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American Psycho (2000)

R | | Crime, Drama | 14 April 2000 (USA)
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A wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director:

Mary Harron

Writers:

Bret Easton Ellis (novel), Mary Harron (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
206 ( 145)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Patrick Bateman
Justin Theroux ... Timothy Bryce
Josh Lucas ... Craig McDermott
Bill Sage ... David Van Patten
Chloë Sevigny ... Jean
Reese Witherspoon ... Evelyn Williams
Samantha Mathis ... Courtney Rawlinson
Matt Ross ... Luis Carruthers
Jared Leto ... Paul Allen
Willem Dafoe ... Donald Kimball
Cara Seymour ... Christie
Guinevere Turner ... Elizabeth
Stephen Bogaert ... Harold Carnes
Monika Meier Monika Meier ... Daisy
Reg E. Cathey ... Homeless Man
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Storyline

Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence. Written by Lion Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Introduction Necessary. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | Spanish | Cantonese

Release Date:

14 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Psycho See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,961,015, 16 April 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,070,285, 30 July 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,266,564
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bret Easton Ellis was sent several death threats after American Psycho was published. See more »

Goofs

(at around 43 mins) While rhapsodising about Genesis' "Invisible Touch" LP, Bateman states that "Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority" on the song "Land Of Confusion." That song's lyrics were written by the band's guitarist/bassist, Mike Rutherford. But all of the songwriting credits on that Genesis album were indiscriminately credited to all three Genesis band members (Tony Banks, Collins, Rutherford), so Patrick wouldn't necessarily know who wrote the lyrics to which specific songs. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Waiter #1: Our pasta this evening is squid ravioli in a lemon grass broth with goat cheese profiteroles, and I also have an arugula Caesar salad. For entrees this evening, I have swordfish meatloaf with onion marmalade, rare roasted partridge breast in raspberry coulis with a sorrel timbale.
Waiter #2: ...and grilled free-range rabbit with herbed french fries. Our pasta tonight is a squid ravioli in a lemon grass broth, and the fish tonight is a grilled...
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the US theatrical release, director Mary Harron had to edit the following two scenes (which are available on the unrated edition) in order to receive an R-rating from the MPAA:
  • The word "asshole" in the line, "Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole" was changed to just "ass".
  • The threesome during the same scene was trimmed several seconds.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in iZombie: Mr. Berserk (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Simply Irresistible
Written by Robert Palmer (as Robert Allen Palmer)
Performed by Robert Palmer
Courtesy of EMI
Under license from EMI/Capitol Special Markets and Warner/Chappell
Music Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very good
1 July 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

In 1991, Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel "American Psycho" took the world by storm – women accused it of being misogynist, sexist filth and others were understandably shaken by its brutal and graphic depictions of unprovoked violence and torture.

Set in the 1980s, the book follows the story of a 27-year-old Harvard graduate named Patrick Bateman, who goes on a killing spree and murders "twenty, maybe forty people." It was originally slated for circulation in 1990, but Random House pulled out of distribution, fearing backlash. It was later released as part of a Vintage Series, and quickly sold over 250,000 copies, becoming one of the most popular (and, to some, important) literary works of our time.

In the movie, Welsh actor Christian Bale portrays Bateman gleefully tongue-in-cheek, whether it's confessing to manslaughter over the phone ("…I just had to kill a lot of people!") or dancing to Huey Lewis and the News' "Fore" album before hitting an associate over the head with an axe.

Patrick is a troubled guy. On the surface, he appears to be normal – he's a Wall Street broker with a secretary, an expensive apartment suite, his own limo and a fancy business card. But on the inside, he's a monster – complete with an insatiable blood lust and lack of empathy for fellow human beings. (If he can indeed be classified as one.) As a film and a novel, "American Psycho" is an attack on the absurdities of the '80s yuppie era – sometimes the satire isn't very subtle, in fact it's often made very clear, but I liked it. Because the movie is so eccentric and over-the-top, and Bale is so loony and maniacal, the satire needs to be equally strong – and it is. Whether it's business men drooling over each other's fetishistic business cards or Patrick discussing the nuances of modern pop music before killing more victims, "American Psycho" hits strong and hard – this is a great, overwhelming cinematic and visual experience. It cannot be condemned for being unsubtle – it never was.

The performances are wonderful. Bale is superb as Bateman, totally embodying the character. As a man bewildered by his environment, and wanting only desperately to fit in, Bateman listens to Genesis and "Hip to Be Square"; finally we have proof that too much Phil Collins and Huey Lewis will turn you into the next Ed Gein.

Perhaps some fans of the novel will dislike Bale's performance (at times, it almost seems comical, such as when he murders his coworker Paul Allen, played by Jared Leto). But I thought it was the perfect mix of introspection, self-hatred, outer-loathing, lust, conformity and schizophrenia. Bale manages to capture all of this perfectly, and by the end of the film, I could not imagine anyone else in the role.

Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny and Reese Witherspoon all have co-starring roles, but at the end of the day it is Bale who really drives this film home – he's the reason it's worth seeing, and in part the reason it exceeds beyond the typical restraints of its genre.

Since its release, many critics have accused "American Psycho" of being a watered-down version of the book, being both "politically correct" and "lacking satire." However, I don't recall the last time I saw a man beat a dog to death with the heel of his shoe in a mainstream motion picture. Or chase after a prostitute completely naked, wielding a bloodied chainsaw. Or hold a gun to a cat's head and threaten to feed it to an ATM machine.

In fact, when "American Psycho" was previewed before the Motion Picture Association of America, they gave it an NC-17 rating – not for its violence, as one might expect, but rather for its threesome scene between Patrick and two prostitutes.

Director Mary Harron cut footage from the film and finally managed to achieve an R-rating, but on a new "Uncut Killer Collector's Edition" DVD, you can see the film as it was intended to be seen – and it's a real fine treat. Now excuse me, I have to go return some videotapes.


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