6.7/10
33,315
255 user 129 critic

Apt Pupil (1998)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A boy blackmails his neighbor after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal.

Director:

Bryan Singer

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Brandon Boyce (screenplay)
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer
Public Access (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Brewster seems to be an almost too perfect example of idyllic small-town America, with everyone living in peace and harmony. So when newcomer Whiley Pritcher starts up his own local cable ... See full summary »

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Ron Marquette, Bert Williams, Leigh Hunt
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Widowed Liz Garfield (Hope Davis) and her son Bobby (Anton Yelchin) change when mysterious stranger Ted Brautigan (Sir Anthony Hopkins) enters their lives.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A mysterious new shop opens in a small town which always seems to stock the deepest desires of each shopper, with a price far heavier than expected.

Director: Fraser C. Heston
Stars: Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Linda was a one hit wonder as a pop singer. She never managed to follow up her early success and now her producer and boyfriend Friedrich has taken on a new and younger starlet while Linda ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Fehse
Stars: Veronica Ferres, Magdalena Boczarska, Eray Egilmez
The Dark Half (1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A writer's fictional alter ego wants to take over his life...at any price.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker
Cat's Eye (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King
Partly Sunny (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tim and his friend Can go to bars and lie to girls about one of them being terminally ill so they can gain sympathy and be guaranteed a "hook up" for the night. Tim meets Marie hooks up ... See full summary »

Director: Marco Petry
Stars: Max Riemelt, Anna Fischer, Jessica Schwarz
Faithful (1996)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A depressed housewife whose husband is having an affair contemplates suicide, but changes her mind when she faces death by a killer hired to do her in.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Cher, Chazz Palminteri, Ryan O'Neal
Thinner (1996)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An obese attorney is cursed by a gypsy to rapidly and uncontrollably lose weight.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney
The Cure (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.

Director: Peter Horton
Stars: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan
Cujo (1983)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Renfro ... Todd Bowden
Ian McKellen ... Kurt Dussander
Joshua Jackson ... Joey
Mickey Cottrell ... Sociology Teacher
Michael Reid MacKay ... Nightmare Victim
Ann Dowd ... Monica Bowden
Bruce Davison ... Richard Bowden
James Karen ... Victor Bowden
Marjorie Lovett ... Agnes Bowden
David Cooley David Cooley ... Gym Teacher
Blake Anthony Tibbetts Blake Anthony Tibbetts ... Teammate
Heather McComb ... Becky Trask
Katherine Malone Katherine Malone ... Student
Grace Sinden Grace Sinden ... Secretary
David Schwimmer ... Edward French
Edit

Storyline

Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Sir Ian Mackellan) is a Nazi war criminal. Bowden confronts Denker and offers him a deal: Bowden will not go to the authorities if Denker tells him stories of the concentration camps in World War II. Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly. The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects his personality. Written by Casey Ward <ward@citizen.infi.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't believe in the existence of evil, you've got a lot to learn.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong violence, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El aprendiz See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,583,151, 25 October 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,838,938, 3 January 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Brad Renfro was only fourteen at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie as Dussender lay dead in the hospital bed his pupils are constricted when in fact they should be fully dilated if were dead. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Edward French: You can't do this, Todd.
Todd Bowden: You have no idea what I can do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Detention of the Dead (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Tony's Analysis
Written by Van Alexander
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Original, Intriguing
19 November 2006 | by ReelCheeseSee all my reviews

A teenage boy befriends an elderly man. During countless discussions over many a night, they form a special friendship that manages to bridge their considerable age gap. It would sound like a sweet character study if the old man wasn't a Nazi war criminal and the teen wasn't a Holocaust-obsessed recluse blackmailing his new pal for all the gory details.

APT PUPIL scores the highest marks for originality. Nothing ever quite like this has been done before, and it's all quite intriguing. In the beginning, we come close to feeling sorry for the old man despite his past misdeeds. Here is he living out his golden years in peace and seclusion when all of a sudden a pushy teenager threatens to blow his cover. As the tale progresses, we see that the elder is just as conniving as the boy, threatening simply to expose their friendship, forever linking the young man with unimaginable notoriety. What starts out as a bizarre acquaintance escalates into a duel of manipulation.

It's not surprising that APT PUPIL is based on a novella by Stephen King. The film bears many of the hallmarks of King's works. And while it's never actually scary, it is thrilling at a psychological level that King reaches best. It's not perfect, but with the skilled direction of Bryan Singer and solid performances by leads Brad Renfro and Ian McKellen, it generally accomplishes what it sets out to do.

You don't have to be a horror person or a teenager at a late night party to enjoy APT PUPIL. The film has a unique appeal beyond what its target audience may have been. If you missed it when it was released in 1998 (as many did, based on its limited commercial success), it's certainly worth a look.


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 255 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed