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"AMERICAN PSYCHO"
(2000) (Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Extreme Extreme Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Extreme None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild None Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A slick but shallow 1980s era investment banker finds that he can't control his hidden homicidal thoughts and tendencies.
PLOT:
Patrick Bateman (CHRISTIAN BALE) is a slick but shallow investment banker during the greedy Wall Street days of the 1980s. Spending his days trying to one-up his competitive associates, including Paul Allen (JARED LETO), Timothy Bryce (JUSTIN THEROUX), Luis Carruthers (MATT ROSS) and Craig McDermott (JOSH LUCAS), Bateman is a man obsessed with being fit, trendy and getting into the best restaurants, while chastising his associates for being politically incorrect.

By night, however, Bateman is a different man. Although he's engaged to Evelyn Williams (REESE WITHERSPOON), he has no qualms about cheating on her with her best friend, Courtney Rawlinson (SAMANTHA MATHIS) or picking up hookers off the street, such as Christie (CARA SEYMOUR), and engaging in threesomes with other women, including his friend Elizabeth (GUINEVERE TURNER).

Beyond Bateman's sexual escapades, however, he also seems to be a serial killer. After dispatching one of his associates, he draws the attention of local detective Donald Kimball (WILLEM DAFOE) who begins investing the victim's disappearance. With Kimball seemingly becomes more suspicious of Bateman, the banker's homicidal tendencies, which eventually threaten women including Christie and even his personal work assistant, Jean (CHLOE SEVIGNY), begin to get out of control as he spirals downward into rages of paranoia and more murder.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The controversy surrounding the film's theme and content may draw in some curious, older teenagers, but beyond them and anyone who might be a fan of someone in the cast, it's not likely this film will be drawing many other kids to it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence, sexuality, drug use and language. Previously rated NC-17.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHRISTIAN BALE plays a slick, but shallow investment banker who kills or fantasizes about killing many people, has sex with various women (including being involved in threesomes) and uses strong profanity.
  • WILLEM DAFOE plays the detective investigating the disappearance of one of Bateman's alleged victims.
  • JARED LETO plays one of Bateman's competitive co-workers who gets drunk in one scene.
  • REESE WITHERSPOON plays Bateman's needy fiancé.
  • SAMANTHA MATHIS plays her best friend who's having an affair with Bateman.
  • CHLOE SEVIGNY plays Bateman's subservient and subdued personal assistant who seems attracted to him.
  • CARA SEYMOUR plays a hooker who twice joins Bateman for a sexual threesome.
  • JUSTIN THEROUX and JOSH LUCAS play more of Bateman's associates who join him in making disparaging remarks about women.
  • GUINEVERE TURNER plays a friend of Bateman's who joins him in a threesome.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated thriller. Although there are hints and suggestions that some or most of what we see isn't really true, the sex and violence come off as almost always realistic. As such, an extreme amount of lethal and bloody violence is present as many people are killed in various fashions.

    Those scenes and others (that are accompanied by an extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music) may also be disturbing, suspenseful or downright frightening to viewers depending on whether they take what occurs at face value or realize the intended satirical/farcical elements. Either way, the killer obviously has an extreme case of bad attitudes, while other men make some misogynistic comments about women.

    Profanity is also rated as extreme due to nearly 30 uses of the "f' word, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also uttered. Several sexual encounters - some involving three people -- with nudity, movement and related sounds give that category an extreme rating as well. Various characters smoke and drink, while the protagonist and others also use cocaine.

