Less Than Zero (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  6 November 1987 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,663 users  
Reviews: 148 user | 33 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.



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Tuff Turf (1985)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A street rebel and his gang have trouble understanding themselves and their world.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

Director: James Toback
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Robert Downey Jr., Dennis Hopper
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself.

Director: Alan Metter
Stars: Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton
1969 (1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the onset of wide public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their... See full summary »

Director: Ernest Thompson
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce Dern
True Believer (1989)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

It's recruiting time and despite being short and scrawny, Johnny Walker is America's hottest young football prospect. His dilemma: should he take one of the many offers from college talent ... See full summary »

Director: Bud S. Smith
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Gleason
Chances Are (1989)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Louie Jeffries is happily married to Corinne. On their first anniversary, Louie is killed crossing the road. Louie is reincarnated as Alex Finch, and twenty years later, fate brings Alex ... See full summary »

Director: Emile Ardolino
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Mannequin (1987)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A young artist, searching for his vocation, makes a mannequin so perfect he falls in love with it. Finding the mannequin in a store window, he gets a job there and his creation comes to life.

Director: Michael Gottlieb
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty
Bad Influence (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane
Class (1983)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young boy spends one crazy night out, but soon realizes the woman he hooked up with is his roommate's mother.

Director: Lewis John Carlino
Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradford Easton
Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell ...
Elaine Easton
Lisanne Falk ...
Michael Greene ...
Robert Wells
Neith Hunter ...
Brian Wimmer ...


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


In Beverly Hills, you can have anything your heart desires. You just can't have it the way it used to be. See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills  »

Box Office


$12,396,383 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marek Kanievska was hired as director for two reasons and these were based on his direction of his critically acclaimed 1984 film Another Country (1984). This was because Kanievska had in that film (1) fashioned unsympathetic characters making them sympathetic and (2) been able to handle themes of bi-sexuality and sexual ambivalence. See more »


When Julian uses a credit card to open the sliding glass door at his parents' home it's obvious that there is no latch or lock where he inserted the card when the door opens. See more »


Julian: I'm real tired. I'm gonna go to bed for awhile.
Benjamin Wells: [Pushes Julian] Not here!
Julian: How about here?
Benjamin Wells: We talked about this.
Julian: When? I forgot. Refresh my memory.
Benjamin Wells: You can't stay here. Live your life anyway you want, but not here.
Julian: Just give me a second. You're the father, and I'm the son. I'm your *son*. I'm sleepy.
Seth Wells: Dad?
Benjamin Wells: Get out. I'll call the police.
Julian: [long pause] Fuck you.
See more »


Followed by Imperial Bedrooms See more »


Li'l Devil
Performed by The Cult
Words & Music by Ian Astbury (as Ian Robert Astbury) & Billy Duffy (as William Henry Duffy)
Courtesy of Sire Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products/Beggars Banquet Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hip, Slick and Dead
7 September 2002 | by (Moss Landing, CA) – See all my reviews

I lived in L.A. in the Eighties and remember the club scene with a chill. From Eddie Nash's joint on Hollywood Blvd[The Seven Seas] to Club Lingerie to the small venues in Long Beach and Orange County, this movie catches the ennui like a manic firefly in a jar. From the 'powder' in the ladies' room to casual sex, it shows it as it was--callow and shallow and a line/hit away from degradation and death.

It's heart-breaking to watch Robert Downey Jr.'s character surrender his dignity to a free base pipe. Other posts complain about the James Spader's performance, but he was dead on. Pushers are not nice people. This is an early cinematic example of truth about the nature of drug addiction. Are you frightened? NOT FRIGHTENED ENOUGH!

Scare yourself straight tonight. Watch 'Drugstore Cowboy', 'Less than Zero', and 'Rush'.

Here's hoping that Robert Downey Jr.'s talent will not be eclipsed by his addiction. He's an amazing actor. ['Chaplin' & 'Restoration' alone earned him a place in cinematic history.]

32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Missing scene? primesuspectzero
Was Robert Downey Jr... cafeconleche224-2
Were you a rich teen in LA in the 80s? sherm456
Tarantino will remake in 2009! OFFICIAL!! midgetorgy
What's the deal with Andrew McCarthy powerkat
Julian's Shoes mollylm25
Discuss Less Than Zero (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: