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

Hunter S. Thompson, Anita Thompson, Bob Braudis, Charles Perry, Douglas Brinkley

Directed by Alex Gibney
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
June 27, 2008

The good doctor is family around these parts, so cheers to Alex Gibney (Oscar winner for Taxi to the Dark Side) for not screwing up this mesmerizing documentary about the people, places and substances that altered the mind and battered heart of the Kentucky-born inventor of gonzo journalism. Johnny Depp, who paid for the 2005 funeral in which Thompson's ashes were fired out of a cannon, narrates with just the right mix of awe and impertinence. Tom Wolfe, illustrator Ralph Steadman and Rolling Stone editor and publisher Jann S. Wenner check in on navigating the blurred line between fact and fiction that marked Thompson's landmark writing. Family, including son Juan, fill us in on life with the man who declared, "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." The photos, audiotapes and home movies hit hardest because they bring Hunter back. "This won't hurt," he wrote in his suicide note. For those of us who miss the heat of his fear and loathing and the holes he shot into hypocrisy on and off the campaign trail, it hurts plenty.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »