Last Days (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I think you'll get a good idea what kind of movie this is if you see the scores from the major British critics: the British print reviewers, as summarized by The Guardian Online; and the BBC score (actually 2/5), as taken directly from their own site.   


Newspaper or Network Score /10
Daily Mail 0
Daily Telegraph 4
Independent 2
The Guardian 10
The Times 8
The Express 4
The Mirror 2
Financial Times 8


As you can see, the average score is a hair less than two stars (1.9) out of four, but the range includes every possible score from zero out of ten to a perfect ten.

The American critics were kinder on balance, but equally polarized. Rotten Tomatoes estimates that Last Days received 60% positive reviews, and Metacritic estimates that the average score is 67/100. Those are pretty solid averages, but individual articles cited by Metacritic range from four perfect 100s (including Roger Ebert and the New York Times) all the way down to a perfect zero.

What makes the film so controversial?

Although it features professional cinematography and was directed by Gus van Sant, Last Days plays out like an underground film. Even though the story is not 100% factual, the lead character has strong parallels to Kurt Cobain, and details of the character's suicide are closely related to the events in the Cobain case. What do we actually see on screen? A junkie rock-star wanders through the woods and mumbles incoherently, arrives at a stream, pukes, swims, builds a campfire, and sings "Home on the Range." Then he comes into his disgustingly filthy house and is so wasted that he doesn't even care to continue mumbling incoherently. Most of the time he just listens without comment to false friends and visitors. He eats some dry breakfast cereal, and puts the box in the refrigerator. Along the way to death, he removes an outer layer of clothing to reveal a black dress beneath, then nods off. When the grunge-rocker finally gets around to dying, the director shows a spirit coming out of his body and rising to heaven by climbing up the side of a house. (I didn't make that up.)

If you have ever been around junkies you will undoubtedly agree that this film provides a remarkably accurate evocation of how they behave. You can view that as half-full or half-empty, in that you can praise it for the truth it represents, or condemn it because watching junkies flop about aimlessly is about the least interesting human activity which can be imagined, possibly excluding dinner with your mother-in-law and Andy Rooney. The basic trick of perspective, half-full vs half-empty, explains the wide range of critical responses.

Ultimately, the film runs into the same controversy that always haunts any portrayal of boredom and isolation. If the director portrays the atmosphere of boredom correctly, it will draw audiences into the character's head. If, on the other hand, the film is too interesting and entertaining, the director will have failed to capture the proper mood. Well, this film is not just boring, but intensely boring. That is the reason why some critics assigned this film a zero. But it is meant to be boring - the audience enters the mind of a successful man who committed suicide, thus allowing viewers (in theory) to understand the boredom, and thus the suicide, at the very deepest, most visceral level. That's why other critics assigned it a 100. 

So it will probably make you understand a level of boredom so profound that would cause a famous person to commit suicide. Which means you might want to avoid it if you're depressed.

Or famous.



  • Two versions of the film: (16x9 aspect ratio and 4x3)
  • The making of Last Days
  • On the set of Gus Van Sant's Last Days: The Long Dolly Shot
  • Exclusive music video - "Happy Song" by Pagoda
  • Deleted Scene 38X


Asia Argento is seen wearing a thong beneath a t-shirt, this exposing her entire bottom at various times.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There was no more consensus from the super-panel that there was elsewhere. Roger Ebert 4/4, BBC 2/5.

  • British consensus out of four stars: just less than two stars. See above for details.

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed $454,000, reaching a maximum of 31 screens.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C-. It is a painfully tedious experience. Somewhere around 99% of viewers will find it unwatchable, but many reviewers have concluded that it has artistic merit.

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