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Less Than Zero (1987)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 12,473 users  
Reviews: 142 user | 28 critic

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Less Than Zero (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Rip
...
Bradford Easton
...
Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell ...
Elaine Easton
...
Hop
...
Markie
Lisanne Falk ...
Patti
Michael Greene ...
Robert Wells
Neith Hunter ...
Alana
...
Kim
Brian Wimmer ...
Trent
...
Lile
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Storyline

Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at a college in New Hampshire to spend his Christmas vacation with his broken-up wealthy family in Los Angeles. His former girlfriend, Blair, is now involved with his ex-best-friend, Julian. She warns Clay that Julian needs help: he is using a lot of cocaine and has huge debts. What follows is a look at the youth culture of wealthy post adolescents in Beverly Hills with a strong anti-drug message. Apart from the setting and the names, the film has very little to do with Bret Easton Ellis's book by the same title on which it was based. Written by Jeroen van Bree <J.vBree@kub.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It only looks like the good life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,396,383 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Marvin Worth in June 1985 first optioned the film rights to Bret Easton Ellis' then unpublished "Less than Zero" novel by purchasing an option for the small amount of US $7,500 on the proviso that the 20th Century Fox film studio would make the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Rip, Bill, Clay and Blair meet in a club, Rip says the words "Why don't you ask Julian," but his lips are clearly saying, "Why don't you ask Blair." He even points directly at Blair when saying it. See more »

Quotes

Julian: I mean, come on. Can't you tell when I'm telling the truth?
Benjamin Wells: No. Trust was the first thing you ruined.
See more »


Soundtracks

How To Love Again
Performed by Oran 'Juice' Jones and Alyson Williams (as Allyson Williams)
Written by Vinnie Bell and Frederick Gordon
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings/Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Less Than Zero: An Underrated Piece of 80's cinema
7 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before watching "Less Than Zero", I had read the book and was aware of the criticism this movie gets for not being anything like Bret Easton Ellis' first book. After watching it, I would definitely agree that it is nothing like the book, but I did like it for what it was.

Clay (McCarthy) is coming back to Los Angeles for the Holidays. He meets up with his old Girlfriend, Blair (Gertz) and Best Friend, Julian (Downey). Clay last caught them in bed together during a Thanksgiving visit. It seems that for the past few months, Julian has developed a serious cocaine addiction that has put him $50,000 in debt with his vicious Coke Dealer, Rip (Spader).

So what can I say? The film looks terrific. The Cinematography by Edward Lachman is amazing, and it is also highlighted by Thomas Newman's haunting score. The performances are great, particularly Robert Downey Jr as Julian (Who I think plays the part pretty accurately as his counterpart from the book), and although Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz get a lot of bashing for their performances, I think they're both quite effective. And Also worth noting is James Spader as Rip, who seems almost like an even slimier version of "Stef" from "Pretty in Pink".

Although it has its critics and it isn't an adaptation of the book, I personally love this movie and think that it deserves more credit than it gets.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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