Reed

    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.

    Dec 8, 2005 | Full Review…

    David Edelstein

    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.

    Nov 29, 2005
  • RENT is mediocre and recommended only to those who can claim a familiarity with the play.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A mediocre, unimaginative, inefficient filmmaker, Columbus delivers a Rent that isn't so much bad as perfunctory.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/4
    Houston Chronicle
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rent

  • Jul 31, 2017
    Nothing rings true in this insufferable musical that doesn't have any focus and is filled with awful songs of pedestrian lyrics (some of them sung by terrible singers), centered on a completely artificial and outdated idea of New York based on stereotypes and clichés.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2012
    Seriously, people didn't notice how great this film adaptation of the musical really is. It offers a more realistic look at the musical, that is less stagy off course. The actors that played each characters were perfectly casted, even went beyond the original cast. It's a little gem that deserves to be recognized.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2010
    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 C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2010
    A fulfilling film with some catchy music to boot.
    Jay H Super Reviewer

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