    Due to the severity of what's present, should you still have any concerns about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have wine with dinner, while Bateman and several of his associates have drinks (and one of them comments on the restaurant not having a good bathroom in which to do "coke").
  • Bateman and his associates have drinks in a club, as do others.
  • People, including Bateman, have drinks at a restaurant.
  • Courtney appears nearly passed out from something she's taken (what could be psychiatric drugs as earlier reported by Bateman in voice over narration).
  • People have wine at a Christmas party.
  • Bateman and an associate have drinks in a restaurant and this other man appears to be somewhat intoxicated.
  • Bateman tells Kimball about Paul supposedly having a cocaine problem.
  • Christie has wine while taking a bath.
  • Bateman and his associates have drinks.
  • People drink in a club and we then see women coming out of bathroom stalls rubbing their noses as if just snorting cocaine. We then see Bateman and an associate of his snorting coke in the bathroom stall.
  • Jean drinks wine at Bateman's place.
  • People, including Bateman and Kimball, have drinks in a restaurant.
  • Bateman spikes some wine with the contents of a drug capsule he breaks open (so that he can take advantage of Christie and Elizabeth).
  • Elizabeth asks Bateman if he has any cocaine or other drugs (he doesn't).
  • Bateman downs a bunch of pills.
  • Bateman and his associates have drinks, as do others.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • What looks like blood splattering and then pouring onto a white surface or canvas turns out to be some sort of red sauce being applied to a dinner plate.
  • We hear Bateman urinating.
  • We see what looks like blood on sheets Bateman has brought to the cleaners.
  • Blood splatters all over Bateman's face as he repeatedly strikes another man with an ax (not seen) and we then see lots of blood on the floor as well (and on partial glimpses of the body). As he then drags the body out of his building in a large bag, he leaves a trail of blood that no one else seems to notice.
  • A woman's nose is bloody when she leaves after a night of sex with Bateman and another woman.
  • We see a severed woman's head in a bag in Bateman's fridge.
  • In bed with Christie and Elizabeth and having sex with the latter, Bateman emerges from under the sheets with blood all over his mouth and the sheets as well (implying that he killed Elizabeth). Christie then tries to escape from the apartment and finds various dead and rather bloody bodies along the way. Bateman, who's covered in blood, tries biting her on the leg and she kicks him in the face and escapes. He then comes after her with a chainsaw and eventually drops it down a stairwell where it strikes her (we don't see the actual impact) and we then see blood spilling out onto and spreading across the floor.
  • Bateman shoots another man dead and blood splatters out onto the wall behind the victim.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • While we see Bateman involved in all sorts of homicidal and manipulative sexual activity, it's not always clear what might be real and what is fantasy (particularly related to the serial killer murders) since several clues are dropped that all of what occurs might only be a product of a warped imagination. Either way, Bateman has extreme cases of both types of attitudes for either killing or imagining that he's killing all of these people.
  • McDermott refers to an associate of theirs (who's not there) as a "Jew bastard."
  • Bateman tells/fantasizes telling a woman at a club, "You're a f*cking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death…" Later, he does the same to an Asian woman and says, "If you don't shut your f*cking mouth, I'll kill you."
  • Bateman is demeaning to Jean, his personal assistant, in a sexual harassment type way where he tells her she must wear a dress or skirt with high heels to work.
  • We learn/see that Bateman is having an affair with his fiancé's best friend (who's cheating on someone else).
  • Bateman and his associates make disparaging remarks & jokes about women, including that "there are no girls with good personalities," one saying he'd like "a chick with a little hard body who will satisfy all sexual demands without being too slutty about things and will essentially keep her dumb f*cking mouth shut," and what serial killer Ed Gein thought about a pretty woman he saw walking down the street - "What her head would look like on a stick."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be disturbing, suspenseful and/or frightening to some viewers.
  • We see some brief footage from the movie, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with Leatherface walking around with his chainsaw as women scream.
  • Bateman stands behind a man in the men's room as if he's going to kill him, but then doesn't.
  • Bateman asks Jean out and they end up at his place where it seems for several minutes that he's going to kill her (he even holds a large nail gun to the back of her head - without her knowing it), but nothing ultimately happens.
  • In bed with Christie and Elizabeth and having sex with the latter, Bateman emerges from under the sheets with blood all over his mouth and the sheets as well (implying he killed Elizabeth). Christie then tries to escape from the apartment and finds various dead and rather bloody bodies along the way. Bateman, who's covered in blood, tries biting her on the leg and she kicks him in the face and escapes. He then comes after her with a chainsaw and eventually drops it down a stairwell where it strikes her (we don't see the actual impact) and we then see blood spilling out onto and spreading across the floor.
  • Bateman picks up a kitten and acts as if he's going to shoot it, but instead shoots a woman who scolds him for what he's doing.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Held by some women as props of some sort as they dance in a club.
  • Knife/Ax/Chainsaw/Handgun: Used by Bateman to kill different people.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "If you don't shut your f*cking mouth, I'll kill you," "D*ckweed," "D*ckhead," "Blow job" (oral sex), "Bastard," "Bitch," "Who gives a rat's ass?" "Shut up," "Nit wit," "Jeez," "Loser," "Dork," "Chicks" (women), "Slutty," "Bimbo," "Idiot" and "Faggot."
