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Less Than Zero (1987)

tomatometer

54

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 11

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.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2

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.

audience

63

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 12,115

My Rating

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 Ebert

R,

Drama

Mar 5, 2002

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (11) | DVD (12)

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.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
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.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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

August 14, 2006 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

a bit of a mess

April 6, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

The anti-teen film that really kicks ass

March 31, 2005
Moviehole

Meant to be a statement against the amoral lifestyle of super-rich youth, it misses the mark by a mile.

August 27, 2004 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

Has style to spare, but none of the novel's shock value

August 15, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

Bret Easton Ellis's novel is fairly faithfully into a portrait of strung out teenage yuppies in LA during the late 80s.

February 10, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

A startling tale of alienation and self-destruction. Put Downey on the map, at least for a while.

February 9, 2003
Needcoffee.com

The quality of dislocation in Marek Kanievska's Less Than Zero is startling and sinister.

April 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It may not be the most realistic portrayal of drug addiction ever produced, but it's certainly worth seeing - if for nothing else than Downey's superlative performance.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

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, in a powerful, devastating portrayal of drug addiction with a great soundtrack and two terrific performances by Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader.
June 16, 2014
blacksheepboy

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
February 15, 2011
Tomassgringo

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.
January 28, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

robert downey jr is great and james spader is suitably slimy but they are surrounded by a picture that is utter junk
August 4, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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