76 user 38 critic

No Such Thing (2001)

"No Such Thing" tells the story of a young journalist who journeys to Iceland to find her missing fiancée only to encounter a mythical creature. She eventually forges a relationship with the being.



Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

4 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Meanwhile III (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The funny and moving tale of Joe Fulton who can fix anything for anybody but he can't achieve success himself. But maybe today will be different!

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: D.J. Mendel, Danielle Meyer, Pallavi Sastry
Henry Fool (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talentless novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, Parker Posey
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The end of the millenium has taken on a certain significance in modern day prophecies. What happens if Jesus Christ has second thoughts about the Apocalypse? It is December 31, 1999 and New... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Martin Donovan, PJ Harvey, Dave Simonds
Flirt (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The same situation is played out in different cities (New York, Berlin and Tokyo). A lover has to choose whether to commit to a partner who is returning home. In each case there are other ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Paul Austin, Robert John Burke, Martin Donovan
Simple Men (1992)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Robert John Burke, Bill Sage, Martin Donovan
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jude, a college literature professor, falls for one of his students. She is more interested in the empirical experience of a relationship with a man whose life is ruled by the themes of the... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Martin Donovan, Matt Malloy, Rebecca Nelson
Ned Rifle (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Henry and Fay's son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother's life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Rifle family.

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Parker Posey, Liam Aiken
Fay Grim (2006)
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A ten-years-later continuation of Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool", where Fay Grim (Posey) is coerced by a CIA agent (Goldblum) to try and locate notebooks that belonged to her fugitive ex-husband (Ryan). Published in them is information that could compromises the security of the U.S., causing Fay to first head to Paris to fetch them ...

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Parker Posey, Jeff Goldblum, Liam Aiken
Amateur (1994)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Löwensohn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man returns to his home town after serving a prison sentence for homicide, and finds that the details of the crime have been forgotten and replaced with local legends and rumors.

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Adrienne Shelly, Robert John Burke, Chris Cooke
Trust (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After being thrown away from home, Maria encounters a lady who complains of not having children. Almost getting raped, she ends up in an abandoned house, where she meets Matthew. When a baby is kidnapped Maria sets out to find the lady.

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Adrienne Shelly, Martin Donovan, Rebecca Nelson
Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A comic drama about a time in the near future when citizens are happy to be property traded on the stock exchange.

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Bill Sage, Sabrina Lloyd, Tatiana Abracos


Cast overview, first billed only:
Margrét Ákadóttir ... Rental Agent
Julie Anderson ... Beautician
Anna Kristín Arngrímsdóttir ... Sólveig
Ilene Bergelson ... Ethel
Guðrún María Bjarnadóttir ... Marta (as Guðrún Bjarnadóttir)
Bessi Bjarnason ... Captain
Helgi Björnsson ... Leó
... The Monster
... Dr. Anna
Stacy Dawson ... Mugger
... Karlsdóttir / Gate Manager (as María Ellingsen)
... Journalist
... Judy
Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson ... First Mate
Brynhildur Guðjónsdóttir ... Ticket Clerk


Beatrice works as a researcher at a sensationalist New York based media organization, although she is more often than not tasked with making coffee than anything else. Unlike her colleagues, she is shy, soft spoken and a Plain Jane of a woman. She convinces her cutthroat boss to send her on assignment to Iceland, where one of their camera crews, led by Beatrice's fiancé Jim, has gone missing, they who were investigating eyewitness accounts of what was largely seen as a long held urban myth of a medieval monster. En route to Iceland, Anna becomes the sole survivor of the plane crashing, her survival considered a miracle. She is quickly abandoned in Iceland by her boss, as she will not consent to become the media darling to tell the story of the crash, leaving her alone in her long physical and emotional recovery. Beatrice believes her emotional recovery can only be fulfilled by still finding out what happened to Jim, the camera crew who were last known to be in a remote and isolated ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A modern day fable.


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief violence | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 November 2002 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

Monster  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,324, 31 March 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,006, 14 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert John Burke described to Fangoria Magazine that he once decided to walk through downtown NYC in his Monster make-up, and no one gave him a second glance. See more »


It is never explained why a reclusive Icelandic Monster should speak English with an American accent. Maybe he absorbs the language of people he kills, but the issue is never addressed. See more »


The Boss: The world needs to know!
Beatrice: Why?
The Boss: What?
Beatrice: Why does the world need to know how it feels to crash into the sea?
See more »


References Beauty and the Beast (1946) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hartley Fans Rejoice!
9 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

As individuals, or collectively as a society, what is it, exactly, that we are afraid of? Since the beginning of time, what has really been behind all those knee-jerk reactions that have brought us to where we are today? These are the questions posed (and answered) by writer/director Hal Hartley in `No Such Thing,' an often biting satire of the news media, the all-to-prevalent-in-our-society tabloid-type mentality and our response to the unknown, be it tangible or imaginary; a film that brings us face to face with fear and confronts it with humor, pathos and Hartley's own insightful and inimitable take on the human condition.

