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Plot: Patrick Bateman, a young, well to do man working on wall street at his father's company kills for no reason at all. As his life progresses his hatred for the world becomes more and more intense. Runtime: 102 mins Release Date: 13 Apr 2000
'American Psycho' is NOT a slasher movie. It is a depiction, a fantasy if you will, of the life of modern man and his place in society.Nothing is enough. Money, sex, social stature, there is always someone else who has more and everyone else expect from you to try harder for even more.This movie is about eliminating competition the easy way. By killing your opponents. By eating your sexual partners. By destroying everyone around you.'American Psycho' retains the balance between this psychotic state, a chilling thriller and a very funny movie.The scenes that show Patrick <more>
playing music for his guests are absolutely hilarious, as he comments very seriously on records by artists such as Whitney Houston, Phil Collins and Huey Lewis & the News. The funny thing is that he chooses the most commercial or sold out records of these artists, to explain how much better they are compared to their previous, more artistic work. Another message of the state of the receivers of commercial art.You can analyze 'American Psycho' for hours. It can be perceived both as a deep and a fun movie. Even if you don't like the story, you will love Christian Bale's excellent performance.Enjoy.10/10
A great visual and psychological achievement. Christian Bale delivers a knock-out performance. **** out of four (by Movie-12)
AMERICAN PSYCHO / 2000 **** out of four Patrick Bateman: I think my mask of sanity is about to slip. ---"American Psycho" The average filmmaker would turn "American Psycho" into an exploitative slasher flick, but Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner have adapted the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis into something unique and intriguing, a brilliant, thought-provoking social commentary thriller.Readers criticized the decade old novel because of its graphic violence, but that doesn't cause Turner and Harron to give into the controversial material. I have never read <more>
the book, but after watching "American Psycho," I intend to. It's a scathing, rare film that probes our imagination and beliefs while experimenting with true psychological terror. It often makes startling switches between scenes of dark comedy and sequences that portray unsettling, graphic images. Director Mary Harron says in the film's press notes that she wanted all but one of the violent sequences to be disturbing. The amount of blood and violence here is certainly extreme, but considering the nature of the beast, not overly abundant. The film calculates every single act of violence, therefore, the victims are seldom random characters, but people we care about, which is why the scenes are so timely and effective. The best description of the film's main character, Patrick Bateman Christian Bale comes from Christopher Lehmann-Houpt of The New York Times. "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." Both leading actors in "American Psycho" have previously portrayed Jesus Christ, Willem Dafoe in "The Last Temptation of Christ," and Christian Bale in "Mary, Mother of Jesus." Talk about versatility. It's probably not a coincidence that Christian Bale was the initial actor of preference for Mary Harron. If an actor can display such a fascinating performance as Jesus Christ, he's more than capable of playing a psychotic serial killer because he already knows the other side of the moral spectrum. Through the strong central character, "American Psycho" suggests several themes about the 1980's, including society's obsession with outer perfection, conformity, the rising threshold of material fetishism, and the strong desire of stimulation by drugs, sex, money, and power. Patrick Bateman isn't given a back story, however, and the movie doesn't offer his personal history. Bateman has no inside emotions. He reacts by inner impulse alone. He seeks gratification through the sex and drugs, but also by engaging in the homicidal behavior. "You could describe American Psycho' as a film about perfect surfaces and what might be lurking beneath," says Mary Harron. "Inside, Bateman might want it all to stop, but for him it's a compulsion. He's like the serial killer in M, who says: You have a choice, but I can't help what I am.'""American Psycho" initially earned an NC-17 rating, not because of the violence but because of the graphic sexual content. The director's cut is available on videocassette and DVD, which shows the film's three-way sex scene in more disturbing, yet innovative, detail. That's a good thing, if you're not a sensitive viewer, because this film is all about details. The production design, the cinematography, the visual effects, the engaging soundtrack, the quirks each actor masterfully incorporates with their character, and every other aspect of the film is flush in detail. This is a movie that requires more than one viewing, to experience the surreal visual arena, and to justify what we think actually happened. Perplexingly, the film's conclusion puts the events into question. Did Bateman really kill these people, or did he just really want to? The answers don't come easy, but this is a movie that begs us to look closer
