American Psycho

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 653 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 653

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    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...
  2. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    Featuring some of Christian Bale's greatest work, and some priceless juxtapositions of horror and humor, "American Psycho" remains a hysterically written piece of satire.
  3. Jun 4, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a very intriguing movie. We get to watch as Patrick Bateman's sanity slowly slips away to his uncontrollable nightly blood lust. However, we find out that he may be delusional, and not necessarily dangerous. I still can't decide whether he is crazy or a serial killer. Expand
  4. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    One of the best and most underrated movies of all time IMHO. Its smart , funny and gory with deep dark undertones about the paradoxical times we live in
  5. Jan 20, 2012
    9
    American Psycho is one of the most deranged yet enjoyable stories ever committed to film. A satire of the "yuppie" lifestyle of the 1980s, and a warning against the corrupting power of money, it's expertly told, well-scripted, somewhat disturbingly funny, and grusomely thrilling. The entire film pretty much hinges on one performance, that of Christian Bale's increasingly disturbed WallAmerican Psycho is one of the most deranged yet enjoyable stories ever committed to film. A satire of the "yuppie" lifestyle of the 1980s, and a warning against the corrupting power of money, it's expertly told, well-scripted, somewhat disturbingly funny, and grusomely thrilling. The entire film pretty much hinges on one performance, that of Christian Bale's increasingly disturbed Wall Street trader-by-day and serial killer-by-night Patrick Bateman. Bale doesn't disappoint, delivering the performance of his career, and in the process creating a horror villain to rival Norman Bates, and an anti-hero and chillingly disturbing narrator to rival Alex DeLarge. Comparissons to such films as Psycho and A Clockwork Orange are inevitable, and American Psycho could be seen as an affectionate tribute to both, but with its own ideas to add to the bubbling cauldron of depravity. All these films use madness as a metaphor for something wrong with society - in Psycho it's misogyny, in A Clockwork Orange it's the corruption of government, and in American Psycho it's the evils of capitalism. The films are similar in many ways, amd vastly different in others, but all three communicate a powerful message to their audience extremely effectively. American Psycho certainly deserves equal recognition as a film - the performances are just as good, the story just as engaging, the underlying themes just as dark and compelling. Even director Mary Harron shows great flair in her art, though sadly as a cult film director she is unlikely to be classed in the same league as so-called "masters" as **** and Kubrick. If you enjoy the film, cult icon as it is, then feel free to be smug in the fact that you and a select group of others appreciate a truly fine, though criminally underrated film. Expand
  6. Aug 7, 2011
    9
    Satiric and socially relevant. A film not for the faint of heart. Filled with violence but with a purpose. Christian Bale creates an interesting performance. A must see, well stylized dark comedy with a lot to say. Soon to be a modern classic, and certainly deserving of its cult following.
  7. Sep 2, 2014
    9
    This is one of my favorite films of all time. It's extremely well-acted, and I love the 80's vibe of the film. It's quite an interesting take on the slasher film with our main character, portrayed quite darkly by Christian Bale. "American Psycho" is a very interesting (and even sometimes funny) look into the mind of a serial killer, and it's a very intense and enjoyable film. I give it myThis is one of my favorite films of all time. It's extremely well-acted, and I love the 80's vibe of the film. It's quite an interesting take on the slasher film with our main character, portrayed quite darkly by Christian Bale. "American Psycho" is a very interesting (and even sometimes funny) look into the mind of a serial killer, and it's a very intense and enjoyable film. I give it my highest recommendation. Expand
  8. Jun 8, 2014
    9
    Without a shadow of a doubt one of the most underrated movies I have ever had the privilege of watching. Christian Bale plays the role so well and the story is full of clever plot points and surprises throughout. Why this film got such mixed reviews upon release is beyond me, it's so well made. Thankfully with age this film has seen it's fan base and popularity grow and rightly so, thisWithout a shadow of a doubt one of the most underrated movies I have ever had the privilege of watching. Christian Bale plays the role so well and the story is full of clever plot points and surprises throughout. Why this film got such mixed reviews upon release is beyond me, it's so well made. Thankfully with age this film has seen it's fan base and popularity grow and rightly so, this film is so worth watching! Expand
  9. Apr 16, 2015
    10
    Wow just wow amazing movie hilarious and quotable i never get tired of it and Bales performance is mind blowing and this happens to be my favorite movie ever
  10. Apr 19, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Published in 1991, Bret Easton Ellis' third novel was greeted by howls of hatred more appropriate to a small war in the Third World or another Golan-Globus Lemon Popsicle sequel. A first person report from inside the mind of Patrick Bateman, who epitomises the ills of the 1980s by combining the professions of Wall Street broker ("mergers and acquisitions") and serial killer ("murders and executions"), the book was widely misinterpreted as a hideously misogynist tract that used explicit violence to draw attention to a thinly-plotted pretend thriller with dollops of surface-level satire.

