Reviewing the Reviews: 'Rent'

85650__rent_lIn the words made famous by disco diva Gwen Guthrie, ”there ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent.” And while a trip to your local multiplex will prove that’s not exactly true — Syriana, Just Friends, and The Ice Harvest all open today, too — the film adaptation of Rent (left), Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical gave critics across the country the best opportunity to work their headline magic. Which one is your favorite?

‘Rent’ checks…and balances

The Mercury News: This "Rent" is already spent

Des Moines Register: ‘Rent’ skips out on promise

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Past due?

Lexington Leader-Herald: Remodeling can’t raise ‘Rent’

Philadelphia Inquirer: Musical more than pays its way

Arizona Republic: ‘Rent’ pays off by staying true to the Broadway musical

Globe and Mail: Back rent owed to rock videos

Contra Costa Times: ‘Rent’ could do with new landlord

But how’s the view?

San Bernardino County Sun: Life in the low-‘Rent’ district

The New York Times: New Tenants in Tinseltown

San Diego Union Tribune: Lively new lease on life for ‘Rent’

Denver Post: ‘Rent,’ the movie, barely leases our emotions

Casting their votes

Asbury Park Press: Big-screen ‘Rent’ benefits from great casting

Hollywood Reporter: ‘Rent’ veterans turn musical into lively movie

The Seattle Times: Aging cast, fussy sets make "Rent" long overdue

Detroit Free Press: Back to the Big Apple: Original ‘Rent’ castmates too old to be believable as New York squatters

Center stage

New York Daily News: ‘Rent’ can’t dance around it: Film version’s too theatrical

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: ‘Rent’ works as a movie, too

Akron Beacon Journal: Story’s liberation from stage has pluses, minuses

Hartford Courant: ‘Rent’ Retains Power Of Play A Decade Later

Interesting composition

Star Tribune: ‘Rent’ is a floperetta

Boston Globe: Bohemian Atrophy

Saint Petersburg Times: The musical, the madcap and the muddled

Charlotte Observer: Musical ‘Rent’ rocks on screen

Press Telegram: ‘Rent’ just doesn’t sing

‘Tis the season

Star-Telegram: The fowlest of ‘em all: ‘Rent,’ one of the worst movies of the year, leads a pack of Thanksgiving turkeys

Kansas City Star: Have a heavy Thanksgiving

Where’s the pun at?

NBC 5: ‘Rent’ Exuberant Celebration Of Life Against All Odds

Salt Lake Tribune: It’s a decade too late for movie version of ‘Rent’


New York Sun: No Day but Today

Unlikely inspiration

Los Angeles CityBeat: ‘Rent’ a Wreck


Comments (11 total)
  • miv

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but have seen the show twice and am getting really worried about seeing it. despite the bad reviews, i’ll still see it for myself but if it’s as bad as it sounds, i’ll be really disappointed.
    i think my favorite headline from above would be Bohemian Atrophy.

  • Matt47

    Personally, I can’t wait to see this, anyway. It seems a lot of the people who don’t like the film don’t like the music, and if you don’t like RENT’s music, then you basically don’t like RENT, as RENT is basically sung throughout. I still think it’s probably better than a lot of those reviews are making it out to be.

  • India

    Rent a Wreck! That’s good.

  • mary

    wow, worst films of the year? how can a reviewer hoenstly say that when it comes out the same week as “yours mine and ours” AND “in the mix.”
    i tend to disagree with a few of those just based on the titles but rather, not to toot the horn of this here website, agree with owen.

  • andrea

    I saw the musical, and I just saw the film, and the film was actually really good, yeah it did have its moments where it felt a little staged, but I wouldn’t say it was the worst movie of the year, actually it was one of the best I have seen all year, which has been quite a few. Critics have to be objective, but I personally think that most critics don’t know what they are talking about, and are just blowing hot air while trying to come up with zippy headlines, such as “Rent is a wreck” Really…how sad that was the only headline a critic could come up with, maybe it is time to quit your “real job” and head for the tabloids where quirky little titles are more exceptable. Rent was great!

  • Johanna

    Can I just say that if you read the reviews, the negative ones are written by people who declare that it’s too theatrical. Well guess what? It’s a MUSICAL. If you don’t like MUSICALS, which are THEATRICAL BY DEFINITION, then clearly, you won’t like Rent. That’s the kind of bias that reviewers shouldn’t have. Theatrical is not synonomous with bad, and the negative reviews have been far too simplistic.
    Also, it’s clear that the people who don’t like the movie are either too close-minded or too ignorant to grasp the message of Rent, which is the most important aspect of it. That depresses me.
    Rent is an amazing show, and honestly, it has gotten just as many positive reviews as it has gotten negative ones. It seems like people either love it or they hate it. People should go see it and judge for themselves. Even if I hadn’t been a huge fan of the show, I would have loved the movie because it was absolutely phenomenal.

  • simon

    the only good musical is cannibal the musical

  • rixtur

    I never seen the play, or knew of its content, but I was blown away by the tallent of this work of art! Great songs, great story as well. I cant help but feel that the content (aids, and AZT) part of it was alittle outdated, but still worked. Ty Diggs didn’t really fit in well with the cast. Rosario Dawson fit in just fine. A Must See

  • beachykeen

    I saw a sneak preview last week nad thought it was amazing. Everyone in the theater was in tears towards the end (not to give the story away to those who haven’t seen the stage version). They do eliminate some songs in the interest of time but the overall integrity is left intact. It’s set in 1989, which they don’t make completely clear, which explains some of the hair and topics. I think it is difficult for most musicals to translate well to screen, but being a huge theater fan, I would recommend this to anyone.

  • jae

    the one review i just read the guy said he never saw the play but hated the movie….. people that are not fans of the play SHOULD NOT REVIEW THE MOVIE… they are negitave fools that have no idea how wonderfull and importnat the message is!!!!!

  • joel

    I agree if you don’t like the musical or musicals don’t go see Rent. But if you are a loyal follower of Rent and have seen the play three times then go see the movie…I think it captured what Jonathan Larson originally conveyed with his awe inspiring message. Rent Rocks…Rent delivers….Rent inspires…Go see it with someone special and someone you love…Because the message that Rent sends is haunting and will stay with you long, long after you leave the theatre. Great job to the director and cast.

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