Less Than Zero (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  6 November 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,653 users  
Reviews: 148 user | 32 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?


Brad Pitt was paid US $38 for his uncredited cameo appearance. See more »


Michael Bowen plays the character of Rip's enforcer in the film. He is only ever referred to as "Bill", but is incorrectly called "Hop" in the end credits. See more »


Rip: Got a minute, sweetheart?
Julian: Surely.
Rip: We gots to talk business, friend.
Julian: Oh, no, all you need to do is relax. I'm gonna pay you back; all you have to do is *trust* me.
Rip: I don't wanna trust you, Julian, I just want my 50 K, all right?
Julian: Patience is next to Godliness, Rip, didn't I ever tell you that? Actually, it's the flip side of cleanliness, but it's still *pretty* fucking important if you ask me.
Rip: Then what the hell are we talking about, Julian?
Julian: We're talking about you giving me a G on spec.
Rip: No. No. ...
See more »


References Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) See more »


Christmas In Hollis
Performed by Run-D.M.C.
Words & Music by Joseph Simmons (as J. Simmons), Darryl McDaniels (as E. McDaniels),
Jason Mizell (as J. Mizell)
Courtesy of Profile Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

27 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

As I write this, about 1700 voters here have given this movie a 5.5 rating. That's hard to fathom. And yet, in some way I'm glad, because yes this is a truly different kind of movie--praise be. And maybe slipped past people unnoticed.

I think this movie is like a small volume of honest postcards. The first thing you note about it is its honesty (it never shows it off) and at no turn of the page does this volume let you down. One source for this honest texture is the trio of main characters. One is as original (in cinema terms) real, non-sentimental, and truly likable and unpretentious as the other--and yes they are like comrades (no jealousy, no violence, no loud star-type sex, almost no "f" word). Perhaps the other source is that among the accumulation of scenes none is invasive or exploitative or stereotypical--all are kind of flat and equal and old postcardy in color and never drawing attention to themselves.

So, you may think this must be one of those artsy films--and this reviewer is into this sort of thing. Well, if it is, it has less than zero pretense to such and, therefore, no one would call it that. I guess the real irony here is that such an honest little gem of a film takes place in Beverley Hills and is about cocaine.

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