American Psycho Reviews

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John M
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2008
I rewatched this for the first time in a long time . . . and I have to say WOW. Christian Bale is just crazy good in this film.
Alexander D
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2011
Ô~...┬ 1/2
Nicki M
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2007
Horrible, but good. Had not seen this one in years. Had almost forgotten Reese Witherspoon had a small role and Chloe sevigney.
Kevin C
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2013
Kubrick would be proud.
Louis R
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2013
Suitably razor-sharp satire
Jack Hawkins Jack Hawkins
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2009
Christian Bale delivers a superbly realised interpretation of Patrick Bateman; his performance has already become iconic. The nuances of Bateman's voice, which has an air of arrogance and comical sincerity, are identified by Bale and expertly delivered. The truly original narrator, endlessly quotable script and brilliantly dark, idiosyncratic humour have created a large cult following; it's the proverbial cult film.

The film follows Patrick Bateman, a handsome Wall Street executive in the prime of his life who is surrounded by equally affluent and aesthetic contemporaries. He is achingly vapid and appears to not have a sincere relationship with anyone, not even his 'supposed fiancÚ' Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon). In Bateman's world, everything is for surface value, even his job, which he continues with because he 'wants to fit in'.

The film is adapted from Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 controversial novel of the same name. As anyone who has read 'American Psycho' will testify, there are passages that are simply unfilmable, the film was always going to be toned down in comparison. However, I feel the film has been neutered somewhat, I feel the film is lacking a visceral edge, it nails the satire, but it isn't quite dark enough. As the novel progresses, Patrick Bateman becomes increasingly psychotic and depraved, he descends into the depths of madness, and this isn't quite captured in the film. As sordid as it sounds, I do believe the film should have been crueller, darker; it should have put more emphasis on the depersonalisation and sadism of Bateman. There is one moment concerning an axe and a raincoat which is thoroughly entertaining and memorable, however it borders almost on slapstick, which it certainly didn't in the novel. The violence rightfully didn't enter exploitation cinema territory, I wouldn't wish for gratuity. But, then again, how do you define gratuitous? At what point does a film or book become gratuitous? These are questions that were at the forefront of my mind when reading the novel, and I think it's very hard to answer.

Despite this, it is a good adaptation; Harron and Turner's script is sharp and overall makes good use of its difficult source material. For instance, the film incorporates the book's music chapters to great comic effect; Bateman expressing his admiration and laughably deep analysis of Genesis, Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis and The News to prospective victims. Through these scenes the viewer witnesses the lengths of Bateman's vapidity.

It is a rather difficult film to wholly appreciate and absorb on initial viewing, which is good, because I feel 'American Psycho' has much replay value; I have revisited both the book and film countless times. Much like the novel, the film polarised audiences, and it doesn't surprise me. When viewing for the first time, one must appreciate Bret Easton Ellis used a large helping of hyperbole to convey his message of greed and superficiality, and also a good deal of surrealism. The film isn't entirely rooted in reality. The way in which Bateman's associates repeatedly forget each other's names and identities and how Bateman's actions become questionably implausible may confuse or deter the viewer. However, some would say that in our world of revolting socialites and vacuous celebrity and fashion culture, the extent of American Psycho's hyperbole is becoming increasingly dubious in places.

'American Psycho' is a peculiar creation. Many people get it and love it; however I'm sure many would be perplexed by it, maybe completely disappointed by it. I am biased, but I know that I am one of many people who fully appreciate 'American Psycho', part of a large group who will know what you mean when you say 'I have to return some videotapes'. Some won't like or appreciate it, and that's no detriment of the viewer's, but if you do, then I think you'll find yourself revisiting the film and picking up a copy of Ellis' compulsively readable novel. However, regardless of whether you like it, I can guarantee that you'll never hear Phil Collins' 'Sussudio' in the same way afterwards.
garyX garyX
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2007
A clever adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' classic novel which, in the wrong hands, could easily have become a dimwitted gorefest, but thankfully the director saw the book for what it really is; a blackest of the black social satire full of laugh out loud moments. Christian Bale perfectly represents a society that is obsessed with surface appearance and self image, disguising the moral black hole at its centre, portraying a a vacuous yuppie who vents his murderous rage in his soulless quest for material gain. Anyone who lived through the hateful and soulless excesses of the 80s cannot fail to be amused by it's absurdities and if anything, the film is a little too lacking in gore; Bateman's appalling actions could possibly have been shown a little more graphically to expose him as the monster he truly was, but it's representation of a decade during which sociopathy was the accepted way of life is brilliant. Slyly witty and surprisingly lacking in blood and guts, American Psycho is Fight Club's angrier, scarier little brother.
Kev Kev
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2012
Grade: D (64%)

"American Psycho", directed by Mary Harron, is based of Bret Easton Ellis' novel where a unstable business man has a thing for killing random people on his spare time. Whether he feels bad that the person exists at all or he just feels like it, he has to keep killing for some reason. This person is Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a person who needs to keep his face clean and wrinkle free, who also tries to keep sane with his fianc├ (C) Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon).

