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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome37.55%
Worth A Look: 30.11%
Average: 14.13%
Pretty Bad: 11.52%
Total Crap: 6.69%

12 reviews, 197 user ratings


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American Psycho
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by Chris Parry

"Never before has Huey Lewis been so deeply analysed."
4 stars

It could so easily have gone wrong. Adapted from a book that set new highs (or lows, depending on your psychological profile) in blood, guts and gore, American Psycho could have ended up a cartoonish action thriller that glorified violence and torture. It could have been camp, it could have been slapstick or a horror movie. Instead, director Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner have identified the underlying themes of narcissism and self-loathing prevalent in the book (and the 80's) and dragged them kicking and screaming out into the open where they can be poked with pointy sticks.

Over 500 pages of a book, a writer can take a reader on a two week journey. You read and read and there's really no limit to what can be portrayed with in your own head. A feature film, however, doesn't have time to dilly dally in the details. You've got two hours (three if you're special) to hit all the important elements of the story, get to the point, sparky! And as much as the book version of American Psycho has outraged thousands and been vilified by moralists as the devil in book form, it does have an underlying theme. If you're capable, you're supposed to read past the goo and find the ideas behind it. The makers of this film have centred on those themes sensibly and efficiently and, in the process, manage to create a gripping satire on the greed of the 80's.

In layman's terms, it's not as gory as it could have been, but buggered if you really care.

Patrick Bateman is a nasty piece of work. With money to burn and power beyond the reach of all but those born into it, Bateman is bored. He's totally unable to get into life. That is, until he starts taking the lives of others. A sledgehammer to the head here, a gun to the head there, it's a new thrill, ultimate power, no sport like a blood sport, woohoo!

What causes Bateman's malaise? Well, it's life in the 80's. Wealth is power, power is life. Throw on Susudio, punt the Rubik's Cube off the balcony and rip the chainsaw into action.
American Psycho is a funny flick. Not so funny in a "haha" way, more funny in an "I can't believe he's a Huey Lewis fan" way. It's satire, and good satire. A world where the texture of a man's business card means more than the depth of his intellect.
It's far from perfect. While lead actor Christian Bale sears in the role of the psychotic Bateman, at times things shift too far into surrealism to keep the theme going. The ending of the film suffers greatly from this malaise, but in reality there is no ending to such a film. It's not about the story, it's about an idea.

If your friends watch reality TV, don't take them to this. They won't get it. If you consider yourself a thinker and someone who can look past a splatter of red and see the forest behind the trees, give American Psycho a try. There's a thinker behind the stinker.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1380&reviewer=1
originally posted: 06/21/00 23:55:20
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User Comments

