Less Than Zero (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Less Than Zero (1987)




Critic Consensus: A couple of standout performances -- notably Robert Downey, Jr. and James Spader -- and a killer soundtrack can't quite elevate a somewhat superficial adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' story of drugged-out LA rich kids.

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Movie Info

""George Carlin was once asked how cocaine made you feel, and he answered: "It makes you feel like having some more cocaine." That inescap- able fact is at the bottom of Less than Zero, a movie that knows cocaine in- side out and paints a portrait of drug addiction that is all the more harrowing because it takes place in the Beverly Hills fast lane, in a world of wealth, sex, glamor and helpless self-destruction,"" Roger Ebertmore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Cristofer, Harley Peyton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 5, 2002
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Tony Bill
as Bradford Easton
Andrew McCarthy
as Clay Easton
Nicholas Pryor
as Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell
as Elaine Easton
Michael Greene
as Robert Wells
as Musician #1
Jessica Puscas
as Little Girl
Eric Walker
as Seth Wells
Scott Warner
as Teenager #1
Brittain Frye
as Teenager #2
Jeannette Kerner
as Margery Easton
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Less Than Zero

Critic Reviews for Less Than Zero

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5)

Ed Lachman's cinematography is letter perfect as always in its handling of light and color (assisted here by Barbara Ling's flashy production design), but it's a pity to see it wasted on such claptrap.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Perhaps this wasn't the best subject matter for British director Marek Kanievska (Another Country) to make his American debut. The feel for this distinctly Southern California story escapes him.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Loosely based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero refuses to take the risks necessary to capture the keen social observation of the book.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The only saving grace of this exercise in futility is the suitably louche performance by Spader as drug-dealer Rip.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008

Jami Gertz was, is, and ever shall be one of the most egregious actresses in the history of film.

Full Review… | August 14, 2006

Audience Reviews for Less Than Zero


At first the unlikable characters keep us from relating to the story but Kanievska manages the feat of making them all sympathetic later, and this is a powerful, devastating portrayal of drug addiction with a great soundtrack and two terrific performances by Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


This movie helped de-glamorize the life I felt I was missing out on. The sad story of friends as life moves on. Great soundtrack! The movie is not near as powerful as the book, but just because the story mixes in my head made the movie better. The glam life of my generation!! lol

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

A beautifully gritty young adult drama about life after high school. The cast is awesome, and so is the story. I love this movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

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