    There has always been the threat of a film, with such scary names as Oliver Stone, Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg in the ring - but the project has fallen to Mary Harron, the ex-BBC documentarian who made an underrated debut with I Shot Andy Warhol, who has cannily brought aboard the apparently unlikely Guinevere Turner (the lesbian icon from Go Fish) to co-write and play the funniest victim. The result is the best imaginable film of very difficult material; it doesn't say much more than, "The 80s were **** but manages exactly to catch the all-surfaces, dazzlingly obsessive tone of the novel, making its points by treating all subjects - nouvelle cuisine, MOR rock music, fitness kicks, clothes, personal grooming - with exactly the same pornographic attention to detail as the sex and violence.

    Like the book, the film makes a point of not having a real plot: a smooth PI (Dafoe) seems set to nail the killer for the murder of a rival trader (Leto), but fades into the wallpaper along with the crime itself. Bateman, played with dead-inside charm and mounting hysteria by an astonishing Christian Bale, invites us into his world of reservations at exclusive restaurants and competitions over the quality of business cards. His detours into murder - prefaced by detailed speeches about now-embarrassing musical enthusiasms ("You actually own a Whitney Houston CD?" gasps Turner through contemptuous laughter. "More than one?") - are hardly more bizarre and tasteless as everything else in his life. In the end, the scariest thing about Bateman is not that he's a Lecter-like freak - his crack-up in the last act brings him horribly closer to humanity - but that he is no worse than everyone else in his world, except humane-but-dim office minion Sevigny, whose role is to make the film bearable.

    As for the horror: Harron is mostly very discreet, but delivers one terrific apartment-of-grue sequence as Bateman's life falls to pieces along with many victims, featuring a truly nerve-shredding chainsaw sound effect.

    Often laugh-out-loud funny, conveying the cruelty of its world through persistent mistakings of identity among the well-scrubbed young men and details like the all-sharp-edges interior decor and elaborate but tiny meals, it's cool in the sense of remote rather than hip. And you wouldn't want to be seen dead with the soundtrack album.
    Expand
  11. Apr 19, 2015
    10
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Like the book, the film makes a point of not having a real plot: a smooth PI (Dafoe) seems set to nail the killer for the murder of a rival trader (Leto), but fades into the wallpaper along with the crime itself. Bateman, played with dead-inside charm and mounting hysteria by an astonishing Christian Bale, invites
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Like the book, the film makes a point of not having a real plot: a smooth PI (Dafoe) seems set to nail the killer for the murder of a rival trader (Leto), but fades into the wallpaper along with the crime itself. Bateman, played with dead-inside charm and mounting hysteria by an astonishing Christian Bale, invites us into his world of reservations at exclusive restaurants and competitions over the quality of business cards. His detours into murder - prefaced by detailed speeches about now-embarrassing musical enthusiasms ("You actually own a Whitney Houston CD?" gasps Turner through contemptuous laughter. "More than one?") - are hardly more bizarre and tasteless as everything else in his life. In the end, the scariest thing about Bateman is not that he's a Lecter-like freak - his crack-up in the last act brings him horribly closer to humanity - but that he is no worse than everyone else in his world, except humane-but-dim office minion Sevigny, whose role is to make the film bearable.

    Often laugh-out-loud funny, conveying the cruelty of its world through persistent mistakings of identity among the well-scrubbed young men and details like the all-sharp-edges interior decor and elaborate but tiny meals, it's cool in the sense of remote rather than hip. Also a brilliant soundtrack album. One of the best films ever!
    Expand
  12. Dec 11, 2015
    10
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when the movie's over, it feels as if you've just seen a magician pull a dancing rabbit out of a top hat.

    At the heart of the film is a star-making performance by the handsome Welsh actor Christian Bale (adopting an impeccably snooty pseudo-preppie American accent) that softens the novel's portrait of a serial-killing Wall Street hotshot just enough to force us to identify with this ultimate narcissist. Mr. Bale's portrayal of 27-year-old Patrick Bateman, a budding master of the universe by day (he works in mergers and acquisitions, which he facetiously refers to as "murders and executions") and homicidal maniac by night, is alternately funny, blood-curdling and pathetic.

    From the opening credits, in which drops of blood are confused with red berry sauce drizzled on an exquisitely arranged plate of nouvelle cuisine, the movie establishes its insidious balance of humor and aestheticized gore. That sly confusion between the beautiful and the gruesome extends to the language of the screenplay by Ms. Harron and Guinevere Turner.