10/24/17 Louise I thought it was rubbish and lame. 2 stars
9/12/17 morris campbell overrated BALE IS GOOD NOTHING ELSE IS 1 stars
3/31/17 Fire WithFire Bret Ellis' knee-jerk paranoia of what was in the souls and minds of Reagan voters 1 stars
3/22/17 Louise (the real one) I found it seriously underwhelming and forgettable 3 stars
5/30/12 Sabrina Don't just stare at it, EAT IT. www.boldstriped.com 5 stars
5/30/12 Patrick Bateman I have to return some videotapes... boldstriped.com 5 stars
6/13/11 art this flick is NIFTY, everone is COOL!,from Christian BALE to GUINEVERE Turner! 4 stars
6/13/10 art BALE was GRAND as a SICKO,SEVIGNy sUPER as his HELPER, SEYMOUR great as a drifter. 5 stars
6/06/10 User Name Funny and frightening. 3 stars
6/05/10 art AN EXTRAORDINAIRY STORY about a MANIAC,CHLOE SEVIGNY WAS GREAT in her supporting role! 4 stars
3/18/10 PAUL SHORTT INTENSE, NASTY PORTRAIT OF A SELF-OBSESSED, PSYCHOTIC MAN 2 stars
3/12/10 Tony amazing acting display by Bale in Chinese Laundry showing every emotion possible 5 stars
1/02/10 Lola Excellent film made brilliant by Bale. Best actor of this generation. Leo who?. 5 stars
10/21/09 camaysar Bale's phone confession to his lawyer - amazing display of acting. 5 stars
7/06/09 Jessi I was bored throughout the film. I can't even watch Christian Bale movies anymore. 1 stars
3/17/09 :] this movie inspires serial killers 4 stars
2/27/09 matt Brilliant deadpan performance by Bale. A masterpiece of black comedy. 5 stars
1/08/09 Princess Christian Bale freaked me out like crazy in this!! 4 stars
6/22/08 David Kind of a guilty pleasure, but still a very good movie. 4 stars
8/03/07 itchmr well conceived, gory, sadistic inner fantasy 3 stars
7/30/07 Pipes! An excellent look into 80's lifestyle and a hilarious view into a psycho mind! 5 stars
6/06/07 David Pollastrini very well done 5 stars
4/17/07 Chris Redmond Magnificent performance by Bale. A hilarious satire of a very materialistic era. 5 stars
4/03/07 lisa bale was AMAZING. funny, yet made me think that the 80s isnt dissimilar to now-scary... 5 stars
3/29/07 Double M Bale didn't get *at least* an oscar nom!! now things like that hurts the oscars credibility 5 stars
2/01/07 William Goss A good movie with a great performance by Bale. Ending mildly stumbles. 4 stars
12/30/06 AJ Muller Hilarious satire in one way; psychologically chilling in another. Bale is simply on fire. 5 stars
7/13/06 Agent Sands Fantastic performance from Bale. Not one dull moment. 4 stars
6/26/06 MP Bartley Bale is beyond brilliant here. The film just slightly less good than he. 5 stars
2/24/06 omar kinda gives out in the end but otherwise a good movie 3 stars
12/03/05 Jesse This is not an exit 5 stars
12/03/05 Jennifer S. The scene with "Hip to be Square" playing in the background was hilarious! 3 stars
11/16/05 JamesKenobi Absolutely and unoquivically brilliant. 5 stars
11/13/05 Elitza Loved it. 4 stars
10/12/05 DennyRoss Dark Murder/Satire that keeps you guessing! 5 stars
6/14/05 K. Sear Cheesy, strange, chilling and erudite. An excellent movie. 5 stars
6/08/05 Indrid Cold An entertaining but unsatisfying black comedy/thriller. 4 stars
5/17/05 E-FUNK Bale makes this film work. Disturbing, hilarious and unforgettable. Loved it. 5 stars
3/15/05 Ronin Surprisingly good 4 stars
1/27/05 Evan I enjoyed it! 4 stars
1/18/05 Stefan Halka Nothing special. Just a decent slasher set in the '80s yuppie world. 3 stars
11/10/04 atanu pretty darn good 5 stars
9/25/04 Vicious The best of dark, dark comedy. I empathise with bateman a little, the pain of emptyness. 5 stars
8/30/04 Sonia Excellent Satire! 5 stars
7/13/04 Nick Martin Reviewer missed the whole point 4 stars
6/04/04 Stab Wounds Not the greatest thing since sliced bread... 3 stars
5/11/04 Josh Best Social Satire about Corporate Clones 5 stars
4/26/04 donna funny.gory but not overdone. Bale was hot! 5 stars
2/24/04 Jonni American society at its best. Very Funny 5 stars
1/22/04 falamor Kool i liked this movie 5 stars
11/08/03 Wynne Plenty of reviewers missed the subtle nuances. Good to see not everyone is Ebert-dense. 5 stars
10/24/03 Josh Standlee As "restricted" as movies get, but I liked it anyway. 5 stars
