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Last Night (1999)

Jessica Booker , Geneviève Bujold  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Booker, Geneviève Bujold, David Cronenberg, Robin Gammell, François Girard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783240228
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,767 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Last Night" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Parental Lock

Editorial Reviews

Apocalyptic visions can take many forms, from atomic to cosmic disaster, from cautionary tale to sardonic despair, comets, asteroids, plague. But when it comes to the end of the world, one expects fire or ice, bang or whimper. Rarely does this genre focus on the area between those two extremes, as it does brilliantly in Don McKellar's Last Night, a wry tale exploring the effects of the world's imminent demise on a group of characters in Toronto. No panic ensues, no looting, no gnashing of teeth or elaborate schemes to forestall disaster. Well, that may be happening somewhere, but certainly not in Toronto. Here the radio counts down the top 500 hits of all time. The clock ticks by the evening hours while daylight fails to wane. Everywhere, people prepare for the end in ways that range from the mundane to the winsome. The principal action throws together Patrick (McKellar), a dejected young man who plans on spending the end alone listening to music, with Sandra (Sandra Oh), whose plans to spend the end with her husband (David Cronenberg) are thwarted by lack of transportation. Meanwhile, Patrick's friend Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) is fulfilling every sexual fantasy he's ever had. Love the one you're with is the message here. The real star is the tone of the picture, which is distanced and ironic and masterfully maintained throughout. Sarah Polley and Geneviève Bujold appear in supporting roles. It's the directorial debut of actor McKellar (Exotica, eXistenZ), who also scripted The Red Violin. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Grim October 18, 2003
Most films dealing with apocalyptic themes, especially nowadays, likes to use a ton of flashy special effects and thundering soundtracks to convey the imminent demise of our planet. Fortunately for viewers who want something a little more thought provoking, other films about the end of the world occasionally slip through the cracks. One of these films is "Last Night," a chilling, low budget piece of cinema from Canada. "Last Night" doesn't have huge asteroids slamming into the planet, or killer plagues turning the human population into dust, but it does have heavy atmosphere and compelling performances from several actors and actresses you have probably never heard about. The movie even casts famous horror film director David Cronenberg in a major role. If you tire easily of the big Hollywood action/apocalypse films, turn to something like "Last Night" to get your Armageddon fix. About the only problem I had with "Last Night" concerned the play list on the radio station as it counted down the top 500 songs of all time. Personally, I didn't recognize very many of these tunes; I would have picked a few numbers that are more upbeat myself.
"Last Night" distressingly describes the last six hours of the last night the human race will ever see. Set in Toronto, Canada, the movie closely follows the final hours of several individuals, including a reclusive loner and his family, his best friend, an Asian woman desperately trying to reach her husband before the catastrophe arrives, an energy executive and his secretary, and a former high school French teacher. Perhaps surprisingly, most of these people sedately go about the last moments of their lives as though it isn't a big deal.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, available in WS in Canada only September 28, 2004
I love this film, but I'll avoid going into why, since everyone else has already described how great it is. The new Lions Gate American DVD is just a reissue of the old Universal DVD. They are both Pan & Scan (Boo! Hiss!)

Just recently, a widescreen version has finally become available. It is only available in Canada, and is released by Alliance Atlantis. Be careful, as there is an older Alliance Atlantis disc that is Pan & Scan, like the two American discs. You can get the new disc at, where the ASIN number for the widescreen disc is: B0002XGJSW

Note that it has no bonus features and is not anamorphically enhanced. Also, the image quality is no real improvement over the dull, washed out look of the existing discs. It also costs about twenty-five dollars plus shipping, nearly double the cost of the American disc. Widescreen, however, was certainly worth it for me.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This small Canadian picture from writer/director/star Don McKellar came as a huge surprise. As it begins, there are six hours left before the end of the world. It's never divulged just what has transpired to bring about this catastrophe, but that's completely secondary to the very real and human stories unfolding. As people confront the end in different ways--some dignified, some anarchic--this picture connects with small moments and believable characterizations.

Far from typical Apocalyptic representations, this is a refreshing story about human interactions. There is some looting and rioting, to be sure, but much of that is a backdrop to normal people facing the inevitable. They all have different ways they want to face the end--attend a last concert, be alone, have an impromptu Christmas, watch home movies, go to a party, have sex. Realistic and small observances are what will make this film linger in my mind.