Its interesting that Christian Bale's most critically acclaimed role, in this very movie, is as a cold, psychotic and shallow yuppie. He excels by playing a character who openly admits that his only identifiable emotions are 'greed' and 'disgust'.Firstly, this film should not be misinterpreted as a horror movie. Those who have read the Brett Easton Ellis novel will already be aware of this. It is more a satire, or a harsh and uncompromising commentary on the material excess of Wall Street, or indeed America as a whole hence the title , during the mid-to-late 80's. It <more>
works on both these levels and many more.The film starts as it means to continue. Bale's character, Patrick Bateman, introduces himself, and, as in the novel, goes into absurd detail regarding his washing habits and exercise regimes. For the next hour and a half, the audience is invited into his world. A world in which vanity itself, it seems, is everything. His life is composed almost entirely of expensive meals out with his high-flying friends & disillusioned girlfriend played adequately by Reese Witherspoon , and various random, sadistic acts of violence and mutilation.Despite all Batemans' wealth, he is emotionally bankrupt. Love and relationships are as disposable as the world he lives in. For the entire film, Bale relishes the role and never lets it slip, talking as if he's in some warped commercial for a shallow and completely hedonistic eighties lifestyle. A lifestyle which leads nowhere. Bateman's character is also loaded with contradictions and hypocrisy. In one of the opening scenes, he wastes no time describing how he believes 'in taking care of himself', but days later will be snorting cocaine in a public toilet. Later, he describes how 'we need to provide food and shelter for the homeless', which is delivered as a speech to seemingly promote Bateman's morality in front of his peers. Shortly afterwards, he stabs a tramp to death in an alleyway. This speech acts as an omen or as a warning to crimes he will commit, or will imagine committing later in the film. His references to women in particular, soon become disturbingly ironic.Authenticity is added to the movie in the form of music and reference to the AIDS epidemic, which was just starting to take hold of the American consciousness. Bateman's highly unstable and vacuous state of mind is relayed through several brilliant quotes and scenes in the movie.One example is the scene in which he examines his colleagues business cards in depth, and becomes so obsessed and frustrated by the minor differences in colour and font that his hand visibly shakes. Upon seeing Paul Allen's card he whispers to himself in genuine horror; 'oh my god...it even has a watermark.' In Bateman's world, this could well be interpreted as the reasoning behind him murdering Allen later in the film.Much of the movie is left open to interpretation by the viewer, and it should definitely be watched several times. Its often hard to draw the line between reality and Bateman's own fantasies. Indeed many, if not all, of his murderous acts, could be simply figments of his own twisted imagination. The character Donald Kimble could indeed be an illusion. He interviews Bateman several times in the movie, at times appearing oblivious to the possibility of Bateman murdering Allen, and then later effectively accusing him of it.What the film really illustrates, much like the book, is a culture and an entire way-of-life, taken too a brutal, disturbed, and even demented extreme. It is a fusion of America's most beautiful dream, and its most hideous, blood-soaked nightmare. Money is no longer a barrier for Bateman. He can have all the women, sex, narcotics, technology and expensive meals he will ever desire. There is nothing left for him or his friends to aspire too. When every line has been crossed on a daily basis, he can only find satisfaction in the most depraved and barbaric of acts, and in the end, even this isn't enough.While the book is considerably more graphic and detailed, I would have to say I prefer the film. All the important and relevant aspects of Bateman's life and psyche are featured and Bale's performance elevates it to true 'cult classic' status. His portrayal of Bateman creates, in my opinion, one of the most vivid, cruel, iconic and unforgettable characters in the history of film.