9/12/03 the lord sheer brilliance - p. bateman is a hero. if you disagree, your opinion is worthless. 5 stars
7/10/03 Jim WTF just happened? 4 stars
6/19/03 Lush The shift in tone towards then end seems out of place, but Bale is superb. 4 stars
6/14/03 Alice Read the book. 2 stars
5/28/03 k-dog hbk 5 stars
5/01/03 Andrew Carden Clever, but Stupid Horror/Comedy With A Horrid Screenplay. Bale Is OK. 2 stars
4/11/03 Ross Bernard Didn't make a whole lot of sense but pretty good acting 4 stars
3/10/03 Jack Sommersby An imaginative and wickedly funny black comedy. Bale is outstanding. 4 stars
2/22/03 R.W. Welch Indeterminate exercise with loose ends everywhere. Interesting as a curiosity. 3 stars
10/30/02 Patrick ladies and gentlemen; "The American Psycho" 5 stars
10/08/02 Dave Top Film..the book was even better 5 stars
9/11/02 Francofile It's sick, but I'd watch Christian Bale eat human brains with chopsticks. 3 stars
8/31/02 Jennifer Intense! Think about this: what really happened? Separate reality from delusions. Lost? 5 stars
8/08/02 Caiphn One of my favorite films. 5 stars
8/05/02 Charles Tatum Flubbed ending, but Bale deserved an Oscar 4 stars
7/31/02 KMG WHOA.....BALE MUST'VE WORKED OUT.......OOOOOOH... 4 stars
7/28/02 John Roberson Even better after the stock market crashing, isn't it? 5 stars
6/09/02 Gummibear X I went crazy after watchin this movie... donno why, but I wanna kill... 3 stars
5/27/02 Nicole What a sick, twisted movie 4 stars
5/14/02 Danielle Ophelia The screenwriters and the director really GOT the book's satirical edge. Huzzah!! 4 stars
4/30/02 Caiphn Worth buying. 5 stars
3/06/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress I was oddly intrigued but not necessarily entertained. Fell short with lack of substance. 4 stars
1/06/02 FGJ180 Smug satire, watch Fight Club, and realize, we have no right to act smug towards the past. 2 stars
12/25/01 Connoisseur entertaining but not substantial 3 stars
10/25/01 Bill Gains Hi-larious! 5 stars
10/17/01 jawsboy why would you do that, bonar?. 4 stars
10/02/01 HM3 Frightenly dull. 2 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Bale was great! This movie was cool! 4 stars
8/25/01 Zipperneck Unique. Dark. Bale is a treat to watch in a maniacal, over the top way. 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Different in the best ways possible...I loved it. 5 stars
7/14/01 JT Interesting idea loses steam quickly 3 stars
6/27/01 Not bad Not a bad movie at all. Bale is convincing, but script does no justice 3 stars
6/02/01 javiero bonar i would rather cut off my penis than see this movie ever again 1 stars
5/21/01 mn ??? 3 stars
5/21/01 Monster W. Kung Lacks everything that made Fight Club so powerful, and it becomes often phony. 3 stars
4/17/01 Dan Intense, Exciting, Thought Provoking 5 stars
4/16/01 Tam Disturbing and glamorous, but OTT at times. 4 stars
4/15/01 GeorgE McCaul CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!!!! God, I was never so happy because a movie ended. 1 stars
4/06/01 Jesse L Can't comment now - I have to return some video tapes... 5 stars
3/21/01 rebbi stein One of the best movies of the year 5 stars
2/17/01 Egg36 Great satire of 1990s commercialism 5 stars
2/15/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi READ THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
2/11/01 Bender Without Christian Bale, this movie is coma-inducing. 3 stars
1/30/01 John Distrubing and dark look into the status question in socitey. 4 stars
1/13/01 Invader This movie I liked but it seemed to more about fashion and status than serial killing 4 stars
12/03/00 David Murrell Funny, 80s pisstake 5 stars
11/20/00 natasha good-- if you want to live in this character's mind for a couple of hours 4 stars
11/02/00 Mike Great 80's millieu - lousy ending. Rent it as a background party flick. 3 stars
10/31/00 marsh one of the most subtle, disturbing movies i've ever seen. not everyone will 'get it't' 5 stars
10/16/00 TIM EXTREMELY POINTLESS... ESCEPT FOR BALE>>> GOD HES HOT!! 1 stars
9/14/00 Ground Zero sick ending, too much gore and blood 3 stars
9/12/00 Monday Morning Hilarious pretentiousness countered by too-extreme violence, lame ending. 3 stars
