6.4/10
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164 user 40 critic

Less Than Zero (1987)

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1:31 | Trailer

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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:

Marek Kanievska

Writers:

Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Harley Peyton (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,939 ( 372)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew McCarthy ... Clay
Jami Gertz ... Blair
Robert Downey Jr. ... Julian
James Spader ... Rip
Tony Bill ... Bradford Easton
Nicholas Pryor ... Benjamin Wells
Donna Mitchell ... Elaine Easton
Michael Bowen ... Hop
Sarah Buxton ... Markie
Lisanne Falk ... Patti
Michael Greene ... Robert Wells
Neith Hunter Neith Hunter ... Alana
Afton Smith ... Kim
Brian Wimmer ... Trent
Kelly Wolf Kelly Wolf ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. also starred together in Tuff Turf (1985). They would later reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Clay: You OK?
Blair: It's the cocaine... too much speed or something.
Clay: That's a relief.
Blair: What?
Clay: Well, you're fucked up, you look like shit, but hey no problem, all you need is a better cut of cocaine.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: Yes, Then Zero (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Li'l Devil
Performed by The Cult
Words & Music by Ian Astbury (as Ian Robert Astbury) & Billy Duffy (as William Henry Duffy)
Courtesy of Sire Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products/Beggars Banquet Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Too close to the truth
20 March 2000 | by sassyprncessSee all my reviews

Having lived right in Hollywood and been addicted to crack myself I am impressed by how darn true it really is. Sure, the acting may lack and the directing could be better... I remember watching this in '87 when I was in high school and an innocent young girl. After watching this again (and being drug free for 2 years now) I am floored at how close to reality this film is. It is stylized, but it is a film after all. The desperation, the loneliness, the hopelessness, all were captured and imprinted on film. Until you have walked the walk and talked the talk this film may be cheesy to you. Once you've walked down those same streets (literally!) this film is a reminder to me of what can happen if I make those same choices again. I laughed and I cried.

What saddens me most is that hindsight is 20/20 for Mr Downey. I've read that he allegedly WAS high and using during the filming.


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