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"NO SUCH THING"
(2002) (Sarah Polley, Robert John Burke) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Extreme Mild Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Satire: A young woman searches for and eventually befriends the bitter and immortal monster that killed her fiancé.
PLOT:
Beatrice (SARA POLLEY) is a young woman working for a NY TV producer (HELEN MIRREN) who's always on the lookout for the latest sensationalistic news story she can air on her program. When Beatrice receives a tape recording from the individual who claims to be the monster who killed a three-person crew from their station - that included her fiancé, Jim - she convinces her boss to let her travel to Iceland as part of a follow-up regarding the creature.

The young woman is sidetracked, however, when she ends up being the sole survivor of a plane crash that lands her in a hospital for months under the care of Dr. Anna (JULIE CHRISTIE) who nurse her back to a healthy state. Half a year later, Beatrice is ready to resume her trip to the nearly desolate, Icelandic coastal village where the few locals attempt to appease a nearby Monster (ROBERT JOHN BURKE), and Beatrice's subject, with liquor.

When she finally meets him, neither his demon-like looks nor threatening demeanor scare her. Instead, she tries to figure out what and/or who he is. As she does so and they form an unlikely friendship where he promises not to kill anyone else, they then set out to find Dr. Artaud (BALTASAR KORMÁKUR) - an eccentric scientist who may hold the Monster's only answer to ending his immortality - and must then deal with the ensuing media circus that engulfs them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or director Hal Hartley's previous, offbeat work, it's probably not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and brief violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SARAH POLLEY plays a young journalist who travels to find the monster and then befriends him. Before doing so, she survives a plane crash, painful surgery and later drinks to the point of passing out.
  • ROBERT JOHN BURKE plays the Monster who's tired of being immortal. He uses strong profanity, is an alcoholic, smokes, and is known to kill people.
  • JULIE CHRISTIE plays a doctor who assists Beatrice both in and out of the hospital after her injuries.
  • HELEN MIRREN plays a heartless and soulless TV producer who strives for sensationalistic stories, no matter the personal cost of getting them. She smokes a great deal.
  • BALTASAR KORMÁKUR plays an eccentric scientist who smokes and attempts to help the monster end his life.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated, satirical drama. Profanity consists of at least 14 uses of the "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, while we see the female protagonist in bed with a man after an entire night of having sex (which isn't seen). A few characters are briefly seen in revealing attire.

