Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    70
    The movie is not exactly an upper, but Hartley fans won't want to miss the latest creation of this consistently intelligent director.
  2. 60
    May be far from perfect, but those small, odd Hartley touches help you warm to it.
  3. Less an American product than an international escapade, it's the kind of pigeonhole-resisting romp that Hollywood too rarely provides.
  4. 50
    If you've come to appreciate Hal Hartley's idiosyncratic style through films like "Flirt" and "The Unbelievable Truth," his take on the monster movie genre will intrigue you. But, ultimately, disappoint you.
  5. An uneasy mixture of tragedy, satire, monster yarn and David Cronenberg creepiness, No Such Thing can't decide what it wants to be or how it needs to get there.
  6. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    50
    Hartley's loquacity and arguable pretentiousness are stemmed by his sense of play. Even when they run afoul, his movies still have the conviction of their fun. No Such Thing barely has any convictions at all.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    The film is little more than a stylish exercise in revisionism whose point -- we create, then destroy our own monsters in order to assure ourselves we're human -- is no doubt true, but serves as a rather thin moral to such a knowing fable.
  8. 50
    Hartley's most ambitious film, but it's also among his most uneven, shifting away at moments when its characters should be allowed to connect, underemphasizing some themes, overemphasizing others, and letting a general clash of ideas stand in for momentum.
  9. Not everyone, for sure, is going to be able or willing to go the distance in this ambitious but exceedingly offbeat epic, which is great-looking and has a sweeping romantic score by Hartley himself.
  10. Burke's face is impressively scaly, his head is adorned with shorn horns. He makes a great monster. If only he had a better movie to growl in!
  11. Hartley is trapped between sincerity and mock sincerity, and that all but dooms a filmmaker to slipping through the cracks.
  12. 40
    Does he (Hartley) succeed? Not with a movie this plodding, peevish and gimmicky. Is it fun to watch him try? Me, I'll take failed ambition over hack efficiency any day.
  13. 40
    Thematic muddle aside, the film's appeal lies in Burke's ranting charisma, Julie Christie's thankless turn as a sympathetic doctor, and Michael Spiller's radiant cinematography, which frequently captures the mythic grandeur that eludes Hartley's narrative grasp.
  14. 40
    More abrasively quirky than a lesser Bjork B-side, though the hideous monster who co-stars hails from Iceland, too.
  15. 40
    The underlying theme constantly changes shape, not in a way that seems rich in ambiguity, but in a way that seems poorly worked out.
  16. The film's pace is just plain wacky, moving with the haste of a receding glacier most of the time, but then jumping ahead as if Hartley hit the gas on a time machine.
  17. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    30
    Yes, the film is an allegorical modern fairy tale with plenty of pretty obvious social commentary, but if I can't identify with one character or be made to care, then what's the point?
  18. 25
    No Such Thing is inexplicable, shapeless, dull. It doesn't even rise to entertaining badness.
  19. 20
    Fails in so many respects, even die-hard constituents may have trouble learning to like it.
  20. Seems more theatrical than cinematic, needing the kind of direct address that only a stage can provide.
  21. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    10
    Deadly dull in stretches, and just plain embarrassing in others.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    This is possibly my favorite movie ever. It's not for everyone, but if you like unique, intelligent, creative, engaging films you better not pass up on this one. Don't go into it with expectations of some Hollywood-esqe experience, this is a very different creature. I almost never watch movies more than once, but I have a desire to watch this movie pretty much annually. If you like this movie, check out other films by Hal Hartley (Henry Fool, Book of Life, etc). I've never seen one I haven't been impressed with. Full Review »