Less Than Zero (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  6 November 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,662 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)
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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?


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 »


When Clay finds Julian sleeping on the park bench and wakes him up, Julian sits up with leaves & grass in his hair. In the next shot, the leaves and grass are immediately gone. See more »


Clay: Do you know that you girls have televisions between your legs?
See more »


Referenced in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Lesson Zero (2011) See more »


Want Fi Goh Rave
Performed by Linton Kwesi Johnson
Words & Music by Linton Kwesi Johnson
Courtesy of Island Records
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User Reviews

20 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a graduate of 1987, this brings back memories of the younger years.

Care free days of youth. Though the movie is a tragic Drama. It captures the fall of Wells very good. His friends trying to help and not realizing he is on borrowed time.

Andrew McCarthy as the one has seen his partying days go by and now concentrates on college and Robert Downey Jr. still stuck in his high school memories and addictions.

Jami Gertz as the one who loves McCarthy as a soul mate and Downey Jr. as a brother.

Very dramatic and moving. Very Tragic ending, but does have a little light before the closing credits.

Fabulous soundtrack and even better acting. Jami Gertz is Brilliant. I would highly recommend this movie.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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