The plot works perfectly for some reason. There is a great blend of comedy and gore in this film. Some of these murders are funny to watch because of Peter's hilarious reactions to each setting, others are difficult to view because it can be very graphic. But, somehow, "American Psycho" does this so well that it doesn't become overbearing and just stays entertaining.

The best part of the film is Christian Bale's creepy, yet hysterical, performance. HIs narration is spot on, his expressions resemble a killer's perfectly, and how he interacts with his victims before he kills them (with various weapons I might add) are just amazing to watch. I personally love the scene where he talks about Hewy Lewis & The News in his raincoat - the way he moves and the way he talks in that scene is hilarious to watch. But even when he's not killing someone, he is still great. How he interacts with others is just great to watch - especially the business card scene where everyone shows off their new versions. He fits the role so perfectly that it's the main reason to watch the film.

Where the film falls is in its ending. Saying that I hated the ending can't be considered overdramatic. After everything that had happened in the film, I thought the ending was a huge disappointment. It didn't fit the film at all - it was as if they had no way to finish the film and tried to add a twist into it to end the film on a solid note. Unfortunately, the ending twist doesn't satisfy the audience but just leaves them with a "Really?" remark as they watch the credits.

"American Psycho" was great for most of its runtime - the last 15-20 minutes unfortunately are way off target. It's unfortunate because the film was so great, thanks to Bale's performance, and the ending just couldn't keep it going. It's a bloody film filled with hysterical writing and scenes of just laughter and gruesome images. If you have a chance, give it a shot but the ending will hit you the wrong way for sure. Still, Bale's performance is reason enough to give it a shot even if the ending does kill the rest of the movie.
DragonEyeMorrison DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2007
Nice movie, but check out my four....stars.
Eric S
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2008
When it comes to listening to the album "Sports" by Huey Lewis and the news, Phil Collins's album No Jacket Required featuring the song "Sussudio" and working out while "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is playing on your television, I'd say that'd make a psycho out of pretty much anyone.
This psycho, Patrick Bateman portrayed brilliantly by Christian Bale even discusses the significance of Whitney Houston's version of "The Greatest Love of All". So clearly, we're dealing with the 80s here. I was a young teenager at the time, so I remember the horror. lol
In my opinion, Bale is no Batman, but one hell of a good American Psycho.
paul o. paul o.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2012
By far, one of the funniest and darkest movies of the modern decade. Christian Bale is more than just amusing, he's a laugh factory all by his own. There are so many memorable scenes that will either make you cringe or burst out laughing in fear. the perfect film to be highlight Christian Bale!
Letitia L
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2011
Disgustingly elitist, laugh-out-loud funny, and chilling.
CloudStrife84 CloudStrife84
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2007
Hypnotically brilliant crime thriller, with a star-making performance by the amazing Christian Bale. His multi-layered interpretation of psychotic killer Patrick Bateman, leaves you stunned, mesmerized and in awe of his incredible talent. His facial expressions alone hold such fantastic subtlety, that you get a true sense of every thought behind his character's eyes.

Adapted from a best-selling novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the writing in the film is just as exceptional. Dark and often bizarre, yet also with a strange humorous quality in all the madness that springs from Bateman's head. The great detail payed to his demeanour and compulsive obsessions - such as a strict set of routines where he indulges in extreme vanity - adds gravitas in abundance, while making him the most fascinating maniac since Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

