Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Released 1998

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Movie Summary

Director:
Terry Gilliam
Released:
1998
Rating:
R

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 dark comedy about a sportswriter and his lawyer who go on a drug-fueled trip to Las Vegas. Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) is assigned to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race in Las Vegas. He rents a convertible and drives there with his lawyer, Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro). On the way, the two men begin to consume a massive quantity of hallucinogenic drugs. They pick up a hitchhiker (Tobey Maguire) on the way, but end up terrifying him so badly that he begs to be let go. Afraid that the boy will call the police, Duke and Gonzo speed on to Vegas where they have considerable difficulty maintaining a grip on reality. Though assigned to cover the motorcycle race, the two men spend far more time visiting casinos and consuming increasingly larger quantities of drugs. They eventually split up and must struggle to stay alive and coherent as they careen through the dangerous underbelly of Las Vegas.

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Metacritic Score

  • 60

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The closest sensory approximation of an acid trip ever achieved by a mainstream movie and the latest example of Mr. Gilliam's visual bravura.

  • 25

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke.

  • 20

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Johnny Depp's impersonation of the Thompson figure is effective up to a point, but it's hard to imagine any segment of the public embracing this off-putting, unrewarding slog throu...

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    epic journey, Psychological, Thrillers, las vegas glamour, outcasts