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critics 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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Clay (Andrew McCarthy) comes home to Los Angeles after his first semester of college and encounters some disturbing developments. His former lover, burgeoning model Blair (Jami Gertz), has begun to abuse cocaine. But her addiction pales in comparison to the drug dependency of her new boyfriend, Julian (Robert Downey Jr.), who's also Clay's childhood buddy. Clay tries to help them get sober, but the process is complicated by Rip (James Spader), a callous dealer Julian is indebted to.

Cast & Crew

Nicholas Pryor
Benjamin Wells
Tony Bill
Bradford Easton
Jon Avnet
Producer
Glenn Danzig
Original Music
Tom Hamilton
Original Music
Thomas Newman
Original Music
Roy Orbison
Original Music
Edward Lachman
Cinematographer
Peter E. Berger
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Less Than Zero

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (13)

Audience Reviews for Less Than Zero

  • Jun 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, in a devastating portrayal of drug addiction with a great soundtrack and two terrific performances by Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2013
    Not as bad as I've been led to believe.
    Kevin " Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2011
    A pretty entertaining film, though incredibly depressing at times, especially the end. It's kind of disturbing to see Downey here because to some extent, this is probably the same issues he was going through with his own drug problems, so in a sense, he's playing himself here...that's why he does it so well. I don't know if he was battling addiction during this film or if he had just gotten over it or something, but you can really tell he had dealt with it. Thankfully, he's cleaned himself up now, but if he hadn't, or if he had overdosed and died, this film would be even more depressing in retrospect, since his issues were right out there for everyone to see, but no one helped him.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 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
    Thomas J Super Reviewer

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