    As brilliantly as the movie's visual style evokes a world spat out by a Vanity Fair art director, "American Psycho" remains a one-joke satire of materialism and soullessness. It's a joke we would like to think we've got. Having arrived safely in the year 2000, it would be easy to shrug off "American Psycho" as the last cinematic word on an embarrassingly gluttonous cultural moment that has gone the way of Patrick's favorite murderous background anthem, "Hip to Be Square." But has it?

    A very twisted and dark comedy. One of my personal favorites. Flawless!
    Expand
  13. Apr 21, 2015
    10
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when the movie's over, it feels as if you've just seen a magician pull a dancing rabbit out of a top hat.

    At the heart of the film is a star-making performance by the handsome Welsh actor Christian Bale (adopting an impeccably snooty pseudo-preppie American accent) that softens the novel's portrait of a serial-killing Wall Street hotshot just enough to force us to identify with this ultimate narcissist. Mr. Bale's portrayal of 27-year-old Patrick Bateman, a budding master of the universe by day (he works in mergers and acquisitions, which he facetiously refers to as "murders and executions") and homicidal maniac by night, is alternately funny, blood-curdling and pathetic.

    From the opening credits, in which drops of blood are confused with red berry sauce drizzled on an exquisitely arranged plate of nouvelle cuisine, the movie establishes its insidious balance of humor and aestheticized gore. That sly confusion between the beautiful and the gruesome extends to the language of the screenplay by Ms. Harron and Guinevere Turner.

    As brilliantly as the movie's visual style evokes a world spat out by a Vanity Fair art director, "American Psycho" remains a one-joke satire of materialism and soullessness. It's a joke we would like to think we've got. Having arrived safely in the year 2000, it would be easy to shrug off "American Psycho" as the last cinematic word on an embarrassingly gluttonous cultural moment that has gone the way of Patrick's favorite murderous background anthem, "Hip to Be Square." But has it?