A film that teeters between Miracles and Mania (by grendel-37)
Having just finished American Psycho, I came to IMDB to get some clarification on the ending. And it seems I'm not the only one left vaguely adrift by the ambiguous ending.I've browsed some of your comments, not all 400+ to be sure. But some of them. A good sampling I think, and this movie has three distinct cheering sections.Those who consider it a masterpiece, those who consider it unredeemable, boring trash, and by far the largest segment, those who see it as a flawed masterpiece.I fall into the latter category. And no, I did not read the book. But as others have stated any movie <more>
that requires you to read the book, to "get" the movie, is ultimately a failure as a movie.So my review is based solely on the merits of the film. And contrary to what some have said, the film does have many merits. I found it brilliantly directed, and a superbly acted examination of excess, and boredom, and evil. An examination, satire, critique of a time, and type of thinking. Even before seeing the ending, I thought how much bateman lives in people. Found myself thinking, an examination of bateman is an examination of men by the name of Reagan and Bush. How American Psycho is an examination of our times, and our modern theologies.I found the movie as a whole riveting, loved the restraint shown and disagree with those calling for more gore, I think Mary should be applauded for her deft hand, the scenes have more power for what is not shown , and was captivated by nearly every scene, by scenes others have called boring, but I found profound.Bateman putting on his makeup, or simply trying to get a restaurant, and the near apocalyptic importance, such minutiae makes in the lives of empty men. The right card, or the right cloth, or the right table, or the right watch, how these are the signposts of an empty age and an empty soul, and how these things have more value than your fellow man... or woman.Bateman attains everything the materialistic times tells him he should want, but once he gets it he feels nothing. Emptier than before, less than before. It's only in the extremes of his addictions he begins to feel something, anything. He feeds to fill the emptiness, but the more he feeds the emptier he gets. He eats at his fellowman woman but in his bloodlust he eats at himself.He is the American dream, taken to its cannibalistic extremes.And never before has makeup, played such a mesmerizing part in a movie. Bateman's Chris Bale's face at times when he is under stress, takes on a plastic look, a glossy, sweaty sheen, and for all the world it looks like he's wearing a mask... and the mask, his mask of sanity, is beginning to run.Simply amazing use of makeup. And incredible performance by the lead actor. I wasn't familiar with him before this, but everyone will be after this.Upon first hearing about this movie, I had no desire to see it. I've grown up since the age of Hills Have Eyes and trash like The Beyond, watching people suffer no longer seems significant. I guess as we get older we ask more of our art than springer, or the WWF, or slasher flicks. We ask of our art to tell us something true. Something of ourselves, and our world.I think American Psycho under the deft hand of Mary Harron becomes more than my prejudices, and exceeds my expectations. Rises at times to dizzying heights not unlike art.Mary's restraint makes this movie. But I fear her restraint nearly sinks it as well. The ending is too ambiguous. Who is Bateman in the end. Is there a Bateman? And what did he do or did not do?In the end,the movie will nag at you. Did he or didn't he? And in the end, now that I write this I'm thinking maybe the answer doesn't really matter, maybe in the end the answer is the same. In the end a sin of thought, or a sin of action, is still a sin. In the end we are left with a man, and a nation... whose mask is slipping. I think like the first Psycho, time will prove this one.... worthy. I now add Mary Harron to the small selection of modern directors I will tiptoe through broken glass to see. Directors like Dave Fincher Seven, Fight Club , Carl Franklin Devil in a Blue Dress , Johnny To Expect the Unexpected , Ringo Lam Full Alert, Victim , M. Night Shyamalan Sixth Sense, Unbreakable , and Peter Weir Fearless .Recommended.
