6.4/10
14,718
150 user 31 critic

Less Than Zero (1987)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,654 ( 87)

On Disc

at Amazon

Videos

Photos

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  

The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 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
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
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 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
Edit

Cast

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

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

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is notable for Robert Downey Jr.'s performance playing a drug addict with Downey off-screen having a real-life drug addiction. See more »

Goofs

At the cemetery, Clay tells Blair a story which starts: "I remember when Julian's mother died. We were five." Though earlier in the film, Julian and Clay share a drink over ten years of friendship. See more »

Quotes

Julian: Still pissed?
Clay: [pauses] No.
Julian: Liar!
See more »

Connections

References Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock And Roll All Nite
Performed by Poison
Written by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons
Courtesy of Enigma Records/Capitol Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Original Score jfkjr1999
Julian's last hit ncqueenbee72
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
Discuss Less Than Zero (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?