The slick satire cleverly equates materialism, narcissism, misogyny, and classism with homicide, but you may laugh so loud at the protagonist that you won't be able to hear yourself laughing with him.
It's hard to summon up enthusiasm for a performance so rooted in bloody banality. I mean, as Patrick, Bale's most emotionally pressing dilemma is: Chainsaw or butcher knife?
American Psycho is nearly perfect for what it is, but before we go on, we should ask what that actually amounts to. Can something with so rigid a thesis be a real work of art?
It needs to be seen and appreciated, like a serpent in a glass cage.
Harron's Psycho reps an impressive reclaiming of dubious material.
Conceptually, this savage cartoon ends up as trapped in surfaces as its shallow antihero: it's all dressed up with nowhere to go.
The film makes wonderfully unsettling entertainment; crucially -- and gloriously -- Bale nails Bateman with a sublimely dead-eyed and deadpan performance.
Clearly, Harron is sold on the Bateman-as-metaphor bit, and, like Ellis, she overconceptualizes everything.
At once a sharp satire and an earnest study in the deadly consequences of moral vacancy.
Funny-one-minute, horrifying-the-next film.
| Original Score: 3/4
A well-crafted yet essentially innocuous period piece.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
An uneven movie that nonetheless bristles with stinging wit and exerts a perverse fascination.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
A visually chilly but often very funny satire of American greed and conspicuous consumption.
| Original Score: B-
It represents one of the most daring, inventive, and invigorating movies to reach the screen during the dreary first half of 2000.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Toothless and empty.
Entertaining and amusing.
The movie has the feverish intensity of a bad dream, leavened with a subversive sense of humor that is both sophisticated and cracked.
As the antihero himself sneers at the bloody finale, 'This confession has meant nothing.' It's a form of poetic justice that American Psycho would be impaled on its own point.
Wickedly funny when it bares its fangs.
The movie is not comedy, but it is joyously mean and evil, somewhat in the tone of Blue Velvet.
Much of American Psycho feels like déjà vu.
Period piece or not, Psycho further extends the current screen cycle devoted to professional male malaise Office Space, Fight Club, American Beauty.
| Original Score: 3/4
Just doesn't make the case that this book was worth filming.
Well-filmed, well-acted and certainly riveting, American Psycho nonetheless is a movie without heart about a man without heart.
| Original Score: 2/4
By no means a crowd pleaser, but it uses intelligent satire to make a pungent statement about the shallowness of modern society.
Stillborn, pointless piece of work.
| Original Score: 1/5
A lot less scary!
American Psycho is seamless in its inability to engage emotionally, message or no message.
A misfiring black comedy.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Christian Bale is heroic in the way he allows the character to leap joyfully into despicability; there is no instinct for self-preservation here, and that is one mark of a good actor.
Harron's adaptation of Ellis's novel is brilliant, probably better than the book itself.
The book seems a case of the prurient condemning the prurient. It's cynical junk masquerading as social comment. The film is, finally, only a slicker packaging of it.
The film's details are spot-on, its tone ludicrously ironic.
Although I've heard both the film and the book described as dark satire, not much here resembles wit.
Funny, pungent, and weirdly gripping.
| Original Score: A-
At the heart of the film is a star-making performance by the handsome Welsh actor Christian Bale.
| Original Score: 5/5
All we get is a second-rate nightmare.
Bale delivers these lectures without irony and with the same studied lack of passion with which he delivers a deadly blow.