Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. 75
    Christian Bale is heroic in the way he allows the character to leap joyfully into despicability.
  2. Most of American Psycho just sits there, looking at trouble, rather than looking for it - complacent, overjoyed in fact to exist at all.
  3. The real highlight is when Bateman and his co-workers compare custom business cards in a grueling, ego-shattering game of one-upmanship that is so linked to their sense of self it might as well be Russian roulette.
  4. Harron validates and largely clarifies the work.
  5. A standard-issue slasher movie, stylishly shot, but with little to distinguish it from a long line of "Psycho"-spawned gorefests.
  6. Ambiguity can enrich a movie, but artists abdicate their responsibilities if they don't take a stance of any kind.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's not a great film, but let's face it: Considering the source, this is as good as it was ever going to get.
  8. 67
    Neither bloodthirsty enough to trigger the gag reflex of anyone but the most anemic viewer nor clever enough to yield much in the way of particularly engrossing insights.
  9. Funny, pungent, and weirdly gripping.
  10. A fairly loathsome and shallow movie about loathsome and shallow people, but it's almost worth catching to see star Christian Bale chew up the scenery.
  11. A lean and mean horror comedy classic.
  12. An ethereal, creepy, almost breathtaking meditation on the life of a mind snapped in two.
  13. 90
    Harron's adaptation of Ellis's novel is brilliant, probably better than the book itself.
  14. 80
    Cloaking (Bateman's) world in a hyperrealist light so sharp you could cut yourself on it, Harron keeps the violence minimal, over the top and ghoulishly funny.
  15. 80
    Bateman could have been much more interesting if he'd been played by someone who wouldn't need to work quite so hard (Charlie Sheen or Rob Lowe might have been fascinating here).
  16. 80
    The slick satire cleverly equates materialism, narcissism, misogyny, and classism with homicide, but you may laugh so loud at the protagonist that you won't be able to hear yourself laughing with him.
  17. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Nearly perfect for what it is.
  18. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Pace is sleek, airless and apt.
  19. There's nothing beyond the bloodshed and gallows humor, just intellectually secondhand implications about materialism, conformity and misogyny.
  20. 50
    (Harron) has made a passionless movie about a passionless man, and it's all supposed to add up to make us feel or even just think something, but what?
  21. 50
    Lacking any equivalent to the Sadean excess of Ellis's prose, it is also further evacuated of purpose.
  22. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    (Herron) just doesn't make the case that this book was worth filming.
  23. Stillborn, pointless piece of work.
  24. 71
    The film's details are spot-on, its tone ludicrously ironic, and its casting deft.
  25. 75
    Has the feverish intensity of a bad dream, leavened with a subversive sense of humor that is both sophisticated and cracked.
  26. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Exceedingly well cast and assembled with flashy visuals and pacing by Harron, this period piece is diminished by its relative pointlessness.
  27. A withering condemnation of a culture where greed is a virtue, a culture that you don't have to feel guilty for laughing at.
  28. A second-rate nightmare: the Reagan generation meets Leatherhead with flickers of brilliance drowned in blood and snobbery, a corpse dressed by Bloomingdale's.
  29. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    In both senses of the word, American Psycho wastes its women.
  30. A misfiring black comedy oddly reminiscent of all those bad 1990s movies about strippers getting killed at bachelor parties.
  31. A high-end version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" set in the rarefied bistros, boites and brokerages of Yuppie Manhattan in the 1980s.
  32. 67
    It's so steeped in the coldness and inhumanity of its protagonist that it's ultimately more clinical than absorbing.
  33. 90
    An uneven movie that nonetheless bristles with stinging wit and exerts a perverse fascination.
  34. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    But the carnage, like the sex scenes, is shot so pristinely that it becomes a nouvelle-cuisine feast; this is a splatter film Martha Stewart could love.
  35. Reviewed by: Don Kaye
    A provocative success; wiping away the gore, Harron and Bale have found a mirror that forces us to look at ourselves and ask tough, disturbing questions -- which is ultimately what the best satire always does.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 220 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 53
  2. Negative: 2 out of 53
  1. Aug 1, 2012
    11/10 would watch again.
    It's funny, I seriously just love watching people die. It legitimately turns me on, at least a bit. Good, good, good
    movie... Full Review »
  2. May 10, 2011
    Based on the book of the same name, American Psycho is a journey through the mind of a mentally deranged yuppie. While that makes it seem like a very serious movie it's actually very funny in a dark sense. Christian Bale is delightful as the main character Patrick Bateman. Full Review »
  3. nimanm
    Aug 16, 2009
    Bale delivers one of the most interesting and brilliant characters I've ever seen on screen.