    A very twisted and dark comedy. One of my personal favorites. Flawless!
    Expand
  14. nimanm
    Aug 16, 2009
    10
    Bale delivers one of the most interesting and brilliant characters I've ever seen on screen.
  15. OrsonO.
    Mar 4, 2006
    10
    THE best film of 2000. Screw the stupid anti-suburban (its been done before better) American Beauty. American Psycho satirizes 90s materialistic narcisitic emptiness. People with wants, needs, and no ability to connect. Brilliant. Now "Feed me the kitty!"
  16. ShayF.
    Oct 12, 2001
    9
    Stylish, gripping and plain fun to watch. It quite possibly is one of the most important movies ever made. It dazzles all the senses!
  17. ChrisW.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Best F...ing Movie Ever. Very sexual at times.
  18. CraigB.
    Aug 4, 2004
    10
    This is a very worthy film version of Bret Easton Ellis' stunning novel. The director does an excellent job of capturing the book's tone, effectively bluring the line between reality and the morbid fantasies of Patrick Bateman. The movie is well cast, and all of the performances are beyond reproach.
  19. CLAUDIAA.
    Feb 1, 2009
    9
    Amasing. Christian Bale is the best Patrick Bateman. The book is fantastic and the movie is also great.
  20. [Anonymous]
    Feb 2, 2009
    9
    Fantastic. Bale's finest performance onscreen. I did have a problem with the "twist" at the end, but the rest is fantastic.
  21. BillH.
    Aug 13, 2001
    10
    Immediately became one of my favorite all-time films. A true modern classic.
  22. TheTexasMulroneycakesMassacre
    Dec 2, 2002
    10
    Christian Bale is ASTONISHING. Isn't that a great voice he gave Bateman, as well? Deep, sonourous, vaguely mid-Atlantic, and utterly devoid of any feeling. Willem Dafoe still looks like he's made entirely out of rubber. A hillarious, sharp and disturbing film, that expresses a great point, if you listen: Bateman's just doing literally what everyone in the 1980s was doing Christian Bale is ASTONISHING. Isn't that a great voice he gave Bateman, as well? Deep, sonourous, vaguely mid-Atlantic, and utterly devoid of any feeling. Willem Dafoe still looks like he's made entirely out of rubber. A hillarious, sharp and disturbing film, that expresses a great point, if you listen: Bateman's just doing literally what everyone in the 1980s was doing figuratively to people they sometimes labelled "friends". He kills people because their business cards are better than his, for God's sake. Expand
  23. May 10, 2011
    10
    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.
  24. Jul 13, 2014
    10
    American Psycho has a terrific plot, acting and is a satire of the lifestyle of those who lived in the 1980's.
    The movie is absorbing and intricate which is great to see. The movie also has great comedy provided
    by Christian Bale. Bale put so many facets into his character that it would take a while to list them
    all, one of my favourite thrillers, A+.
  25. Dec 27, 2012
    9
    Despite being a bit confusing especially the end, the characters in it were brilliant and Christian Bale acted brilliantly. The subtle jokes were the best and the satirical undertones were great.
  26. May 5, 2014
    8
    Christian Bale gives a well acted performance in this cult classic as Patrick Bateman, a young handsome New Yorker who is just cold-hearted. The formula in this Mary Harron of horror and black comedy works perfectly. This movie is one of the best of 2000
  27. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    American Psycho is brilliant social satire cleverly dressed up as a slasher film. I love it! A masterwork.
  28. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    To be honest I never thought Christian Bale was that incredible as an actor... until I saw this movie, and I was blown away. What a an amazing performance, being able to create a character so deep but completely shallow at the same time. It's like Dexter, but 10 times more insane, satirical and absolutely terrifying.
  29. Jan 2, 2014
    8
    A unique blend of comedy and horror, this film is infinitely enjoyable. Christian Bale kills it as psychotic serial killer Patrick Bateman. I never expected myself to find a movie of this type funny, but it most certainly is at times, while the horror scenes are certainly suitably bloody and terrifying. Really good film.
  30. Nov 26, 2013
    8
    American Psycho is a bloody success! It's funny and violent and Bale's performance was excellent. The largest problem I had with the film was the ambiguity of the ending but that aside it's a must see!
  31. Jan 1, 2014
    8
    American Psycho is off the rails.
    Christian Bale has possibly the performance of his career as a psychopathic businessman on tilt of killing in public. This film is a blast.
  32. Mar 3, 2013
    8
    First off, Christian Bale is totally excellent in this part; because I’ve seen all the Batman films before seeing this, it came as a bit of a culture shock to see him in this particular role. But he carries it off brilliantly! I love the way his character’s narration overlay’s the images and the musical references are worked in so well. It’s a really well made film too with a pretentiousFirst off, Christian Bale is totally excellent in this part; because I’ve seen all the Batman films before seeing this, it came as a bit of a culture shock to see him in this particular role. But he carries it off brilliantly! I love the way his character’s narration overlay’s the images and the musical references are worked in so well. It’s a really well made film too with a pretentious cuisine and big chunky telephones taking us back to the 80’s. Having not read the book I did find some of it a little hard to follow, but I’ll add it to the reading list and give this one another look afterwards. Definitely worth a look though, if just for Bale’s performance.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.1/10
    Expand
  33. Nov 22, 2013
    7
    Classic. American Psycho is a masterpiece. Christian Bale is phenomenal. Patrick Bateman is the most interesting character I have ever seen on screen.
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. American psycho has a great suspense about what is going to happen in the movie whether they are going to catch him or whether everything is a lie. It has a really good concept and Christian Bale's performance is excellent. The last 20 minutes are the only not so bad, but I would prefer to call them not so good as the twist was predictable and that disappointed me as I was expecting something bigger. Though the movie is really interesting and good in general. Not the best thriller I have ever seen but it's a good one to see. It is entertaining and suspense but while you expect something big you are given a twist that has been seen many times... Despite that, Thumb up! Expand