My only beef with the film is the inconclusive ending, which although suggesting heavily towards a certain plot twist, failed to satisfy me with any definitive answers. Apart from that, however, it's a great and absorbing watch. Worth seeing just for the bravura performance by a career-best Christian Bale.
TheDudeLebowski65 TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2010
American Psycho is truly a deranged, terrifying film. It's a film that examines the life of a serial killer. In this case, we are introduced to a yuppie named Patrick Bateman, a seemingly ordinary person who loves to murder women. Christian Bale brings Bateman to life effectively well, and his portrayal is really terrifying and truly disturbing. Based on the controversial book of the same name, the book is said to have inspired Canadian Serial Killer Paul Bernardo in killing three women. An unforgiving look inside Bateman mind, American Psycho is really an in your face type of film as it does not shy away from showing you his perfect little yuppie life. No the film shows how Patrick Bateman really is, a monster and a maniac. A truly unique Horror film, American Psycho is a film that belongs on the very short list of terrifying serial killer films. Having read the book, There's a lot of material that was cut out from the book for this adaptation. As a reader of the book, I can say that Mary Harron kept the key ideas from Ellis's book and has made a very good adaptation of a controversial work. The film has some black comedy overtones which can really disturb the viewer. Christian Bale is perfect in the role, and he makes the role of Patrick \Bateman his own. I enjoyed the film, and I thought it was a fi8ne blend of psychological horror, drama and dark comedy. A must see if you want a terrific psychological horror film.
JonathanHutchings JonathanHutchings
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2012
For me, the old adage "you haven't seen a film unless you've seen it twice" couldn't be more applicable when it comes to American Psycho. Upon my first viewing years ago, I didn't think much of it; seeing it last night on the big screen was a dramatically different experience. As a film critic said, this film is a smart, dark, funny, and boldly profound satire that cleverly equates materialism, narcissism, misogyny, and classism with homicide. It's one man's sobering realization of the shallow life he leads, and his desperate attempt to get out of it--which, thanks to a brilliantly staged ambiguous ending, we're not sure if he does (or is that even an option?). I found out that to this day, director Mary Harron isn't sure if she achieved her goal in making this film (undercutting all of your plot resolutions in the third act to give way to a message that transcends your story will do that to you). For me, she hit it out of the park. A stunning achievement. I love reading all of the different takes on American Psycho and seeing so many people completely miss the point of this film (hell, I was one of them). That's what the very best cinema can do.
Matheus C
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2011
Who would have foretold back then that Christian Bale was the perfect choice for the role, as it has been proved by his recent tabloid scandals. He definetly gave birth to a new breed: the metrosexual killer.
Shawn E
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2011
It's as terrifying as it is hysterical. Brilliant work by Christian Bale.
blkbomb blkbomb
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2011
Patrick Bateman: I'm on a diet.
Jean: What, you're kidding, right? You look great... so fit... and thin.
Patrick Bateman: Well, you can always be thinner... look better.
Jean: Then maybe we shouldn't go out to dinner. I wouldn't want you to lose your willpower.
Patrick Bateman: That's okay. I'm not very good at controlling it anyway.

American Psycho is an oddly funny and disturbing film. It's classified as a horror movie, but I'm not buying that. It's views on materialism and outer appearances is very obvious. The characters care about who has the best business cards, the best apartments, and who can get into the best restaurants. Bateman cares about how he looks. He details how he keeps his face looking smooth. He tans, wears the best clothes, and talks about how is haircut is slightly better than a man who looks very similar. Conformity and pop-culture are heavy influences on the characters. Bateman details pop-music in amazing detail and it's really humorous. Bateman also gets mistaken for different people throughout the movie because everyone dresses the same and have a slicked back haircut. They all look alike. Now, I'll switch gears and talk about the obvious highlight of American Psycho and that is Christian Bales performance. His performance as Patrick Bateman is funny, insightful, and disturbing all at the same time. He's powerful when he needs to be. Although, I love his Batman character; this is probably his best performance. The ending does leave the rest of the movie up to interpretation. If you haven't seen the movie, you probably shouldn't read the rest of this review. *Spoiler* My interpretation is that all of Batemans murders are just his fantasies and that he hasn't actually killed anyone. Some evidence of this is the night he supposedly killed Paul Allen, his friends said that he was with them. Another clue is that when he drops the chainsaw from the staircase and kills the woman; the scene switches to him drawing a dead woman on his table at a restaraunt. He lives his fantasies through his drawings and this is shown at the end when his secreatary sees all his drawings in his schedule book. Also, when he feels like he's not the best or fitting in; it immediately jumps to him executing an act of violence. When everyones showing off their business cards and Bateman sees that Allen's is better it jumps to him killing a homeless man. Although I'm not completely sold on my interpretation; it is what I'm leaning towards. Either way, the film is very effective and is worth the watch if not for Bales performance only.
murphmann93 murphmann93
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2011
I had heard about this film quite a while and bought it on DVD. I sat down to watch it and I couldn't help but be throughly confused but amazed by the shocking darkness Christian Bale's character had. He played the role very well and there is no doubt that he's a brilliant actor. It leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions but the gore and horror of the scene give it the stars for me. Really had you in shock.
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