6.4/10
15,751
157 user 39 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.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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2,461 ( 2,268)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Rip
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Bradford Easton
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Elaine Easton
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Hop
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Markie
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Patti
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Robert Wells
Neith Hunter ...
Alana
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Kim
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Trent
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Lile
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Storyline

Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at Princeton 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

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  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,008,987, 8 November 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,396,383
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the 1987 article "Sanitizing a Novel for the Screen" published in 'The New York Times', Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer, who wrote a screenplay for this film that got rejected, said the experience working on this film was an ugly one. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Julian: I was wondering if I could stay at home tonight. I'd just really like to wake up and know where the hell I am for once, it'll be a nice change of pace for me.
Benjamin Wells: I can't do that.
Julian: Well I wouldn't ask, it's just my options are really kinda limited right now.
Benjamin Wells: Julian, we've been through this a hundred times.
Julian: Yeah, a hundred and one, actually.
Benjamin Wells: You conned your way through rehab, you lied, you stole. And look what you've done to our family.
Julian: I know, but I just want you to give me a break, I need you to be...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Grease 2 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You My Woman
Performed by The Black Flames
Written by Eugene Record
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings/Columbia Records
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User Reviews

 
Less Than Zero; An excellent look at an age.
18 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

I first viewed this movie in 1988 not long after it's release. Less Than Zero encapsulates the nations obsession with the runaway "greed is good", "voodoo economics" era of the 1980's. The move is highly stylized, and slick. It's Maimi Vice meets "The Breakfast Club". I state this because it has elements of the now (unfortuneatly) defunct "Brat Pack" However, the depiction of Julian (played by Robert Downey Jr.)seems to be the embodiment of the age as it relates to cocaine, and crack-cocaine use, and the effect it had and in many cases still has on the lives of families friends, and love ones. For this reason as a baby boomer who lived through that era. I find the movie disturbing for its sheer view into the reality of lifestyle crashing into reality. I always try not to watch this movie. Sadly, I'm drawn into it like a moth to a flame. I think its a "scared straight" movie for the rich; or really any one that thinks that drugs are cool, glamorous, and harmless. From a directing, and acting standpoint its excellent. Marek Kaniveska did an excellent job setting the scene and style of Los Angeles high-life. Cars, money and clothes was what it was all about. Within that vein Kaniveska has put that portion of L.A. 80's lifestyle in the history books in this writers opinion Its really too bad the main characters are not as exposed as they once were in the industry. I think that anyone that sees this movie will enjoy it.


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