6.4/10
15,461
156 user 36 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
4,692 ( 222)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Rip
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Bradford Easton
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Benjamin Wells
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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
...
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:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,008,987 (USA) (8 November 1987)

Gross:

$12,396,383 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marek Kanievska was hired as director for two reasons and these were based on his direction of his critically acclaimed 1984 film Another Country (1984). This was because Kanievska had in that film (1) fashioned unsympathetic characters making them sympathetic and (2) been able to handle themes of bi-sexuality and sexual ambivalence. See more »

Goofs

Red Corvette is missing radio antenna in some scenes. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

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

 
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.


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