Less Than Zero - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Less Than Zero Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2011
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
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
A beautifully gritty young adult drama about life after high school. The cast is awesome, and so is the story. I love this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2007
robert downey jr is great and james spader is suitably slimy but they are surrounded by a picture that is utter junk
Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2006
Bret Easton Ellis should've sued. This movie is horrible.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2006
Robert Downey, Jr. is exceptional and Andrew McCarthy is fantastic as well in this somewhat formulaic but altogether effective melodrama. Jami Gertz brings the film down a notch with her inconsistent performance, but the story is compelling and overall it's well-executed. Required viewing for fans of either of the leading men.
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2013
Not as bad as I've been led to believe.
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2007
I haven't read the book so I can't compare it to that, although I'm sure the book is better (as they always are). This was actually a pretty lame movie, but Robert Downey Jr and James Spader pretty much own everything they're in, so it's hard to rate it lower. If they hadn't been in it, it probably would've been really lame, because usually I don't mind Andrew McCarthy but he annoyed me in this and Jami Gertz was horrible. And I hate movies about drugs, I don't know why, but drugs really bore me.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
This film made me terrified of drugs because apparently, if you snort anything, you'll become a badly-written, dull, boring, uninteresting character with no depth and a poor adaptation of a book.
Super Reviewer
September 2, 2008
A fantastically depressing film highlighting the excess of the 80's. I can see why this was Downey Jr.'s big break - he steals every scene he's in, taking more risks and going deeper than any one else. The character's arc was played so flawlessly, I cried, laughed, and felt breathtaking despair just when I was supposed to. That being said, the other performances are just "good" and the script lags at certain points, covering the same material needlessly. However, this is a great heartstring-puller (if only due to one character) and highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2008
Downey Jr. takes it in the ass for blow. Spader is a gay drug dealer.
Gertz has rusty pipes and Pre-Bernies Andrew McCarthy. This all adds up to GOLD! It was hard being rich,young, and growing up in the 80's. I Know!
Super Reviewer
½ December 27, 2007
Quite interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2006
Downey and cocaine? Surreal performance by Downey jr. I wonder why?
May 19, 2008
I'm definitely rating this with the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, because this film isn't all that good, but was something I caught at the right age for it to be intriguing to me. Having since read the novel several times it's hard to watch bits of this because it is so sanitized from the source material and because Andrew McCarthy is just so Goddamned boring to look at and seems so self-righteous whereas Clay in the novel is equally amoral.

Robert Downey Jr's manic/hammy performance makes this worth watching, and Jami Gertz is really easy on the eyes, even if her Blair character is almost goofily childlike at times.

Worth a rental.
½ June 9, 2015
The film has become a cult classic, and it showcases Robert Downey Jr. in one of his best performances, but it's not a great movie. Bret Easton Ellis is a tricky writer to adapt to screen - he revels in excess, which should be a great film adaptation, but somehow Hollywood has been off the mark with his material.
½ February 15, 2015
Thanks to its drugged-out nature (and some melodrama to the mix), it's disgusting and depressing to look at while the viewing in general is torturous. The only appeals are a little on some nice shots of cinematography and Downey Jr.'s couple moments of performing nicely, despite being the face of the film's horrible nature. (C)
½ January 8, 2015
As much as it may lack the satirical bite of its literary origins, 'Less Than Zero' is a poignant examination of a lifestyle of excess, drug use, and partying. Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance of the haggard, addiction addled Julian, is outstandingly harrowing. Equally effective is James Spader's performance as Rip, Julian's drug dealer, whose actions are both believable and justified, if not eventually a bit much. On the backs of Downey, Jr and Spader's strong performances, as well as a very timely soundtrack, 'Less Than Zero' maintains the viewers attention, even if it becomes a bit too skin deep a portrayal of the 1980s party scene.

Final Score: B-
April 3, 2014
"Less Than Zero" is dark, haunting and pulls you into the world of late 80's over indulgence. The performances from Robert Downey Jr., Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz and James Spader are all tremendous. Robert Downey Jr. is very convincing and you feel for his troubled character.

The cinematography in this film is like a hypnotizing music video and for such a dark movie it is shot beautifully. The story of a troubled friend spiraling downward is very heavy, but you just can't look away. The soundtrack to this film was also a plus and I enjoyed the familiar and unfamiliar tracks.

"Less Than Zero" is a deep, dark cautionary tale.
November 11, 2012
I watched Less Than Zero mistakenly when I was 13. Compelled to watch it again, I did, and this time around I noticed the abundant flaws but really enjoyed Robert Downey Jr's performance.
April 16, 2014
Robert downey jr's performance is the main reason why people should see this movie, that performance as Julian should be a standard in acting for new young actors...dedication and realism in acting.
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