Less Than Zero - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Less Than Zero Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2017
The film revolves around Downey Jr and he puts in a great performance, but sadly he can't carry the film alone and so everything else drags and feel superfluous.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2016
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.
October 8, 2016
I guess you could say the best thing about it is it does a fairly well Hollywood interpretation of the book.
June 3, 2016
An almost perfect portrayal of the superficiality, excesses, darkness, and tragedy of the 1980's. i guess it wasn't always so great to grow up attractive and privileged in Los Angeles circa 1987. At first glance Less Than Zero comes on like a dramatized music video. But James Spader, Robert Downey Jr. , and even Andrew McCarthy and Jamie Gertz all evoke so much sadness, boredom, and desperation that I couldn't help get dragged down with them. Their performances pull nuance and feeling from a script that most actors of their generation could never muster.
April 27, 2016
Rich kids do drugs and live in the fast lane in this tiring drama.
April 13, 2016
A movie about the destructiveness of cocaine. Too bad you almost need to do some cocaine to stay awake through it! I loved the cast, but the story was just boring and unfocused.
January 9, 2016
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.
December 10, 2015
I finally got around to watching this for the first time. Downey Jr. is excellent in a role that mirrored his real life at the time, and James Spader is appropriately creep. McCarthy was a weak link for me. It was funny to see brad Pitt as an extra in one of the early scenes. Worth a watch if fans of the actors, otherwise skip it.
September 15, 2015
This is one of those rare occurrences where the performances from the actors are better than the actual film itself as a whole. Don't get me wrong, this is a good movie and I recommend that you give it a watch primarily because of the wonderful message it hopes to convey concerning friendship and drug addiction. However, I cannot say that this was a great film because of a few narrative issues, occasional spots of questionable dialogue, and slight lack of character development. In a nutshell, the story revolves around 3 friends who graduated high school together. It fast forwards 6 months after the graduation, and Andrew McCarthy's character comes home to visit his friends only to find that his best friend Julian (masterfully played by Robert Downey, Jr.) has slipped into a tragic lifestyle of drug addiction, financial debt, and sad desperation. He does everyone in his power to maintain the friendship and get him back on track. James Spader (aka Ultron), as always, plays a villain this time in the form of an angry drug dealer and Jami Gertz plays the female friend of the group who watched over Julian while McCarthy's character was away. This movie has a lot of heart and the intentions behind it were certainly good. However, I think the 90-ish minute run-time really kept this film from allowing the audience to fully examine how Julian spiraled down into such a sad road in life. Also...am I supposed to believe that these characters matured so much and that Julian lost all his money and became an addict all within 6 months? Wouldn't they have spent their 3-month Summer together before leaving for college? Why do they all act like it has been ages since they last saw one another and they are trying to rekindle their friendships like old times? This story would have been wonderful and far more believable if they would have fast forwarded 1 or 2 years ahead. The short run-time and lack of time passing really bothered me. But I gotta say, Robert Downey, Jr. gave one of the best performances of his career here and it is highly underrated because he was very believable. No wonder he soon got nominated for Chaplin 5 years later. Ironically, this film was made while Downey, Jr. was actually struggling with drug addiction. So, I suppose the role was rather relate-able to him at the time. Overall, give this film a watch. I found it to be good, but not as great as it had the potential to become.
June 14, 2015
So bad my lungs hurt
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 April 15, 2015
This film is an insult to the book.
April 9, 2015
Spader and Downey jr. shine but the movie is just a giant,frantic glitzie music video of a mess..
½ February 17, 2015
An underrated 80s movie with a great Downey Jr. performance and a refreshingly pessimistic tone.
½ February 16, 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)
February 11, 2015
My all time favorite film
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-
December 11, 2014
Em primeiro lugar há que frisar a capacidade visionária de um filme de 1987 que atribui a Robert Downey Jr. o papel do junkie que só quer mesmo voltar a acordar na cama de sua casa. De resto, "Less Than Zero" é demasiado quadrado para em qualquer momento convencer-nos com o seu discurso social sobre uma geração pós-yuppie de Los Angeles, que enterrou a cabeça no vácuo e decidiu estoirar o dinheiro dos papás na mais variada drogaria. Se o filme falha, a culpa não é certamente de Downey Jr. que não só tem de assumir o papel mais sofrido, como também compensar as desastrosas prestações de Jami Gertz e do capanga que faz as cobranças por Rip (James Spader). Mas quem vê as cenas mais juvenis e "bué duras" de "Less Than Zero" reconhece perfeitamente a escola dramática que um dia viria a dominar séries como "Beverly Hills 90210" e "Riscos". Bem mais divertido é reparar que Rick Rubin participou como Supervisor Musical e a banda-sonora está carregada de canções produzidas por ele próprio. Ah ah!
July 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.
June 23, 2014
I love this movie. James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. in the same movie best thing ever.
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