  35. Mar 6, 2014
    8
    The film entire is slightly blotched, or spotty, as the whole cast has a trouble fitting in with the themes of the story, with the exception of Bale. His acting range spreads far beyond than any other actor in his generation. His depth into the role of Bateman adds more to the already allegorical outlook of the whole plot, and he's oddly charming and funny, especially when he kills JaredThe film entire is slightly blotched, or spotty, as the whole cast has a trouble fitting in with the themes of the story, with the exception of Bale. His acting range spreads far beyond than any other actor in his generation. His depth into the role of Bateman adds more to the already allegorical outlook of the whole plot, and he's oddly charming and funny, especially when he kills Jared Leto with an ax to the face. Expand
  36. May 11, 2013
    7
    Christian Bale plays a character so simple, yet so complex, it's hard to understand what you're actually watching. In short, the movie's just about a man killing women. There is no great background story to why he's exactly doing this or not an ending that gives you a final conclusion. On one side, Christian Bale is perfect for this role, but somehow, at the same time, he's not. HisChristian Bale plays a character so simple, yet so complex, it's hard to understand what you're actually watching. In short, the movie's just about a man killing women. There is no great background story to why he's exactly doing this or not an ending that gives you a final conclusion. On one side, Christian Bale is perfect for this role, but somehow, at the same time, he's not. His preformance, however, is what makes this dark thriller so interresting and brutally funny, going so far it makes you wonder "How sick am I?" every time you laugh at any of the events. Expand
  37. Sep 13, 2010
    8
    Yuppie bloke goes bonkers, has a breakdown & kills lots of people. Or does he?
    I'd never read the Brett Easton-Ellis book but had heard a lot about it before seeing this when it came out.
    Bale is excellent as Patrick Bateman & the mood & feel of the late 80's is very well done. Certainly listening to Phil Collins is understandable that you'd want to kill someone. Great performance, if
    Yuppie bloke goes bonkers, has a breakdown & kills lots of people. Or does he?
    I'd never read the Brett Easton-Ellis book but had heard a lot about it before seeing this when it came out.
    Bale is excellent as Patrick Bateman & the mood & feel of the late 80's is very well done.
    Certainly listening to Phil Collins is understandable that you'd want to kill someone.
    Great performance, if brief, by Willem Dafoe as Detective Kimble.
    Expand
  38. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    At its heart its a satire of the times u know sexist greedy pigs who have it all Party and drug use rampant and filthy but clean and shiny fake.Just like Patrick Bateman wearing a mask of sanity the 80's was nothing but a lie on the outside and empty on the inside. Great Movie must see or buy
  39. Mar 2, 2012
    8
    A frank and unsettling insight into the mind of a psychopath. Christian Bale gives an excellent performance and really sells the character to the audience. The tension and thrills slowly and effectively build as the movie progresses. The film can be a bit disjointed at times, possibly due to the cutting of some material in the transition from book to movie.
  40. Jan 6, 2012
    7
    N'ayant pas lu le livre, je m'arrêterai donc à ce film, assez spécial... Bizarre déjà dans le sujet (un playboy qui nous raconte et montre ses pulsions meutrières non sans pudeur), dévoilant au passage un humour d'une noirceur sans nom, ce qui apporte à American Psycho une jouissanceN'ayant pas lu le livre, je m'arrêterai donc à ce film, assez spécial... Bizarre déjà dans le sujet (un playboy qui nous raconte et montre ses pulsions meutrières non sans pudeur), dévoilant au passage un humour d'une noirceur sans nom, ce qui apporte à American Psycho une jouissance quasi malsaine. Etrange dans le fait que le film n'apporte rien, si ce n'est que du divertissement qu'il faut prendre au dixième degré pour supporter et apprécier les déboires psychopathes de cet abominable personnage (l'interdiction au moins de 16 ans n'est pas une exagération). Franchement spécial! Mais s'il fallait retenir quelque chose d'évident, c'est bien la prestation de Christian Bale, que j'ai rarement vu aussi glacial, fendard et talentueux qu'ailleurs que dans cet OVNI du cinéma. Expand
  41. Sep 8, 2014
    7
    "American Psycho" is a nightmarish movie that delivers humor, horror and a stupendous performance from the charming star Christian Bale even if it is not as scary as the book that it's based of.
  42. May 8, 2012
    7
    From writer Bret Easton Ellis, author of the dark teen 1980â
  43. Nov 7, 2014
    7
    Although the ironic tone is ridiculously uneven, American Psycho gets a passing grade. Christian Bale is deranged, sick, and amusing here with his portrayal of a Wall Street hotshot, and his associates are all oblivious and blissfully unaware of anything going on in the movie to the point where it's funny. The best part about the film is the ambiguity of everything. To decipher what's realAlthough the ironic tone is ridiculously uneven, American Psycho gets a passing grade. Christian Bale is deranged, sick, and amusing here with his portrayal of a Wall Street hotshot, and his associates are all oblivious and blissfully unaware of anything going on in the movie to the point where it's funny. The best part about the film is the ambiguity of everything. To decipher what's real and imaginary is all speculation, and that's the fun of it. Many movies have done this "main-character-is-delusional" thing before (Shutter Island, to name one), but not many have achieved it so satisfyingly well as American Psycho. Expand
  44. Apr 25, 2015
    8
    American Psycho succeeds at being both a mind-bending psychological thriller and a smart political satire at the same time, a rare feat. This film makes you think, but at the same time keeps you interested. There are a lot of shocking moments, all driven by Christian Bale's superb performance. All in all, this is a great movie that more mature fans of Christian Bale should definitely check out.
  45. RyanM.
    Jun 20, 2002
    8
    Bits and pieces of ths film work, and bits and pieces don't. But, enough works and is effectively satiric to be sufficently entertaining.
  46. ChadS.
    Apr 6, 2005
    7
