Apt Pupil (1998)
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Critic Reviews for Apt Pupil
Nothing about the movie even makes sense!
The most disappointing thing about Apt Pupil is the lack of sustained tension generated by director Bryan Singer.
When bodies are buried in cellars and cats are thrown into lighted ovens, the film reveals itself as unworthy of its subject matter.
Flat, undistinguished workmanship!
Audience Reviews for Apt Pupil
"If you don't believe in the existence of evil, you've got a lot to learn." A boy blackmails his neighbour after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal.
Maybe this isn't one of Stephen King's most popular stories, but it's sure one of his most realistically creepy ones. Bryan Singer takes this short story and turns it into a highly performance based movie, which is fine when you have two amazing actors pitted against each other. I never get tired of seeing this story played out on screen and the characters are just so well managed. Brad Renfro looks like your average kid, which is why his bizarre characteristics are even more disturbing and effective. It takes a simple black mail scenario and spins it into something no one would expect. Ian McKellen does a great job as a shell-shocked Nazi war criminal and has you convinced every minute he is on screen. It must've been difficult to deal with such a touchy suspect and humanize the characters the way they do. Bryan Singer is a director that clearly knows what he wants to do and knows how to give off certain emotions with very little convincing. Apt Pupil isn't over-stylized, but incredibly subtle. To see so many evil things take place in such a warm setting us a lot more effective and lasting than having them take place where you might expect them. This is a movie that has only become more effective with age and takes you back to a time where so much of suburbia was still naive to the outside world and horrors that can possibly exist in your neighborhood. It's surreal to imagine your nice old neighbor as an escaped Nazi. I'm sure this movie will continue to be overlooked, especially when it comes to the intentions of the story, but for the people that do see it and understand it, Apt Pupil is one great movie.
Apt Pupil is a very interesting Thriller. Directed by Bryan Singer who is famous for directing the first two X-Men films directs this chilling and thrilling tale. When he discovers that one of his neighbors is a Nazi war criminal, teenager Todd Bowden persuades and blackmails Kurt Dussander to tell him about his war crimes. Dussander agrees and Todd Bowden starts a lesson he won't forget. Apt Pupil is not a horror film, but its most certainly horrifying due to its subject matter. Bryan Singer has a talented cast at hand and he takes every opportunity of the talent present to create something tense and unerving. However by the film's end you feel that something could have been improved and it could have been somewhat better. The film does a great job at capturing the cold, evil nature of Ian Mckellen's character (who is well cast and gives a great performance) But considering that this is a film directed by Bryan Singer, you know right from the start that this isn't his strongest directorial effort. Apt Pupil is an entertaining and good thriller that could have been a lot better than it is, but it manages to still have a good story and got thrills. Either way, you'll probably have chills coming up and down your spine when you watch the film. Despite its flaws, Apt Pupil is a good, entertaining thriller that delivers chilling moments that are quite disturbing.
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