In 1991, Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel "American Psycho" took the world by storm women accused it of being misogynist, sexist filth and others were understandably shaken by its brutal and graphic depictions of unprovoked violence and torture.Set in the 1980s, the book follows the story of a 27-year-old Harvard graduate named Patrick Bateman, who goes on a killing spree and murders "twenty, maybe forty people." It was originally slated for circulation in 1990, but Random House pulled out of distribution, fearing backlash. It was later released as part of a <more>
Vintage Series, and quickly sold over 250,000 copies, becoming one of the most popular and, to some, important literary works of our time.In the movie, Welsh actor Christian Bale portrays Bateman gleefully tongue-in-cheek, whether it's confessing to manslaughter over the phone " I just had to kill a lot of people!" or dancing to Huey Lewis and the News' "Fore" album before hitting an associate over the head with an axe.Patrick is a troubled guy. On the surface, he appears to be normal he's a Wall Street broker with a secretary, an expensive apartment suite, his own limo and a fancy business card. But on the inside, he's a monster complete with an insatiable blood lust and lack of empathy for fellow human beings. If he can indeed be classified as one. As a film and a novel, "American Psycho" is an attack on the absurdities of the '80s yuppie era sometimes the satire isn't very subtle, in fact it's often made very clear, but I liked it. Because the movie is so eccentric and over-the-top, and Bale is so loony and maniacal, the satire needs to be equally strong and it is. Whether it's business men drooling over each other's fetishistic business cards or Patrick discussing the nuances of modern pop music before killing more victims, "American Psycho" hits strong and hard this is a great, overwhelming cinematic and visual experience. It cannot be condemned for being unsubtle it never was.The performances are wonderful. Bale is superb as Bateman, totally embodying the character. As a man bewildered by his environment, and wanting only desperately to fit in, Bateman listens to Genesis and "Hip to Be Square"; finally we have proof that too much Phil Collins and Huey Lewis will turn you into the next Ed Gein.Perhaps some fans of the novel will dislike Bale's performance at times, it almost seems comical, such as when he murders his coworker Paul Allen, played by Jared Leto . But I thought it was the perfect mix of introspection, self-hatred, outer-loathing, lust, conformity and schizophrenia. Bale manages to capture all of this perfectly, and by the end of the film, I could not imagine anyone else in the role.Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny and Reese Witherspoon all have co-starring roles, but at the end of the day it is Bale who really drives this film home he's the reason it's worth seeing, and in part the reason it exceeds beyond the typical restraints of its genre.Since its release, many critics have accused "American Psycho" of being a watered-down version of the book, being both "politically correct" and "lacking satire." However, I don't recall the last time I saw a man beat a dog to death with the heel of his shoe in a mainstream motion picture. Or chase after a prostitute completely naked, wielding a bloodied chainsaw. Or hold a gun to a cat's head and threaten to feed it to an ATM machine.In fact, when "American Psycho" was previewed before the Motion Picture Association of America, they gave it an NC-17 rating not for its violence, as one might expect, but rather for its threesome scene between Patrick and two prostitutes.Director Mary Harron cut footage from the film and finally managed to achieve an R-rating, but on a new "Uncut Killer Collector's Edition" DVD, you can see the film as it was intended to be seen and it's a real fine treat. Now excuse me, I have to go return some videotapes.
Christian Bale the new Peter Cushing (by albertodr07)
Now it all makes sense. Christian Bale was born to play horror characters. I couldn't understand why I was so , so, afraid of him even in films like "Velvet Goldmine" He is a poster boy for putrid souls in elegant wrapping. In "American Psycho" - a film that deserves much more attention than it's got - he is absolutely terrific. Totally believable. I could sense his delight in playing a monster of this kind. Interestingly enough this manicured monster seems to be asking for sympathy, imagine the nerve! But Christian Bale succeeds in showing us a face we I <more>
hadn't quite seen before and yet we I accept without question. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination but, fortunately, he didn't.