McKellar is great as a man who just wants to be left alone, having already lost the woman he loves. Sandra Oh probably has the showiest role as a woman trying to get across town so that she may fulfill a suicide pact with her husband. She is understated and powerful. The rest of the cast is a virtual Who's Who of Canadian cinema including Sarah Polley, Genevieve Bujold, director David Cronenberg, Egoyan regular Arsinee Khanjian, and many other recognizable faces.

I really enjoyed this picture. It never tries to manipulate your feelings, it's all so matter of fact--that is its strongest point! It would have been easy to manufacture this tale as a weeper. But that doesn't mean it won't connect with you emotionally, it just isn't obvious about it. The end was surprisingly touching and moving--all the more so because I didn't know I was so drawn in.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End As It Should Be April 1, 2000
No fire and brimstone, no biblical monsters, no masshysteria...not even a crazy old person screaming to all to save theirsouls. This is the story of the last night on earth. For the past few months the people of earth have known that the world would end at this midnight, obviously having something to do with the sun...which even at 11:59:59 shines as brightly as midday. Around the city of Toronto, a family sits down to Christmas dinner, though it is not Christmas. A man working for the gas company (David Cronenberg) calls everyone in Toronto to let them know that their gas will be on for as long as possible. His wife (Sandra Oh) desperately attempts to get home after her car is vandalized by looters. A man elsewhere in the city attempts every sexual fantasy he has ever considered. When another gentleman (McKellar, who also directed) who has every intention sitting home alone listening to music up until the end runs into Sandra, and they wind up spending their last hours together.
There has never to my knowledge ever been a film like this one. No drama, no hysterics, this movie shows the world as it most likely really would end were we to be made aware of it a couple of months in advance. It makes you sit down and think for a moment about who you would like to spend your last hours with. Family, friends, lovers? Who would be important to you during the last six hours, and how would you wish to spend it with them? I couldn't fathom of it, but McKellar, who also wrote this story, does a brilliant job of it. This movie is amazing and beautiful and rarely tragic. It is definitely worth your time and definitely worth the purchase. It's food for thought, and a brilliant accomplishment by McKellar. If you like him, check out some of his other work such as Exotica and eXistenZ. END
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, interesting look into the actions of people living the last 24...
From the whimsical to the sordid (and everything in-between), this movie chronicles people's last 24 hours on earth. And it has GREAT music
Published 9 months ago by D. L. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking. How would you spend your last day on earth?
I saw this understated, little-known gem at the movies in 1998 and fell in love with it. Please don't confuse it with a movie with the same name from 2010. Read more
Published 12 months ago by J. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, fascinating, highly underrated - great film
I just happened to wander across this dvd on Amazon and picked it up, assuming it would be quite ungood, as most end-of-the-world films tend to be. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Connelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Last Night
The movie won't show here. It is the wrong zone! I've bought a film from you before (under my mother's name) and that worked perfectly. Read more
Published 14 months ago by CJ Wessels
3.0 out of 5 stars A realistic view of the end of the world
This is a realistic view of how people would behave in the final few weeks before the end of the world. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Adam Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 minutes well-spent
What if you knew the exact date and time when the world would end? What would you do? Last Night explores the answers. Read more
Published on March 23, 2012 by Michael J. Tresca
3.0 out of 5 stars Possesses more of a sense of futility than tragedy
I'm usually a fan of the odd and quirky, but this definitively odd and quirky little apocalyptic film never really connected with me in a spiritual or emotional way. Read more
Published on February 4, 2012 by Daniel Jolley
3.0 out of 5 stars Last Night
It's okay. A DJ hyped it on his radio show which is why I bought it. It's interesting in seeing what people do on "their very last night on earth".
Published on September 25, 2011 by Mildred F. Fabick
1.0 out of 5 stars wrong movie- no packing slip-be careful with ordering from Amazon
Ordered Last Night, a different movie, was shipped this movie without a packing slip. Didnt realize it was the completely wrong movie until I open the DVD and watched it. Read more
Published on September 5, 2011 by movie viewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars for Last Night
It is 6 PM in Toronto, precisely six hours before the end of the world. The reason for the end is never specified. Perhaps the sun will go nova. Read more
Published on October 7, 2010 by Richard Bellush, Jr.
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