Last Days


Last Days (2005)


Critic Consensus: While the minimalist style is not for all viewers, those who prefer experimentalism will find Last Days hypnotic.


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Movie Info

Introspective artist Blake is buckling under the weight of fame, professional obligations and a mounting feeling of isolation. Dwarfed by towering trees, Blake slowly makes his way through dense woods. He scrambles down an embankment to a fresh spring and undresses for a short swim. The next morning he returns to his house, an elegant, if neglected, stone mansion. Many people are looking for Blake -- his friends, his managers and record label, even a private detective -- but he does not want to be found. In the haze of his final hours, Blake will spend most his time by himself. He avoids the people who are living in his house, who approach him only when they want something, be it money or help with a song. He hides from one concerned friend and turns away another. He visits politely with a stranger from the Yellow Pages sales department, and he ducks into an underground rock club. He wanders through the woods and he plays a new song, one last rock and roll blowout. Finally, alone in the greenhouse, Blake will look and listen -- and seek release.

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Critic Reviews for Last Days

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (39)

Van Sant brings a lyricism, a dreamy sensibility that infuses his detachment with sympathy. Last Days, which is informed by the suicide of Kurt Cobain, is a hauntingly beautiful tone poem.

Mar 14, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

Sep 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/4

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.

Aug 13, 2005 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

While Last Days succeeds as a nature documentary, Van Sant fails to penetrate human nature. The result is a portrait without a face.

Aug 12, 2005 | Rating: 2/4

Last Days will cast a poetic spell on some viewers, as it did this one, and will seem mind-sappingly boring to others.

Aug 12, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Last Days is director Gus Van Sant's meditation on the death of Kurt Cobain, and an extraordinary meditation it is.

Aug 12, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Last Days

If Van Sant's intention was to depict Kurt Cobain's last days as tedious and devoid of meaning as possible, he surely achieved what he wanted, but his biggest presumption was to believe that the viewers would fall for this insufferably boring, self-indulgent joke.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


This is the final film in Gus Van Sant's so-called "death trilogy", and it's a tough one to sit through. But that could be said about several of his films, so I'm not sure why I'm stating it. Maybe as a disclaimer or something. This is basically a non-narrative, minimalist (plot, dialogue) piece about a burned out, lonely, and mentally isolated rock musician named Blake, and the last few days he spends alive before dying in a very ambiguous manner. The film is only very loosely based upon/inspired by Kurt Cobain, and what his last few days very may have been like. The pacing of this film is extremely slow, and very deliberate, Having a slow pace makes the film seem far longer than 96 minutes and a chore to sit through, and while that is true, it is also a good thing. The audience is forced to sit through the wandering, dull, random and basically pointless activities like laying around, walking around, mumbling to oneself, and doing nothing really in particular. This is a tedious film that's not for everyone, but it was purposefully made this way. It's an indie/arthouse film, not a Michael Bay blockbuster. It's hard to relate to Blake personally, but not his experience and the pain, loneliness, despair he feels. I applaud Van Sant for being bold enough to make this kind of movie just for the sake of making it. For me, the best parts come from the technical end (directing, editing, acting, camera work and music). This is not really that fun or pleasant an experience, but it's one that should be experienced at least once.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Van Sant's meditation loosely based on the last days of Kurt Cobain is captivating though in the end there is not much there.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Gus Van Sant's "Last Days" was bound to be be misunderstood from the get go. While the film is directly influenced by the death of Kurt Cobain, "Last Days" is a fictional story. It's also a film drenched in ennui, something that automatically turns off nearly 3/4 of viewers. Films like this are also destined to be commercial failures. Fortunately for viewers who are willing to trust in the picture and let it's spell take hold, "Last Days" is an effecting little film. Michael Pitt as Blake is very interesting here. The physical tolls his depression (and subsequent and mostly implied drug addiction) inflicts on him are uncanny. Pitt also understands that depression is unique to each individual and he does not go out of his way to help the audience understand Blake's actions. We are merely voyeurs in this house (just like his friends), we don't need to understand the 'why?' Van Sant understands this as well, and confidently guides us through this tour of depressions deadly effects- playing with the time frame, only showing us certain character interactions etc. "Last Days" is a film very few people will have the patience to embrace due to it's structure, tone and theme- three things that contemporary audiences rarely care about to begin with. But trust me, there is plenty of good here.

Steven Carrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

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