  • Although the odds aren't high, it's possible some impressionable teens could find the "cool" way in which Bateman dispatches his victims as enticing to imitate (including an aborted attempt where a large nail gun is held to the back of a person's head).
  • Bateman spikes some wine with the contents of a drug capsule he breaks open (so that he can take advantage of Christie and Elizabeth).
  • Bateman picks up a kitten and acts as if he's going to shoot it, but instead shoots a woman who scolds him for what he's doing.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 29 "f" words, 3 "s" words, 4 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck"), 6 asses (1 used with "hole," another is written), 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh God," 4 each of "Jesus" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "God" and 1 use of "Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • One of Bateman's associates jokes about Bateman not giving a restaurant maitre d' "head" (oral sex).
  • We see Bateman in his underwear and later see his bare butt as he showers. As he then later stands nude in front of a mirror, we see nearly down to his crotch.
  • We see a porno tape playing on Bateman's TV in the background that shows two women (with bare breasts) together with movement and sexual sounds (and what appeared to be both of them sitting on top of a man - one on his lap having sex, the other on his face).
  • We see the top of Courtney's breasts (and cleavage) in a low-cut outfit she wears.
  • We see Bateman lying nude on an indoor sunbathing table (seen from the side) and see his pubic hair, but not his genitals.
  • We see Bateman in his boxers.
  • Bateman picks up Christie, a hooker and then takes her back to Paul's place where we then see her in the bathtub (where we see glimpses of her bare breasts). Bateman then tells her, "I want you to clean your vagina" but to do so on her knees, and she reluctantly complies and then begins to scrub her crotch (although we don't see anything explicit). Another hooker, Sabrina, then shows up for a threesome (Bateman called for her).
  • In the bedroom, Bateman (who's running a video camera) tells Christie to take off her robe and Sabrina her dress (we then see most of her bare butt in her thong underwear). As he rattles on about singer Phil Collins and his songs, Bateman orders Sabrina to do a "sexy dance" and for Christie to get on the bed (where we see her bare breasts hanging down inside her loose-fitting lingerie). He then tells Sabrina (about Christie's rear), "Don't just stare at it, eat it." We then see various quick shots of him having sex from behind both women, their bare breasts, his full frontal nudity, and him having sex with one of them with her leg up over his shoulder (all with movement and sounds). Later, we see his bare butt when he gets out of bed and one of the women's bare butt and breasts.
  • Bateman and his associates talk about women with one of them saying he'd like "a chick with a little hard body who will satisfy all sexual demands without being too slutty about things and will essentially keep her dumb f*cking mouth shut."
  • One of Bateman's gay associates thinks that Bateman is gay as well (he kisses Bateman's hand).
  • We see Bateman having sex between Courtney's spread legs with thrusting movement, sounds (and climaxing sounds on his part), but no nudity.
  • A woman talks about another woman giving Bateman a "blow job."
  • Bateman tells Christie and Elizabeth that he'd like to see the two of them getting it on. Although Elizabeth initially refuses, we later see Christie on top of her (both are clothed), and female-to-female breast caressing occurs. Moments later, we see that the three are in bed under the sheet with Bateman having sex with Elizabeth (with movement and sounds but nothing explicit seen due to them being under the sheets). We do see most of Christie's bare butt.
  • Bateman runs down a hallway nude and we see his bare butt.
  • We see various sketches and drawings in Bateman's appointment book that includes those of bare breasted women.
  • SMOKING
  • Bateman holds or smokes cigars in several scenes, while various other characters (including those in the background) also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether Bateman really killed all of the people in the film or simply imagined doing so (several clues are dropped that the latter might be the correct interpretation).
  • The way in which the killings and the killer are made to look cool and slick.
  • Whether the film's more extreme content - the sex and violence - is there only to titillate the viewer or suggest something more profound.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Bateman repeatedly stabs a homeless man in an alley with a knife (the insertion isn't seen) and then stomps down on the man's small dog, killing it (we see his motions and hear the dog squeal, but don't see the actual impact).
  • Blood splatters all over Bateman's face as he repeatedly strikes another man with an ax (we don't see that impact).
  • A woman's nose is bloody when she leaves after a night of sex with Bateman and another woman.
  • We see a severed woman's head in a bag in Bateman's fridge.
  • In bed with Christie and Elizabeth and having sex with the latter, Bateman emerges from under the sheets with blood all over his mouth and the sheets as well (implying he killed Elizabeth). Christie then tries to escape from the apartment and finds various dead and rather bloody bodies along the way. Bateman, who's covered in blood, tries biting her on the leg and she kicks him in the face and escapes. He then comes after her with a chainsaw and eventually drops it down a stairwell where it strikes her (we don't see the actual impact) and we then see blood spilling out onto and spreading across the floor.
  • Bateman picks up a kitten and acts as if he's going to shoot it, but instead shoots a woman who scolds him for what he's doing.
  • Bateman shoots at police who shoot back at him. He hits (and wounds or kills) one of them and a police car explodes.
  • Bateman shoots another man dead and blood splatters out onto the wall behind the victim.
  • Bateman shoots another man dead.
  • We see various sketches and drawings in Bateman's appointment book that depict various violent acts.



  • Reviewed March 31, 2000 / Posted April 14, 2000

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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