    Violence consists of some men beating the monster, several characters being shot with guns, and off-screen (a plane crash) or previous, unseen violence (the monster kills people and we briefly see some of the skeletal remains). Some of the material and the sight of the demon-like monster could be unsettling or suspenseful to some younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such matters.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while they and others drink and/or smoke (with the monster being a self-admitted alcoholic and the protagonist drinking to the point of passing out). Should you still be concerned with the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed listings for additional information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs during the opening credits and then again later near the end (with strobe-like flashes).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some villagers drink and the Monster drinks some.
  • Villagers drink, comment about their offering of whiskey to the Monster not being enough, and then later encourage Beatrice to drink many shots of liquor until she's passed out (while they also drink).
  • The Monster drinks liquor from the bottle.
  • The local villagers drink.
  • Beatrice pours some liquor into the Monster's mouth and he then wants more, guzzling a great deal from the bottle. He then mentions that he's an alcoholic.
  • The Monster drinks more liquor.
  • Beatrice drinks.
  • Various people drink at a party, while the Monster drinks by himself.
  • The Monster drinks more.
  • The Monster asks, "Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a f*cking drink?"
  • We see a shirtless man drinking a beer in Beatrice's room.
  • Artaud has some wine and then pours some for Beatrice.
  • Beatrice gives the Monster something to drink.
  • The Monster appears to be drunk and then drinks even more.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The Monster goes through some skeletal remains of his victims.
  • We see a man's urine stream as he urinates on the Monster.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Monster admits to killing three people from the TV show, but we don't see the actual killings (although we later see the monster rummaging through some skeletal remains to find a shoe belonging to Beatrice's dead fiancé). He also has a bad attitude about most everything and everyone.
  • We hear of and briefly see two men caught while trying to smuggle radioactive materials out of the country.
  • A miscellaneous woman apparently hits Beatrice in the gut, causing her to fall to the floor, and then goes through her belongings.
  • Beatrice's boss comes off as an uncaring executive who's only interested in high ratings. For instance, she wants a TV crew in the home of every family of those related to people who died in a plane crash. She also wants to exploit Beatrice's experience as the lone survivor of that crash.
  • Scientists perform all sorts of test on the Monster, and since they know they can't kill him, they subject him to painful/humiliating procedures.
  • Various miscellaneous men take advantage of knowing that the Monster has promised not to kill anyone and thus proceed to beat him up (one even urinates on him).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The devil-like sight of the monster, with his demonic looks, broken horns on his head and scaly skin, might be unsettling or scary to some viewers. The same could be true for scenes listed under "Violence."
  • A woman appears to be convulsing on the floor at an airport, but we never learn why or what's wrong with her.
  • After Beatrice is badly injured in a plane crash (not seen), the doctors tell her of some experimental surgery they can do on her. It basically entails using a succession of locals during the operation where she's awake during the whole procedure. As they progress, however, they can no longer use the locals and she'll feel the intense pain. As they do so (and we hear a drilling sound at her back), we see her react to what appears to be horrible pain.
  • Beatrice shoots the Monster in the body, but beyond causing him some brief pain, he's no worse for the wear. He then takes the gun and shoots himself in the head with the same results.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Guns: Carried by some thieves, while police use others to shoot the two men.
  • Handgun: Given to Beatrice by a villager and then used by her to shoot the Monster (but it doesn't harm him). The monster then takes the gun and shoots himself in the head, but beyond apparently causing him some pain, it doesn't kill him or last long.
  • Rifle: Brought out by a villager when he sees the monster coming, but never used.
  • Machine guns: Carried by various police officers.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You stupid f*cking morons," "F*ck off," "What the f*ck /are you looking at/is that?" "Who the f*ck is Jim?" "Shut the f*ck up," "Holy f*ck," "I'd still be f*cked" (nonsexual), "I hate that sh*t," "The sh*t has hit the fan," "Idiots," "Give a damn," "Piece of ass" (a woman), "How the hell am I supposed to know?" "Pain in the ass," "A living hell," "Piss off," "Punk" and "You noisy, dumb bastards."
  • A miscellaneous woman has a nose ring through her nostril.
  • Beatrice shoots the Monster in the body, but beyond causing him some brief pain, he's no worse for the wear. He then takes the gun and shoots himself in the head with the same results.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 14 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 1 hell, 3 uses each of "G-damn" and "God" and 1 use each of "My God," "Oh God" and "Good Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Upon waking up in the Monster's lair (after being dropped off by the villagers), Beatrice realizes her clothes are missing (she's wrapped in a sheet). She later puts her clothes back on, but we don't see anything more than her bare shoulders. The Monster then tells her that every once in a while the villagers toss an unsuspecting "piece of ass" his way as a gift.
  • We see Beatrice in bed with some man after having sex (and after having just met him at a party). Both are shirtless, but she's lying face down so we don't see her bare breasts. When her boss comes in and asks what she was doing all night, Beatrice happily replies that she was "making love." Later, she apologizes to the Monster for leaving him alone while she was having "sex for hours."
  • We see Beatrice dressed in some sort of low-cut, leather outfit that shows a great deal of cleavage.
  • The Monster asks, "Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a f*cking drink?"
  • We see a shirtless man drinking a beer and dancing around (in his partially seen underwear) in Beatrice's room. She then puts a robe on him and has him leave.
  • SMOKING
  • Beatrice's boss smokes more than 10 times, Artaud and the Monster each smoke cigars several times, Beatrice and her doctor each smoke once, and various miscellaneous characters smoke cigarettes or pipes in several scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that the Monster killed Beatrice's fiancé sometime recently, but she doesn't really react to that in any particular way. She also states that her mother died recently, leaving her with no immediate family (she also doesn't react to that).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether monsters exist in our world (and the definition of them).
  • The message the film is trying to impart upon its viewers.
  • How most news programs have turned to sensationalistic stories.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The Monster admits to killing three people from the TV show, but we don't see the actual killings (although we later see the monster rummaging through some skeletal remains to find a shoe belonging to Beatrice's dead fiancé).
  • The Monster blows fire at a villager's feet, tears a door from the building and then lifts up part of the building from its foundation. As he leaves the village, he then breaks a blind woman's walking stick.
  • We briefly see police shoot two men at an airport (who have their own guns) for trying to smuggle radioactive materials out of the country (we see both fall, with one having a bullet hole in his shirt).
  • A miscellaneous woman apparently hits Beatrice in the gut, causing her to fall to the floor, and then goes through her belongings.
  • We hear that an airliner crashed and that Beatrice was the only survivor (and was severely injured), but we don't see the crash or remains.
  • After Beatrice is badly injured in a plane crash (not seen), the doctors tell her of some experimental surgery they can do on her. It basically entails using a succession of locals during the operation where she's awake during the whole procedure. As they progress, however, they can no longer use the locals and she'll feel the intense pain. As they do so (and we hear a drilling sound at her back), we see her react to what appears to be horrible pain.
  • The Monster kicks something in anger.
  • Beatrice shoots the Monster in the body, but beyond causing him some brief pain, he's no worse for the wear. He then takes the gun and shoots himself in the head with the same results.
  • The Monster grabs a villager and takes his rifle as if ready to hit him with it, but Beatrice reminds him of his promise (not to kill anyone), so the Monster lets the man go.
  • The Monster purposefully knocks a vase of flowers over and then throws a TV set off a hotel balcony (we don't see the impact).
  • Knowing that the Monster has promised not to kill anyone, some locals push him around and repeatedly punch him, with one hitting him with a large piece of wood (and another even urinates on him).



  • Reviewed March 21, 2002 / Posted March 29, 2002

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