    When "American Psycho" goes off the rails with Patrick Bateman's imitation of Leatherface, you wonder if Charlie Kaufman was taking notes. If you credited the bogus screenwriting team of Charlie & Donald Kaufman to Mary Harron's film; the Robert McKee disciple would find Charlie's satirization of the eighties and its Wall Street suits who could listen to Huey Lewis & the When "American Psycho" goes off the rails with Patrick Bateman's imitation of Leatherface, you wonder if Charlie Kaufman was taking notes. If you credited the bogus screenwriting team of Charlie & Donald Kaufman to Mary Harron's film; the Robert McKee disciple would find Charlie's satirization of the eighties and its Wall Street suits who could listen to Huey Lewis & the News without irony great (Donald loves his brother, after all), but he would want to kick it up a notch by having Patrick go on a shooting spree and use his victim's apartment as a slaughterhouse. The commercially-minded Kaufman would make Patrick sorry for his crimes by reason of insanity, not because he wants this American psycho to skirt responsibility, but more out of a final fruition of what McKee teaches, the character arc, in which Bateman starts off unsympathetic and makes his way across the spectrum to redemption. Charlie, however, subverts Donald's intentions with an appearance by Ronald Reagan on CNN, explaining the Iran-Contra affair, to show how the Republicans, like Patrick, got away with murder. "American Psycho" plays like a precursor to "Adaptation", and deserves a second look. Another reason being, of course, a broad example of why other countries would hate us. Expand
  47. ZachP.
    Aug 28, 2002
    9
    You can feel the coldness of the blade all the way through. And the final narration felt like listening to the tale of my own death. Strong stomach? Don't miss it.
  48. NinjsMafia
    May 27, 2004
    8
    More of a comedy than a horror movie, American Psycho is good if you have a sick mind mind and understand some of its weird humor. The movie follows a man, Patrick Bateman, who one day goes over the edge and kills someone. He then goes on a mad cap killing spree. Nothing too deep, although the ending was kind of a mind screw. Where this movie shines though, is in its satirical look at the More of a comedy than a horror movie, American Psycho is good if you have a sick mind mind and understand some of its weird humor. The movie follows a man, Patrick Bateman, who one day goes over the edge and kills someone. He then goes on a mad cap killing spree. Nothing too deep, although the ending was kind of a mind screw. Where this movie shines though, is in its satirical look at the '80s and outstanding performances. Christian Bale plays one of the coolest killers in a horror movie ever. His calm and cool persona makes him seem even more sadistic when he does kill someone. Talking about killing, I did find some of the deaths in this movie to be hilarious. When Bateman starts dancing around behind a colleague of his and picks up and ax, then procceeds to dance back and stick the ax in his friends head was one of the most memorable deaths in this movie. Also funny, is how Bateman continues to tell people how he kills everyone, and everyone just takes it as though he is joking. a Really cool, slick, and funny horror movie that should deserve some attention. Expand
  49. matta.
    Aug 11, 2005
    9
    People who call this movie childish and over the top really don't get the movie, and more than likely have not read or are not familiar with the source material, Bret Easton Ellis's brilliant novel. This is satire folks. And damn good satire at that. Christian Bale gave what I consider to be the best performance by a child actor in Empire Of the Sun, and here he shows that he People who call this movie childish and over the top really don't get the movie, and more than likely have not read or are not familiar with the source material, Bret Easton Ellis's brilliant novel. This is satire folks. And damn good satire at that. Christian Bale gave what I consider to be the best performance by a child actor in Empire Of the Sun, and here he shows that he still has talent that is equal to and even in many cases surpassing those of his generation. Expand
  50. GrahamM.
    Jan 29, 2006
    9
    First of all, this is a satire, not a comedy. Do not get those two very different things mixed up. Second, this is not a standard slasher movie, infact its hard to call this a slasher movie. This is not like a teen horror flick, such as freddy or Jason or Scream, This is far more sophisticated and intelligent. This is an intelligent film with very interesting characters and performances First of all, this is a satire, not a comedy. Do not get those two very different things mixed up. Second, this is not a standard slasher movie, infact its hard to call this a slasher movie. This is not like a teen horror flick, such as freddy or Jason or Scream, This is far more sophisticated and intelligent. This is an intelligent film with very interesting characters and performances by great actors such as Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe as well as Reese Witherspoone. Once you start watching this film, it will be hard to look away because the beginnging sucks you right in with Bale's characters narration. To be honest, this isnt the goriest movie ever, far from it, this film has tension and suggests allot of the violence without showing. The ending is very thought provoking and will make you want to watch it through again, because to understand what happens, once isnt enough. Expand
  51. DominikV.
    Sep 11, 2009
    9
    The film tries its best to show the very impressive and well-translated satirical-critical, psychological, social themes of the book by the same name in an appropriate running time while remaining interesting from beginning to end with almost no unnecessary or missing parts.
  52. Tyler
    Nov 23, 2003
    10
    My favorite movie of all time. I'm definitely saddened by the fact that the overall review score is a 66, but alas, not all can appreciate art. Christian Bale is superb. Bottom line. Especially when you consider his Welsh accent he put on the back burner in favor of the eerily vacant and bland American one. Chloe Sevigny should have been used more extensively, but adapting from a My favorite movie of all time. I'm definitely saddened by the fact that the overall review score is a 66, but alas, not all can appreciate art. Christian Bale is superb. Bottom line. Especially when you consider his Welsh accent he put on the back burner in favor of the eerily vacant and bland American one. Chloe Sevigny should have been used more extensively, but adapting from a novel leaves little room for character expansion. Beautifully satirical from start to finish, it is a movie recommended for those with IQ's over room temperature. Collapse
  53. AdamK
    Nov 28, 2008
    10
    Great use of satire. Bale's acting is superb.
  54. Sep 9, 2015
    7
    The american reality impersonated...or grotestically put on! American Psycho tells the story of Patrick Bateman living his "ordinary" life, with not ordinary desires, that lead him to brink of...who knows.

