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Less Than Zero (1987)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 12,367 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:

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

Third of three films featuring James Spader and Andrew McCarthy. The first movie was Pretty in Pink (1986) and the second picture was Mannequin (1987). All three titles were first released during 1986-1987. See more »

Goofs

The entire camera crew is visible in the rear-view mirror of the corvette while it is stopped in the tunnel. See more »

Quotes

Rip: This is not recess. Everyone is accountable.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lunar Park See more »

Soundtracks

She's Lost You
Performed by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Written by Pete Gage (as Peter Gage)
Courtesy of Blackheart/CBS Associated Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ironic
21 July 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This film is very loosely based on Bret Easton Ellis' book; the locations and characters are similar but that's about it. It tells the story of a complete waster with masses of talent and ideas who falls victim to cocaine/drug addiction and all that surrounds it. It seems extremely ironic that the waster is played by Robert Downey Jr whose own drugs hell has been very public (funnily enough he played a similar character in 1969!). We also see the lengths that his true friends are prepared to go to to try to help him.

I personally believe this is one of the best films I've ever seen. It has everything you could ever want from a film, especially when you're depressed. It helps one to see that, in most cases, other people's lives can be so much worse!

There is some fairly wooden acting, especially that from McCarthy and Gertz. Downey however is superb, as is James Spader as the slimy drug-dealer Rip.

The film also contains one of the best soundtracks I've heard with music from the likes of Jimi Hendrix (Fire) and Kiss (? - Rock and Roll all Night). Even the incidental music, by Thomas Newman ("6 Feet Under") is very emotive.

All in all a very underrated film.


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