Film Reviews

Now Playing

This artful and brooding period piece follows John Wilmot (Johnny Depp), a scandalously debauched earl of the English Restoration who apparently was not in contact with feelings of compassion or sympathy. The film opens with an attack — "I am John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and I do not want you to like me," the earl snarls — and doesn't soften, despite Wilmot's infatuation with actress Lizzie Barry (Samantha Morton). By the time the alcoholism and syphilis have peeled the skin from Wilmot's face and the muscle from his bones, it's difficult not to feel at least a little tainted by his vast personal plague — and also moved, if not by his own self-loathing then by the care of those around him. The Libertine is an interesting film, and a good one, with a harrowing performance by Depp, whose apparent enjoyment of the role seems only to increase as his character deteriorates. John Malkovich, playing King Charles II, is a delight.

Now playing at perhaps as few as two local theaters

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melissa Levine

Latest Stories