    The movie's presentation is very solid and direct, as you unravel through the first 30 minutes what could be a extremely crazy psychopath.The plot, therefore, is great, showing how
    The american reality impersonated...or grotestically put on! American Psycho tells the story of Patrick Bateman living his "ordinary" life, with not ordinary desires, that lead him to brink of...who knows.

    The movie's presentation is very solid and direct, as you unravel through the first 30 minutes what could be a extremely crazy psychopath.The plot, therefore, is great, showing how deep is Bateman's life, together with many stereotypes and the high class of the american life. The environment represnts very well the story, and it's questions it could bring. It may be confusing a bit, but it's conduction leave it up to the viewer to bring most of it together.

    Probably the most intense representation of the movie is the caricature of each and every person, and how strange they seem when put together on Patrick's life. The script remains solid on that point, representing truthfully whom each one of them represents, even though some come off shallow or hardly representation of polished work on them. Despite that, the picture is clear on it's approach and shows great work from the director.

    However, there are a few low points that can badly contribute to the conclusion. At few times the confusing tone of the last act performs weakly, lowering the blow of the conclusion the viewer develops himself. And despite brilliant performance from Christian Bale, most of the cast falls very short, partially beacause of the story, and partially because of the weak secondary characters that lead to less impact from the story.

    In the end, the picture is very good, bringing up many questions and showing a character that could be a simple man, which lead to ultimately great conclusion.

    7.6/10
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  55. Jul 28, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Christian Bale in this movie is remarkable in his performance of Patrick Bateman, his actions are sometimes funny, his prowl is dark and you can really make out the disguise he is presenting towards others as he goes on a murderous rampage. This is also a very well filmed movie, the cinematography is great (particularly in the stair flight chainsaw scene). However, my main issues with this movie is that It could not follow a certain tone to the overall movie. Don't get me wrong, I like when genres get infused with one another but in this film, it seemed messy. For example, In the first act of the movie it established a dark yet funny tone to it, you wanted to see murder but you didn't want it to be found out and you wanted this character to remain anonymous. By the second and third act, this movie was a slasher, it was a comedy it was a drama it was a fantasy....The scenes were acted well but I wish they would've stuck to the dark and anonymous tone instead of making the character cocky and then bursting into tears about what he's done at the end. Patrick Bateman should've sustained a disguise and presented no emotion because that's what the film did especially well in the first act and what I was looking forward to for the entire running time. This is still a very well acted and very well made movie to watch, you just may need to be understand that it'll put everything it can onto you. Expand
  56. Nov 22, 2014
    8
    Christian Bale probably displays his best acting performance ever in American Psycho. He is just so nuts in this film and no one suspects anything until he's about to slit their throat. Its like a slasher film without all the jump out scares. Bales character took a lot of thought and it was well executed. Such a great film.
  57. Jun 23, 2015
    7
    A very original film about a rich Wall Street employee who really enjoys killing people. Christian Bale performance is excellent here, the story is surprisingly well handled; and the conclusion this film had will leave you searching into your head.
  58. Aug 25, 2016
    10
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when
    A New York stock broker spends his evenings killing people, or does he?

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when the movie's over, it feels as if you've just seen a magician pull a dancing rabbit out of a top hat.

    At the heart of the film is a star-making performance by the handsome Welsh actor Christian Bale (adopting an impeccably snooty pseudo-preppie American accent) that softens the novel's portrait of a serial-killing Wall Street hotshot just enough to force us to identify with this ultimate narcissist. Mr. Bale's portrayal of 27-year-old Patrick Bateman, a budding master of the universe by day (he works in mergers and acquisitions, which he facetiously refers to as "murders and executions") and homicidal maniac by night, is alternately funny, blood-curdling and pathetic.

    From the opening credits, in which drops of blood are confused with red berry sauce drizzled on an exquisitely arranged plate of nouvelle cuisine, the movie establishes its insidious balance of humor and aestheticized gore. That sly confusion between the beautiful and the gruesome extends to the language of the screenplay by Ms. Harron and Guinevere Turner.

