Review: No Future

Title: No Future
Directors: Andrew Irvine, Mark Smoot
Starring: Charlie Heaton, Catherine Keener, Rosa Salazar
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Runtime: 1 hr 29 mins

What It Is: Will (Heaton), a recovering addict, returns home after an estranged friend overdosed. He reunites with Claire (Keener), his friend’s grieving mother, with whom he begins a secret but volatile affair.

What We Think: The best way in which I can describe the tone of this film comes in the form of one word… muted. Muted presentation for the most part. For most of No Future, it felt like something was desperately trying to break through a barrier of frozen ice. The performances here (especially those from Heaton and Keener) help warm that thick barrier, but it never melts enough to truly expose the film’s message.

Is it about addiction? Love? Loss? Betrayal? There’s something about Will’s relationship with Claire that felt incredibly unnatural and not as impactful as I would’ve hoped. By having the plot thread of a dead son tie them together, it comes off as rather unnerving instead of convincing – which is a double-edged sword here. The story itself tends to wallow in tragedy for the majority of its runtime, while giving the occasional emotional character moment, only for the cycle to continue. If you’re looking for a story that seems really ‘a week in the life, so to speak, I’d say check this one out. It didn’t really hit all the beats I was expecting, but hey – the expectation is a blessing and a curse.

The performances, again, are very good. Everyone is giving their all here and if you’re on a certain binge for either Keener or Heaton, it’s a welcome addition to their filmography as they possess a great amount of fragility and sadness within their characters, and the uncertain events that play out from those emotions are the ideal outcome for a dynamic as unorthodox as theirs.

Our Grade: C: While having lovely dramatic work from the two lead actors, No Future has a deeply suppressed silence underneath those performances that ultimately drives the story into an even deeper void.