The Libertine
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The film follows the second Earl of Rochester's adventures in London, from his passionate romance with a young actress, Elizabeth Barry, to the writing of a scurrilous play which blisteringly and bawdily lampoons the very monarch who commissioned it, Charles II, leading to the Earl's banishment and eventual downfall.
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[Director] Dunmore creates a memorably grimy London, but the moral grime covering the film proves less memorable."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"The point seems to be that too much of a good thing leads to a vast sense of nothingness and bleak cinematography. Alas, it also results in transforming a film about a sensualist into a remarkably sexless enterprise."
‑ Neva Chonin, San Francisco Chronicle
"If Johnny Depp's barmy stumble through the yo-ho-hum Pirates sequel was playtime rehash, then his loathsome portrayal of the pestilent aristocrat Earl of Rochester shows an actor still daring to push the margins of his persona."
‑ Luke Goodsell, Empire Magazine Australasia
"Completely unshocking"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Under the veneer of another fine/creepy Depp performance, the film falls flat."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"What emerges from the bilious murk of first-time director Laurence Dunmore's film is a sad picture of an intelligent and talented writer who opted for self-indulgence and gratuitous insult over anything more meaningful."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"A bawdy Restoration romp that doesn't. Romp."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Big dull drag of a movie."
‑ Dave White, Movies.com
"Based on Stephen Jeffreys' play, about 17th century iconoclastic poet the 2nd Earl of Rochester (Johnny Depp), "The Libertine" fails to pay off on its promises of taboo sex."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"A difficult film to watch, but one that speaks to our own invidious world."
‑ Rex Roberts, Film Journal International
"As the character grows sicker and quieter, the drama's energy fades."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"From time to time, a gem-like line shines from the squalor, but in general, it's merely the film's suffocating cynicism that registers."
‑ Peter Debruge, Miami Herald
"Slightly pretentious, but original enough to be a bit interesting, and buoyed by strong performances from Depp and Morton, The Libertine is a decent telling of a historical footnote, most interesting because of its strong feminist message."
‑ Joshua Starnes, ComingSoon.net
"It feels both overlong and incomplete."
‑ Jonathan Kiefer, Sacramento News & Review
"I enjoyed it - or much of it - for reasons that have everything to do with Johnny Depp."
‑ Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
More reviews for The Libertine on Rotten Tomatoes

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