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While not the comprehensive profile of the man that his die-hard fans might have hoped for, Gonzo remains an insightful introduction to the life of rebellious writer Hunter S. Thompson and his influences. Read critic reviews

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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Photos

Movie Info

This stylized documentary uses journalist Hunter S. Thompson's own words, his home movies, interviews with his fans and critics and passionate narration by Johnny Depp to give some insight into the writer's process and edgy genius. Director Alex Gibney explores Thompson's life from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, when he was at the height of his creative powers. Gibney traces the beginnings of Thompson's gonzo journalism style and recounts his most infamous drug- and alcohol-induced exploits.

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Critic Reviews for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (13)

  • Gibney's focus on Thompson at his most politically relevant is welcome, but it renders the broader picture less than complete, particularly when it comes to his early life influences.

    September 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A definitive, accessible, even inspiring screen biography put together with thought and vitality.

    December 19, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's plea that we need Thompson now more than ever is a little misty-eyed: Thompson's day was long gone by the time he put a gun to his head.

    December 19, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • Gonzo is much more than a tribute to a maverick and genuine pioneer. It's a lament for the gaping hole that Thompson left behind. The only obvious weakness is Gibney's reluctance to engage fully with Thompson's toxic personal life.

    December 19, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This documentary about his life by Alex Gibney, though entertaining in many ways, is oddly uninterested in his strengths or otherwise as a writer, the very gift for which Thompson earnestly wished to be known.

    December 19, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Thompson must be looking down, or up, from his afterworld thinking: "The worst success is a failure to keep alive the spirit of offendedness and outrage."

    December 19, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  • Apr 07, 2013
    Hunter S. Thompson was one of the most eccentric, unique writers in the literary genre. This is a great documentary about the life and legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. The film comprises interviews of people who knew Thompson and they talk about his legacy. I've read some of his work, and it is brilliant, eccentric, and bizarre, but above all original. Brilliantly captured on film, this is a film that not only tells Thompson's story, but takes a look at the time period of which he became famous. Although not a perfect documentary, this is a good enough film that will definitely appeal to his fans. I enjoyed the documentary and it was quite entertaining from start to finish. The interviews are very good and will definitely delight fans of the late author. Hunter S. Thompson was a unique author and an important one at that. This is a fine little film that should be seen. Although it is not for everyone, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is a well crafted documentary that is very good and overcomes its flaws due to the fact that it tells such a powerful story about one of the most legendary authors. The film not only focuses on his work, but on his life and his impact on the medium. After watching this film, you realize how important Hunter S. Thompson was. Often bizarre, but constantly entertaining and engaging, this is a well crafted documentary that you should see if you love Thompson's work, then definitely check this film out, you will definitely enjoy it. Hunter S. Thompson was a brilliant writer and an important one at that that made a huge impact on popular culture.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2010
    I watched this to pump myself up for the Rum Diaries movie coming out this year that will see Johnny Depp Playing Hunter S Thompson again (not to be directed by Terry Gilliam unfortunantly but my hopes are still high.) Really well done portrait of one of the most important anti-establishment figures throughout the 60's and 70's. Didn't spend much time on his early life or career which I would have liked to see more of, but instead took the approach of examining the highlights of his career. An enjoyable watch anyways albeit one that was lacking in new information on the man. Oh well, a must see for those unfamiliar with Hunter S. Thompson.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2009
    "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" is a lively and insightful documentary about the late great journalist who exploded the myth of objectivity. As Ed Hamell pointed out elsewhere, he injected a bit of rock and roll into journalism and it was never the same since. That just shows you how much Thompson is missed in this day and age with history threatening to repeat with a well-meaning President again on the verge of losing his beloved social programs in favor of an unwinnable war that he has inherited. Considering how much I have read by and and about Thompson, I was surprised how much I learned here, as the documentary focuses on the time from his growing up in Louisville to about the mid-1970's when his popularity was starting to wane, as testified to by friends, colleagues, allies, and one enemy.(Look, I know I should think of Pat Buchanan as Satan but I respect him for showing up here.) My main point of contention is the documentary dismissing Thompson's later life out of hand(I think it's true that he did not expect to live as long as he did) but at least his memorial service/viking funeral is shown. I would like to counter that by saying that it was a period of time when he was still writing. Otherwise, it is quite possible that he was having a lot of fun and enjoying himself on the farm.(Thompson always did look awkward in interviews.) If an artist does not want to make art anymore, then that's up to them. Nothing we can do about it.(And I'm a huge Kate Bush fan by the way.) At the same time, Rolling Stone has much more to be ashamed of, turning from being an underground magazine into a corporate celebrity music magazine. And I am sure that has nothing to do with them not using drugs anymore...
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2009
    good docu about a journalist who went over the top in an anti establishment kinda way. great viewing
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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