The majority of those who complain probably haven't read the book... (by Howlin Wolf)
... because with "American Psycho", Mary Harron and her screen writing partner have delivered the most faithful adaptation it would be possible to release without getting the film banned or revolting audiences so much that no one comes to see it. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to take some of the most extreme sequences from the book and commit them to film. What the movie instead does is to give us an insight into the stunningly fragile and insecure mind of Patrick Bateman, and to speculate whether his unstable nature would REALLY lead him to perpetrate vile acts, or whether he just <more>
fantasises about doing so.I think it matters little in the context of this film whether Bateman's exploits are actually based in reality, because whether they are or they aren't, Bateman is still left in the grip of paranoia, brought on by the shallowness of the society that is around him. Bateman is less of a 'psycho' than a vessel for all the selfish evils of society to corrupt, and a sensible audience is more likely to be left reeling at how he has been turned into a 'robot', than by the discreet amounts of gore that do feature in the movie."American Psycho" is fascinating to watch because Bateman is such a complex character. We feel revulsion at his violent tendencies, amused by his complete superficiality, and pity at his crumbling sanity. In order to evoke such diverse feelings from one performance, we need a superb actor. Bale's performance is right on the money. Never does HIS mask slip as does that of Patrick Bateman. He is completely believable in all his emotions.There is NOTHING in the film that is not true to the book although there are bits in the book that are not true to the film Both the reading and watching experiences are valuable and rewarding ones, but what they share with each other is that while they're exploring somebody else's mental state, they are also probing that of their audience. Can we see the funny side in the fact that these murders were committed for very trivial reasons?Can we ridicule someone with the knowledge that he is also a fantastically dangerous person? The film and book are constantly pushing boundaries, and if you don't fight that, but instead surrender to it, they will take you to many interesting places. Don't be afraid to give in to your emotions and laugh when you see something funny, because the movie shows us what emotional repression has done to someone like Patrick.Kudos to Mary Harron for tackling a seriously difficult project and turning it into one of the cleverest movies of recent years. "American Psycho" is anything you want it to be; glossy and superficial, or deep and meaningful. The question is: Do you look at things from the same narrow angle as Patrick Bateman does? If so, then the movie is not for you...
Finally saw the movie - it was one of five free blu-rays in a rebate with Sony Playstation.Many comments wondered if it was real or not.There are several giveaways that the murders were fantasies. Many times Bateman says things that are evil and violent to someone, but are heard by the recipient of the comments as something else.The outright murders with no witnesses, blowing up the cops vehicles for an easy escape, dragging bodies and blood through lobbies, the cleaned up apartment with no dead bodies in sight, no investigators or police crime scene tape where there should have been, .... it <more>
goes on and on. Don't forget the final scene with his lawyer. The fantasies were manifested only in the notebook found in his desk by his secretary. I'm happy she was "spared".I found the lack of pursuit by Willem Dafoe the detective to be a letdown. The initial questioning of Bateman was definitely right out of the original Psycho, and I found this confrontation as the start of a great "gonna getcha" in the end. But it never happened.The only question is, why was a detective asking Bateman questions in the first place, or, was the idea of a missing colleague the spark for a fantasy, just shown after the fact.I loved the business card one-upsmanship. It shows how shallow rich vice presidents about a dozen were there? are, and what losers they really are in life as people. Misery loves company, I guess. Reminded me a lot of the yuppies in Trading Places. Bored and prissy. Although they think they are living the "good life", but contribute nothing in the end.It was a fun movie, probably sparks our fantasies about what we'd like to do with the scum of this earth - but that's why it's only a movie.
Based on the popular novel by Bret Easton Ellis, this is a great satirical black comedy horror drama, from female! writer/director Mary Harron. Basically Patrick Bateman a brilliant Christian Bale, with a convincing American accent is a successful, wealthy twenty-seven-year-old Wall Street businessman with quite a good reputation, and he takes good care of himself to maintain good looks and health. No-one would suspect that he was a psychotic serial killer, but after viciously killing an innocent tramp and his dog, and then the annoying workmate, you know it. As the film continues, local <more>
cop Donald Kimball Willem Dafoe is questioning Patrick for a reliable alibi, while Patrick is having "fun" with prostitutes that he first whips, and later kills , watching pornography, and being irritated by his apparent fiancée Evelyn Williams Reese Witherspoon . Also starring Super Mario Bros. star Samantha Mathis as Courtney Rawlinson, Chloë Sevigny as Jean, Mulholland Drive's Justin Theroux as Timothy Bryce, Josh Lucas as Craig McDermott and Guinevere Turner as Elizabeth. The memorable moments for me are Patrick explaining his routine for good living including the poster picture of him wearing the blue ice pack mask on his eyes , the sleazy threesome, the human head in the fridge, Patrick running naked through the corridors with a chainsaw to kill the whore, and the murder of Paul Allen Jared Leto while talking about music his passion . The dialogue is very witty, the violence is really cool, and Bale has never been better. The ending, after his breakdown and confession of his horrific crimes, is a bit weird, you see the words "This is not an exit" on the wall, and you don't know if it is his imagination, or an insignificance to other characters, but apart from this weird ending, the rest is a must see. Very good!