Some time after a three-man television news team disappears after being sent to Iceland to investigate reports of a `monster' living on a rock island just off the coast, the station receives a tape recording from someone claiming to be the monster himself, describing in graphic detail what he did with those dispatched to find and film him. `The Boss (Helen Mirren)' of the news department, in her quest to give the public the `worst news' possible, agrees to send another employee, Beatrice (Sarah Polley), to Iceland to follow up on it, since Beatrice was engaged to the cameraman of the crew gone missing.

After a temporary delay due to circumstances beyond her control, Beatrice finally makes it to Iceland, where she has to trek to a remote village on the coast (the final leg of which she has to walk, as even horses can't make it through). Once there, the locals tell their tales of the `monster,' who has apparently always been with them, and point out to her the rock upon which he is purported to live. And Beatrice finds herself at the point of no return; she has come this far, and now it's just a matter of getting some help from the villagers to get her across the channel to the rock-- and her encounter with this monster who is `changeless and eternal.'

As no one else can, Hal Hartley has crafted and delivered a film that is part `Beauty and the Beast,' part `Frankenstein,' part `Forbidden Planet,' and ALL Hartley. Unlike most films featuring a `monster,' Hartley does not keep his audience in suspense, but reveals his `man/beast' at the very beginning, as we see him making the tape he subsequently sends to the T.V. station. And he's an ugly spud (credit goes to Mark Rappaport for special effects makeup), unique among all of the monsters in cinematic history. Hartley's creation affects a John Wayne countenance, drinks too much and speaks perfect English (how this can be so is ultimately revealed). Hartley then layers one unexpected event upon another, using black comedy to present a scathing social commentary, incisively composed through his keen insights into human nature. The allegory of the tale is concealed in who this monster really is, and what he wants, and it brings to mind Dr. Morbius and the secrets of the Krell.

Absent in this film is the trademark cadence Hartley generally has his actors employ through a very deliberate delivery of their lines, and it is missed, as it is one of the elements that makes his films so engaging, creating as it does a fairly hypnotic effect (similar to the method employed by David Mamet in his films). Still, the Hartley magic is alive and well, and by keeping his volatile monster front and center throughout the film, rather than as a mysterious entity hidden in the shadows to whom he merely alludes, he succeeds in keeping his audience totally involved. Hartley is also a master of `thinking outside the box,' which enables him to offer entirely unique perspectives on the human condition and this thing we call `life'; you never know where he's going to take you, which is another reason why his films are so engaging (as this one certainly is). He knows how to make that all-important connection with his audience, but he chooses to do it indirectly, offering thought-provoking scenarios in a way that gives his viewer the option of coming on board or standing by while the ship sails; a kind of `you can lead a horse to water,' proposition that most filmmakers would not have the courage to employ. Keep in mind, though, that once you hit the deck with Hartley, the rewards are many and great.

Working with Hartley for the first time, Sarah Polley proves to be a quick study in all things Hartley; in creating Beatrice, she demonstrates an innate grasp of his methods, and most importantly, what it is he is attempting to accomplish through his characters. And this has to be a challenge to any actor; just as not every actor can work with Woody Allen because of his approach, it would seemingly be difficult with Hartley because of his unique perspectives. Whatever the case may be, Polley succeeds splendidly, presenting a convincing character who is decidedly all `Hartley.'

Helen Mirren, too, demonstrates her versatility and consummate professionalism by falling into Hartley's rhythms with apparent facility. The role of `The Boss' is something of a departure for Mirren, but she immerses herself in the character with gusto and makes The Boss believable. And she seems to be enjoying herself immensely in doing so. A terrific actor, she's a joy to watch in this one.

As the monster, Hartley regular Robert John Burke steals the show by creating a monster that is so stunningly atypical; this beast has a fearless swagger and the wisdom of millennia to back it up. Burke readily conveys his disdain for human beings with terms and a tone that fairly drips with cynicism, and it is in his portrayal that we find both the real humor and the pathos of the film.

The supporting cast includes Baltasar Kormakur (Artaud), Julie Christie (Dr. Anna) and Stacy Dawson (Mugger). Off-beat and entertaining, `No Such Thing' is a unique experience that is going to make you think a bit. 9/10.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 76 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial