For No Good Reason 2012

Critics score:
63 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: Meet Ralph Steadman and his nightmare visions of a world in pain, revealed in a mesmerizing documentary. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The salient, liveliest parts of For No Good Reason - the title comes from Thompson's reply when Steadman once asked him, "Why are we doing this?" - are to be found in the artist's display of his work and recollections of the eccentrics he met. Read more

Andrew Barker, Variety: The result is a bit unwieldy, casting too wide a net to really plumb its subject's depths, and defanging some of Steadman's acid wit with an overly busy, hit-and-miss aesthetic approach. Read more

Jesse Hassenger, AV Club: [It becomes] less interesting as it stretches to feature length, sometimes resembling a handsomely illustrated CV. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: The film makes it clear that not only was Steadman perfect for Thompson's work (and a big part of his success), his work stands on its own artistically. Read more

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe: There's no more exciting effect in the documentary than the look of pure pleasure on Depp's face as he stands by Steadman's drawing table, peeking over his shoulder as he attacks a sheet of paper. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: This is most worthwhile for its scenes of Steadman at work, flinging ink all over the place and turning the splatter marks into his signature grotesques. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: As wonderful as it is to watch the man work, and to review many of the startling images he created over the years, the film has its dead spots. Read more

Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter: Visually impressive but ultimately unrevealing. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: The inventively shot and constructed documentary "For No Good Reason" is an absorbing look at the unique, surreal work of British cartoonist Ralph Steadman. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Ultimately it's a fan letter, full of more awe and loving than "Fear and Loathing," and meant mostly for other admirers. Read more

Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News: Rarely has a film's title been so apt. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: "For No Good Reason" is less revealing than a standard hourlong television tribute might have been. We learn almost nothing about Mr. Steadman's life, and too little about the non-Thompson-related aspects of his oeuvre. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Though we don't get to know Steadman the man all that well (rough time at boarding school, and yes, he has a wife and a dog), we do get to know his art. Read more

Erik McClanahan, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Nothing special, but enjoyable nonetheless. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Giving an overlooked luminary his due is reason enough for "For No Good Reason." Read more

Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times: Lovingly detailed with animated and archival imagery. Read more

John Semley, Globe and Mail: For No Good Reason sidelines Steadman's own bona fides, functioning primarily as a second-hand documentary of Thompson, stoking the hagiography of the late hipster icon. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Portrait of the artist as a young (and old) gonzo. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: When a documentary feels the urge to shout about its celebrity cast with a lengthy, elaborate opening-credits sequence, could it be making up for shortcomings elsewhere? Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Depp does a fine job of narrating unobtrusively, negotiating Steadman's free-ranging musings and keeping them on track. Steadman is genial, witty and self-deprecating. Read more

Nick Schager, Village Voice: For No Good Reason details the famed wild-man cartoonist's career with a stylistic daring that doesn't quite match its subject's, but is nonetheless in keeping with his unconventional spirit. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: The most rewarding parts of the film feature Steadman simply talking about his influences (Picasso, among others) and his youthful goal of changing the world through art. Read more