    As brilliantly as the movie's visual style evokes a world spat out by a Vanity Fair art director, "American Psycho" remains a one-joke satire of materialism and soullessness. It's a joke we would like to think we've got. Having arrived safely in the year 2000, it would be easy to shrug off "American Psycho" as the last cinematic word on an embarrassingly gluttonous cultural moment that has gone the way of Patrick's favorite murderous background anthem, "Hip to Be Square." But has it?

    A very twisted and dark comedy. One of my personal favorites. Flawless!
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  59. Apr 4, 2016
    10
    'American Psycho': Murderer! Fiend! Cad! (But Well-Dressed)

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when the movie's
    'American Psycho': Murderer! Fiend! Cad! (But Well-Dressed)

    Watching "American Psycho" is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat. In adapting Bret Easton Ellis's turgid, gory 1991 novel to the screen, the director Mary Harron has boiled a bloated stew of brand names and butchery into a lean and mean horror comedy classic. The transformation is so surprising that when the movie's over, it feels as if you've just seen a magician pull a dancing rabbit out of a top hat.

    Four years ago Ms. Harron's film "I Shot Andy Warhol" performed similar magic by creating credible facsimiles of Warhol and his motley entourage. "American Psycho," a more ambitious, far more confident film, salvages a novel widely loathed for its putative misogyny and gruesome torture scenes by removing its excess fat in a kind of cinematic liposuction. Except for a few wittily chosen lists, the book's numbing catalog of high-end consumer items has been drastically edited. Its murder rate has also plunged. The trimming demonstrates once again that less is often more. What remains of the story is a sleek, satirical, yuppie-era "Jekyll and Hyde" that blithely tap dances along the fault lines separating movie genres.

    At the heart of the film is a star-making performance by the handsome Welsh actor Christian Bale (adopting an impeccably snooty pseudo-preppie American accent) that softens the novel's portrait of a serial-killing Wall Street hotshot just enough to force us to identify with this ultimate narcissist. Mr. Bale's portrayal of 27-year-old Patrick Bateman, a budding master of the universe by day (he works in mergers and acquisitions, which he facetiously refers to as "murders and executions") and homicidal maniac by night, is alternately funny, blood-curdling and pathetic.

    As this character metamorphoses from preening, wolfish yuppie to chain-saw wielding maniac to whimpering crybaby, Mr. Bale makes us feel the underlying connections between these multiple personalities. One minute Mr. Bale's Patrick is a cowering corporate geek and self-described empty shell, the next an arrogant, name-dropping smoothie, the next a hysterical wimp unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.

    He's also a serial killer, or at least he is in his imagination. The movie plays adroitly with the notion that his violent spasms are merely the revenge fantasies of a repressed corporate toady. The fluidity with which Mr. Bale moves from one state of mind to the other makes for the kind of tour-de-force performance you'd expect from Sean Penn, another master of throwing tear-stained tantrums.

    From the opening credits, in which drops of blood are confused with red berry sauce drizzled on an exquisitely arranged plate of nouvelle cuisine, the movie establishes its insidious balance of humor and aestheticized gore. That sly confusion between the beautiful and the gruesome extends to the language of the screenplay by Ms. Harron and Guinevere Turner.

    Dinner specials are described by waiters in the tones of unctuous coroners announcing the results of autopsies.

    Some of the funniest speeches are Patrick's pompous lectures -- each a prelude to homicide -- on the 80's pop stalwarts Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis and the News.

    While the movie's interiors conform to late-80's styles of design and architecture, they, too, are eerily exaggerated. The severe black-and-white minimalism of Patrick's gadget-filled apartment has the feel of a high-rise morgue.

    The movie's sexual ethos is a bifurcated world of male monsters and their often shallow but still recognizably human girlfriends. Patrick and his Wall Street cronies are interchangeable reptilian pod people, soulless under their designer-label shells and supercilious smirks. (One running joke finds Patrick being continually confused with others, despite his wealth, status and miraculous instant entree to New York's priciest restaurants.)

    In one hilarious early scene, he and his colleagues compare their business cards (the texture of the paper and the quality of embossing) in a competitive game of show and tell that has a murderous undertone. Those colleagues, wittily embodied by Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, Matt Ross and Bill Sage, are the ne plus ultra in cocky, carnivorous sang-froid.

    Compared with these robotic cobras, the women are almost poignantly human. Reese Witherspoon,

    At the very least, "American Psycho" is a dazzling period satire. It's still too early to know what, if anything, it might foretell.
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  60. May 30, 2016
    9
    This movie proves why Christian Bale is one of the best actors. He is totally funny and creepy and brings so much charisma to patrick bateman. A movie that is both creepy and funny and knows how to balance the two tones.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    71
    The film's details are spot-on, its tone ludicrously ironic, and its casting deft.
  2. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    50
    In both senses of the word, American Psycho wastes its women.
  3. 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).