American Psycho

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American Psycho: Friday April 14, 2000

Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" was perhaps the most controversial and hotly-debated novel of the last decade. Inciting all manner of protests for its graphic violence, its intensely dark tone made both the book and its author the subject of intense criticism. But the novel was not without its defenders. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of The New York Times noted that "it's as if 'American Psycho' had returned us to some bygone age when books were still a matter of life and death instead of something to distract us on a flight between JFK and LAX." And, Lehmann-Haupt may have best conveyed the essence of the book in his description of its central character: "Patrick Bateman lives in a morally flat world in which clothes have more value than skin, objects are worth more than bones, and the human soul is something to be sought with knives and hatchets and drills."Few characters have personified an era as disturbingly as Patrick Bateman. In the same way that FRANKENSTEIN gave us a monster for its time, AMERICAN PSYCHO gives us a monster for the late 20th century. Showing contemporary urban life through the eyes of a serial killer -- forcing readers to enter his mind and understand his motives -- the book sets forth a vision that is both terrifying and chilling. 2000 Lions Gate Films

 

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Score:

Reviewers

Ebert Usa Today Mr Showbiz Herald Average
Points 75 75 71 75 74

 

Film-o-Meter

74- Worth Seeing

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Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing
40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"

Director

Mary Harron 

Writer

Bret Easton Ellis (novel) 
Mary Harron 

Genre

Horror / Drama

Budget

$15 Million

Starring:

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Willem Dafoe as Donald Kimball
Reese Witherspoon as Evelyn Williams

Running Time

1hr  37mins

Rating

Rated R 

Distributor

Lions Gate Films

Trailer

RealPlayer

Website

Official Site

Soundtrack

Soundtrack  from 

 

 

 The People's Review of American Psycho

scrooge
score = 60
Having read the book a number of times I was intrigued by the possibilities before actually seeing the movie. It was interesting but I was not impressed. Christian Bale was very good as Patrick Bateman but the rest of the cast had little substance. Why was it thought necessary to change the character's names? Paul Owen/Allen - Timothy Price/Bryce. The events were also taken out of sequence. Paul Owen was killed 2/3 of the way through the book long after Bateman's first encounter with 'Christie'. Bateman tells Jean to go home because he didn't think he could control himself but this happened with a girl called Daisy whom he picked up in Nell's. The girl he meets at the dry cleaners was later a victim of torture and murder in the book but she disappears without trace in the movie. Overall the movie did not remain true to the book and failed to capture the true essence of Bateman. The violence could not be easily depicted but they did their best. As it was mostly implied (come back Hitchcock!) there was no shock value. Seeing the movie without knowing anything about the story would habe been a strange experience.

essence
score = 90
don't you understand, there is nothing to get. it's all in you're head. there is no right or wrong answer or interpretation. it is NOT about psychology. it is a fictional story and you will get from it what you get. symbolism is not something that is solid. you cannot describe something that is personel and significant to an individual without contamination. this move stands on its own and although  you may try to explain it in your own selfish, hypocrytical and egotistical ways you will never  detract from the significance of this deeply intellectually sustaining movie.

scallbad@yahoo.com

score = 90
mary harron correctly dissects the self indulgent chum that ellis is wont to overemphasize and cuts to the bone.  while being dead-on as a satire of the 80s with some of the funniest scenes put to film (the business card envy scene), harron manages to show us patrick bateman's brutal daydreams without once winking at the camera.  it takes courage to produce a film with no discernible moral compass and even more so to feel confident enough in herself as a storyteller to not spell everthing out to the audience.  we appreiate it much more once we get it.  and although i immensely enjoyed fight club, 'psycho' was able to pull off a coup by not succumbing to the multilex mindest and umbing things down for the lowest common denomiator.  brett easton ellis could be well served to take note of harron's adeptsense of subtlety.

Jessy
score = 20
comments = Although it kept me interested, it ended abruptly w/ no real resolution and i didnt think this movie was worth my time

Nick
score = 60
The film is brilliantly made, but the Director either completely misunderstood the book, or chose to add on the little 'did he or didn't he' bullshit to pacify american viewers. The bit when the lawyer says "But I had lunch with him the other day..." is just yet another example of the world of yuppydom where noone remembers eachothers names, and noone really cares. It is there to show that Bateman will never get caught because nobody will miss the people he kills - not a suggestion that he didn't kill them. Read the book and you will see there is no such suggestion. He is a brutal psycopath who lives in a such a characterless faceless, nameless world he will continue to get away with his murders whether he wants to or not.  He feels a compulsion to own up to these crimes, but how can he ever achieve the recognition he craves when even his lawyer doesn't remember his name.
a stylish film - watch it.... but quite simply a MUST READ book.

