By Owen Gleiberman
Updated July 04, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gonzo, the documentary by Alex Gibney, taps the full fascination of its subject: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the rock & roll Norman Mailer who styled himself as the last honest man in the American asylum, only to be destroyed by his legend. Gibney devotes exhaustive sections to Thompson’s journalistic landmarks (Hell’s Angels, etc.), as well as to his 1969 candidacy for mayor of Aspen — the moment his robo-voiced ”Gonzo” persona inflated into a comic-book alter ego. The movie also captures Thompson’s tragedy: the haze of drugs and bad writing that consumed him for no less than his last 30 years. A-