Last Days Reviews

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 9, 2005
Van Sant's refusal to delve into his subject in anything but an abstract way renders the movie pointless and frustrating -- a lyrical, lovely tone poem, signifying little.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Time Out
September 1, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 27, 2005
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
August 13, 2005
A film about a junkie rock musician, played by Michael Pitt at his most narcissistic, doing nothing in particular for the better part of 97 minutes isn't my idea of either a good time or a serious endeavor.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 12, 2005
While Last Days succeeds as a nature documentary, Van Sant fails to penetrate human nature. The result is a portrait without a face.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 12, 2005
Last Days will cast a poetic spell on some viewers, as it did this one, and will seem mind-sappingly boring to others.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 12, 2005
Last Days is director Gus Van Sant's meditation on the death of Kurt Cobain, and an extraordinary meditation it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 12, 2005
Last Days offers some insight into Cobain's final frame of mind, but balks at the gates of deeper truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 12, 2005
Gus Van Sant ventures into the valley of death steering by an idiosyncratic compass and forsaking the aid of a conventional cinematic map.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 12, 2005
It's all terribly self-conscious and desperately arty and fairly bad.
| Original Score: D
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Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 11, 2005
Shot in long, single takes, the movie willfully tests your patience. You wish it would hurry up. Yet when it ends, it haunts you for a few days. (Well, me anyway.)
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
August 11, 2005
This movie, depending on what you do with it, can be boring, brilliant or both.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 11, 2005
If you're going to make a movie about Kurt Cobain, you might as well make a movie about Kurt Cobain.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 11, 2005
Van Sant uses Cobain's image for a portrait of physical and moral disintegration, but he also exhilarates us with his mastery of image and sound.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.4/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 11, 2005
Sometimes we see Blake through the window, but, as he moves around the room, often we see nothing but the far wall. Depending on your perspective, this is either incredibly gutsy or incredibly boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 11, 2005
Last Days is a definitive record of death by gradual drug exhaustion. After the chills and thrills of Sid & Nancy and The Doors, here is a movie that sees how addicts usually die, not with a bang but a whimper.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 5, 2005
In putting the onus for meaning on viewers, Van Sant has pinned the film's success to our subjectivity. It might not guarantee fondness. Yet what an extraordinary collaboration it makes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 5, 2005
Last Days leaves a haunting impression of a man who, even at the height of his fame and adulation, was hiding in plain sight.
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
August 5, 2005
Watching paint dry would be better. At least the paint would be busy drying.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 5, 2005
Van Sant has given us a kind of cinema of negation. Like it or not, it's probably something we need to make room for -- if a little grudgingly.
| Original Score: B
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 4, 2005
It's definitely not a conventional biopic about Kurt Cobain.
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August 2, 2005
Last Days is an extraordinarily potent brew.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 28, 2005
[Van Sant's] journey is labored but undeniably hypnotic.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 25, 2005
The problem is the first twenty-seven years of this character's life are probably a lot more interesting than the last three days.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 25, 2005
Nor, on the other hand, is his film in the business of sanctification. It merely hints that some people, gifted or otherwise, may have had enough.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 22, 2005
The story, told with little dialogue or action, feels like an outline awaiting shading and detail.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2005
Seamlessly and rather cleverly, without telling anybody, Gus Van Sant has transitioned out of important filmmaking and has taken up a new career in torture.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 22, 2005
Sorely lacks the angry energy and wit Cobain brought to his work.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 22, 2005
After an hour and a half of this, you may feel as if you're on drugs yourself. Or wish you were.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
July 22, 2005
Weird, sad and dreamy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 21, 2005
Last Days is unconventional and artistic but also ponderous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2005
Lyrical and unaccountably mesmerizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 21, 2005
Mesmerizing dream of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
July 21, 2005
For those in tune with its director's loping rhythms, Last Days probes its way under the skin like a needle in search of a vein.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
July 21, 2005
Van Sant's startlingly beautiful and original film serves precisely to rescue Cobain from the clutches of the mawkish biopic that, sooner or later, will be made about him.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 20, 2005
There is a method to its madness, since the madness here is really Cobain's.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
July 19, 2005
In place of psychological clarity, Last Days affords a woozy existential coherence.
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Robert Christgau
Village Voice
July 12, 2005
Pitt also isn't required to replicate Cobain's offstage intensity or charisma or charm or whatever he had.
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Leslie Felperin
Variety
May 18, 2005
Within the limitations of the role, Pitt acquits himself very well as Blake, giving a nervy, physical performance that expresses character mostly through gait, mumbled dialogue and, most importantly, music with two songs he's credited with having written.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 13, 2005
Skips over such cinematic non-essentials as character, motivation, backstory and narrative.