9/10/00 Rosalie Coleman I kept looking for the point, I never found it. 2 stars
8/24/00 TIGGER BEST MOVIE! 5 stars
8/23/00 Geoff Stewart "Damn good, damn funny, serial killers don't get any funnier than this! 5 stars
8/13/00 Belinda You can be psycho without having to chop people up. Could have been better. 3 stars
8/09/00 Dan Baar BEST FILM OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/05/00 Viking About as edifying as "Mein Kampf" 2 stars
7/17/00 perverted pixie Disturbingly funny, with Bale's Bateman just as pircing as Lili Taylor's Valerie. 5 stars
7/10/00 Andrew J. Bale deserves an Oscar. Prolly won't get a nom, though. 5 stars
6/22/00 A delightful romp that any Huey Lewis, Phil Collins/Genesis, Robert Palmer, or Whitney Houston fan simply MUST see!! 4 stars
6/20/00 Ulatekk Total bullshit ending!!! 3 stars
6/13/00 DAVID Movie was really good but i must say its not as violent as people say!! 4 stars
5/27/00 Jaime N. Christley It's as vapid as the lifestyle it satirizes. Christian Bale is extraordinary, however. 2 stars
5/22/00 Obi Wan What da fuck was this shit??? It had a few laffs but did this get chopped up? 2 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte Great Dick flick 4 stars
5/20/00 Bueller Serial killers just aren't as funny as they used to be. Pretty much wastes Bales talents. 2 stars
5/17/00 swan bale is brilliant 4 stars
5/13/00 Zeitgeist brilliant satire, great acting, totally mind-fucking experience 5 stars
5/10/00 Heather A great piece of societal commentary. Harron scores again 5 stars
5/09/00 bart Perversely entertaining. Great men's product recomenndations. 5 stars
5/08/00 Add Its not about a killer, its all about soceity and the control which the money men have. 5 stars
5/03/00 malcolm utterly ridiculous from top to bottom - esp. the chain saw chase. it doesn't get much worse 1 stars
5/02/00 venicejay made no fucking sense. was there footage left on the cutting room floor? 1 stars
5/02/00 mop Pretty pointless. I was disappointed with Mary Harron, loved I Shot Andy Warhol... 2 stars
5/01/00 perverted pixie Another Harron masterpiece! Christian Bale was so utterly perfect as Bateman! 5 stars
5/01/00 Will excellent adaptation 5 stars
4/30/00 Mortis Ah finally a movie about my decade...it so rocked! 5 stars
4/29/00 john smith awesome flick ... just loved it ... rattling but so finely done and acted ... 5 stars
4/29/00 Richard Wright Didn't like it. Lesso sex scenes interspersed with stupid business card arguments... YAWN! 2 stars
4/29/00 Pansy big fat hairy deal, wasted movie, ridiculously done 2 stars
4/28/00 lu-cartei You can't but symphatize with a psycho. 5 stars
4/26/00 Randall I must have missed something 2 stars
4/25/00 Bueller Talk about your dark comedy. But then, what's so funny about mass murder? Oh yeah, nothing! 3 stars
4/25/00 bart even better after a 2nd viewing 5 stars
4/24/00 bill benzon so what? 2 stars
4/24/00 Marisol C. very dark, absurd, no point, not worth the money, too many raunchy sex scenes. 1 stars
4/22/00 Zeitgeist Brilliant satire, awesome acting..and why is no one mentioning the mind-blowing ending? 5 stars
4/20/00 Brett Good solid movie -- good acting, neat camera work, and a literary plot! Solid work. 4 stars
4/19/00 Cyndi B. The use of symbolism and metaphor was brilliant. Fascinating commentary on the 80s. 5 stars
4/19/00 Not David Hasselhoff. The killing lost its disturbingness after the first couple of scenes.End is middle of book. 2 stars
4/19/00 Ben Ryan Totally nowhere. No plot, no care, Useless acting, terrible directing, fucking waste! 1 stars
4/19/00 allan Gorgeous food shots. Hilarious sex scenes. Bale looked like a facial mask. 4 stars
4/18/00 John Roberson What they said... ;) 5 stars
4/18/00 Brien Good Shock Appeal... overdramatic storyline 3 stars
4/18/00 Amber R. Mary Harron is a goddess among directors-Bale is magnificent. The ultimate yuppie scum! 5 stars
4/17/00 Clarence T. Aside from being one of the greatest satires ever made, this movie was funny as hell! 5 stars
4/17/00 PJ not nearly as graphic as it should have been, but it was still great Bale was magnificent 4 stars
4/17/00 Malbert Christian Bale has made an awesome turnaround...other than,a disgusting piece of shit movie 3 stars
4/17/00 Phil Freeman Dark, bitter, and very funny (a little obvious sometimes, though). 4 stars
4/17/00 Mark Williamson The 80's were bad--yes I knew that before I wasted $9.50 on this piece of junk. 1 stars
4/17/00 Sirkka extremely memorable and maniacal 4 stars
4/16/00 lucas jackson it was so gross that it was funny 4 stars
4/16/00 Thor-Leo Unaffecting, unmoving. Chloe Sevigny and Justin Theroux were underused (wasted). 2 stars
4/16/00 Zeitgeist incredible plot twist at the end. brilliant dialogue. great acting by Bale. 5 stars
4/16/00 Mary Ann Coral-Amasifuen Brilliant commentary on the duality of male society in American culture. society 5 stars
4/16/00 Matt Thiel Notice that one of the commentators is from Lion's Gate: Jim Smith (ftp.lionsgatefilms.com) 1 stars
4/16/00 Captain Highcrime A mediocre Anthony Perkins/Jim Carrey impersonation if ever I saw one. 2 stars
4/15/00 "Persnickety" what a masterpiece, all out kick ass movie! 5 stars
4/15/00 Lisa I definitely want to see this one again! 4 stars
4/15/00 JonnyAngel crazy shit, hilarious 4 stars
4/12/00 Dave This film was so bad I left in the middle of it! 1 stars
4/12/00 Mike Worst movie of the year, stay away from this piece of crap! 1 stars
4/05/00 Jim Smith Great Film 5 stars
4/02/00 John Unertl Witty dialogue, great story. 5 stars
3/30/00 DoubleDown A refreshing look at an unlikely psychopath 5 stars
3/29/00 Mike THIS MOVIE SUCKED! 1 stars
3/23/00 Thomas Willads I LOVE this movie! 5 stars
3/22/00 eric masse okay adaptation 3 stars
3/18/00 Pat Suarez Interesting study of reptilian sociopath flawed by inconsistent storyline and editing. 4 stars
3/17/00 james derfield excellent 5 stars
3/16/00 Alex Ioshpe An intelligent, intense and shocking adaption with marvelous preformances. 5 stars
3/14/00 Doug Chapman A brilliant adaptation of one of the best satirical novels in the last decade. 5 stars
3/12/00 Jake Lloyd More interesting than the book. More funny than frightening. Too bad it dies at the end. 4 stars
3/02/00 kim chaney loved it.. witty.. different then book.. but very good 4 stars
2/24/00 randall woolf elegant and funny...inspired 5 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski *Giggle Giggle* This is not an exit...who among us read the book???? 4 stars
1/25/00 Chris Whitney top notch serial killer flick 5 stars
1/24/00 David Williams Saw this at Sundance and it was an awesome satire 5 stars
1/21/00 Fran Chilling view of narcissistic soul freeze. 5 stars
1/19/00 Derek DiCiccio some of you people are very, very sick 1 stars
1/14/00 Bret Easton Ellis I think u are all a pack of blood sucking vampires 1 stars
1/14/00 Max_Fischer I will be among the first to see it-- I have tickets to the premiere at Sundance! 5 stars
1/09/00 Patrick Bateman Awesome film. I can't wait to see it again. 5 stars
1/02/00 Chastity Blevins This movie brings out the serial killer in all of us. 5 stars
12/23/99 Nicki B Can't wait to see if it's as graphic as the book! 5 stars
12/14/99 David Berkowitz This film is filthy, depraved, sick and completely horrible. And I like it!!!! 5 stars
11/23/99 Devon Thank god christian isn't Leo. Christian brings 'great acting', becuase yes, he can act. 5 stars
11/17/99 Fabian DuBois This movie was AMAZING. I was very pleased with the way Harron toned down the violence. 5 stars
11/16/99 miguel angel insaurralde quiero ver escenas del film 5 stars
11/13/99 Patrick Bateman Rad 5 stars
11/01/99 Michael Harris "American Psycho" doesn't top the book it's based on, but what a film. M. Harron:great job! 5 stars
10/30/99 Ahmed Ali DiCaprio as an actor is - 0 ! Christian Bale proved many times that he is great. 4 stars
10/20/99 Mr Miyagi who the f*ck is Leo? Christian plays Patrick and he is a complete geezer 5 stars
10/02/99 Julien Staid I've seen a rough copy of the film and it's quite disappointed. Christian just isn't Leo. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Apr-2000 (R)
  DVD: 21-Jun-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  10-Aug-2000 (R)




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