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American Psycho (R)

Cast: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon

Release Date: April 14, 2000

Runtime: 1 hr. 44 mins.

Genre: Drama

Patrick Bateman is young, white, beautiful, ivy leagued, and indistinguishable from his Wall Street colleagues. Shielded by conformity, privilege, and wealth, Bateman is also the ultimate serial killer, roaming freely and fearlessly. His murderous impulses are fueled by zealous materialism and piercing envy when he discovers someone else has acquired more than he has. After a colleague presents a business card superior in ink and paper to his, Bateman's blood thirst sharpens, and he steps up his homicidal activities to a frenzied pitch. Hatchets fly, butcher knives chop, chainsaws rip, and surgical instruments mutilate-how far will Bateman go? How much can he get away with?

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Review

Director Mary Harron adapts Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel
concerning serial killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) who acts
out his male rage by killing women ... or does he?

Story
Bateman is young, handsome, successful ... and homicidal. This Reagan-era yuppie-gone-mad portrait is not a savory story. Fortunately, much of the
violence is off screen, and some of the more gruesome elements of Ellis'
novel were not in the script. Though Wall Street's 1980s excesses seem
dated, this black satire is oddly fascinating.

Acting
"American Psycho's" standout is Welsh actor Bale, whose convincing performance as a chainsaw-wielding sociopath is matched only by the pure delight of watching
Bale's sculpted physique. Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis and Guinevere Turner are at turns humorous, tragic and touching in the supporting roles, but who notices? Throughout the movie, Patrick flexes, poses and preens in all his tighty-whitie glory.


Direction
Harron, rather than concentrating on the murders, focuses on the excesses of Patrick's lifestyle -- expensive meals at exclusive restaurants, designer facial products and business cards printed on the finest paper. What could have been a run-of-the-mill serial killer pic is instead a mesmerizing account of the mystery behind a murderer.

Bottom Line
If you long for Reaganomics and hot bodies (and don't those two go together!), you'll like "American Psycho."

Synopsis

Patrick Bateman is young, white, beautiful, ivy leagued, and indistinguishable from his Wall Street colleagues. Shielded by conformity, privilege, and wealth, Bateman is also the ultimate serial killer, roaming freely and fearlessly. His murderous impulses are fueled by zealous materialism and piercing envy when he discovers someone else has acquired more than he has. After a colleague presents a business card superior in ink and paper to his, Bateman's blood thirst sharpens, and he steps up his homicidal activities to a frenzied pitch. Hatchets fly, butcher knives chop, chainsaws rip, and surgical instruments mutilate-how far will Bateman go? How much can he get away with?

Stills