The Libertine

Watch The Libertine

"He didn't resist temptation. He pursued it."
  • R
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 6.2  (37,399)
  • 44

The Libertine, released in 2004, is a historical drama film directed by Laurence Dunmore and based on the play of the same name by Stephen Jeffreys. The movie stars Johnny Depp as the 17th century poet, John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester. The film takes its audience on a wild and bawdy ride through Wilmot's life, exploring his hedonistic pursuits, his talent for the written word, his infidelities, and his tumultuous relationships with his contemporaries.

The movie opens with an introduction to Wilmot's character. He is first shown as a brilliant but arrogant aristocrat who spends his days carousing and engaging in debauchery with his fellow poets and drinking buddies. Despite his undeniable talent, Wilmot's reputation for lewd and scandalous behavior precedes him, and he is known throughout the city as the ultimate libertine. However, beneath his crass and cynical exterior, it becomes clear that Wilmot is a man plagued by inner demons and struggling with his own mortality.

As the movie progresses, we see Wilmot navigate his complex relationships with the women in his life. He is married to the long-suffering Elizabeth Barry, a renowned actress played by Samantha Morton, but is constantly unfaithful to her. Wilmot also has a contentious relationship with his former protégé, George Etherege, played by Tom Hollander, who accuses Wilmot of having stolen his work. Additionally, Wilmot becomes infatuated with the young and beautiful actress, Elizabeth Malet, played by Rosamund Pike, and his obsession with her leads to a dramatic turn of events.

Throughout the film, Wilmot's writing is also a central focus. His poetry is bawdy, crude, and often brilliant, and he spends much of his time composing works that explore the depths of human experience. However, his work is often censored or outright banned due to its scandalous and vulgar nature. Despite this, Wilmot remains undeterred and continues to write with an unwavering sense of purpose, even as his own health begins to deteriorate.

Johnny Depp delivers a powerful performance as John Wilmot. He portrays the character with a raw, unfiltered intensity that captures both his brilliance and his self-destructive tendencies. Samantha Morton is also excellent as Elizabeth Barry, imbuing her character with a quiet strength and dignity that sets her apart from the other women in Wilmot's life. John Malkovich also shines in his role as King Charles II, playing him with a sly wit and charm that captures the essence of the character perfectly.

The movie's visuals are also noteworthy, with beautifully crafted sets and costumes that transport the audience back in time to the 17th century. The film's cinematography is also highly effective, with a moody, atmospheric quality that perfectly captures the mood and tone of the story.

Overall, The Libertine is a compelling film that offers a glimpse into the life and times of an infamous figure in history. It is a story of excess, passion, and self-destruction, a tale of a man who lived life on his own terms and paid the price for it. With a fantastic cast, stunning visuals, and a richly layered story, this film is a must-see for fans of historical dramas and anyone looking for a glimpse into the life of a true libertine.

The Libertine is a 2004 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 44.

The Libertine
Where to Watch The Libertine
The Libertine is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Libertine for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (37,399)
  • Metascore