Dimitris Staikos
score = 90
comments = Simply put it's a great movie. One of the few out-of-the-ordinary movies. Just loved that finale :)

MLS 
score = 100 
For those of us who have read the book, this movie certainly does the book justice.  Christian Bale is PERFECT as Patrick Bateman, portraying a morally empty, self-absorbed being of the morally empty, self-absorbed 80's.  No one could have brought this much electricity and intensity and glib perfection to the role as Christian has--and certainly NOT Leonardo DiCaprio.  And as a cold-blooded killer--well, did he or didn't he?  Again, this is one of those movies where if you haven't already, you have got to read the book to gain a little more insight--we look for one answer in movies and we want it to be handed to us, clean and simple, no confusion, the end (like the Sixth Sense for example)--but really, they hand you this plausible answer, that Patrick's killings were only his fantasies meshing with reality--but let's take a step back and remember what this story is based on--the morally empty and self-absorbed 80's.  Yes, it is a lot easier to swallow that he only imagined these killings--much harder to stomach that in such a time, in such a world, selling a premium apt. is much more important than reporting a murder--that the real estate lady actually cleaned the apt., removed the bodies, so she could rent the space--I mean, who would rent the space knowing that dead bodies once inhabited the apt.?  A comical and dark comment on the 80's by the author.  Just my opinion, of course :)

Alienor 
score = 60 
Yes that's right, Americans are not ready for this film as it highlights the main defects of their society ... i guess they don't get the big criticism there is behind everything in the movie .. But i agree that this movie is a little bit disappointing... well the plot doesn't "catch" you and when watching it you can't really be "in" the movie. There's something kind of boring in it .. oh and  i didn't understand the end also .. was it completely a dream ? it's weird cause there are many things that prove he was dreaming but also that it was real ... thats it i guess .. sorry for my english, which isn't perfect at all, I am french ... :)

Angel 
score = 20 
This film promised so much yet delivered so little.  Christian Bale was correctly cast as Patrick Bateman and handled the character very well indeed (and kind of reminded me of a cross between Jim Carey and Tom Cruise!)but the plot was missing and the supporting cast was a bit lame in comparison.  This was enjoyable if only for the black comedy.  Nick: I think it was all going on in his head to display how thin the line is between sane and insane, but i didn't get the fact that Evelyn was going through his diary - if it didnt actually happen what was she so suspicious of?

Nick 
score = 80 
I really liked the movie and I tried hard to understand the ending, but I guess I'm one of those people that just didn't get it, but I still liked it. Not just for the blood and sex but because it was a funny movie. Could someone please tell me what exactly happened at the end and how he didn't get caught?? At first I thought that some parts of it were a dream or something, because that was the only explanation I could think of for it. But I liked it very much

Joe 
score = 10 
Can't believe the reviews.  How could a movie with no real plot and a weak theme be rated so high?  I no longer trust these sites that review movies.  There were more people laughing in the theater than anything else. I don't think it was a comedy, but it was so bloody stupid you had to laugh.

Unknown1
score = 10 
What a terrible movie.  What's the plot?  What the point?

Dr. Cutchercocov 
score = None 
the flick was a bit "artsy-fartsy", but it still held up well, but would've been better if it used mored of the novel's key elements. it was, though, a great idea not letting leonardo dicaprio in the starring role.from a scale o' 1-5, i give this flick a close 4

One 
score = 90 
This was one of the most amazing movies I have ever incountered. There will be 2 people that will comment on this movie, those who understand it at the end, and those that don't. This simple distinction defines the human race between those that understand the mind and those that don't. This movie was an amazing portrayal into the mind of Americana. To say there is no plot and no point is not understanding the society you live in. The main character is much more brilliant then they make him in the movie, but most people won't see that because of his homocidal tendencies. They won't understand the psychology of it all but its the most amazing image of our desensitized country. A Must See!!

Pat B. 
score = 80 
I liked the movie... it was ...something different...the american audiences might not be ready for it...but it was a good movie i think

Collins 
score = 20 
I gave this movie a 20, it was interesting, but had no plot, no theme and no direction

yo mama 
score = 80 
I think i have to agree, there are people who got it and people who didnt. this film is a satire on all criminally insane and how we perceve them. this film is supposed to strike thought, it was supposed to be funny- that is what a satire is! he isnt supposed to have a personality or a strong plot. if you are not ready to think for once when you see a film dont see this. i agree, most americans are not ready for this film.

Gab 
score = None 
This movie is a thinking movie. If you're looking for a mindless horror flick like "Jason", this isn't for you. This movie is funny and thought provoking at the same time. It is worth seeing if only for Christian Bale's performance as Patrick Bateman.It is scary and intense.

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