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American Psycho (2000)

I think my mask of sanity is about to slip

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18


Money obsessed bankers, huge phones, Huey and The News, serial killing… American Psycho has all the staples of the Eighties.

Patrick Bateman (Bale) is a young, successful, good looking man working in New York who spends his free time listening to naff Eighties music,  religiously preening his body and hanging out with his equally self-obsessed friends. There is another, more sinister side to Patrick’s personality – he likes to kill indeterminately. At first, he can keep both aspects of his life apart but a hatred for the human race and lust for blood begin to take over his life and, after killing a colleague (Leto), he struggles to keep it together under scrutiny from Detective Kimball (Dafoe).Patrick Bateman is simultaneously very serious person without a sense of humour but also ridiculous in his superficial values that serve as a satire of the money-obsessed excesses of the Eighties on Wall Street. This is before we even find out about his serial killing tendencies. Bale gives a real stand out performance and the best compliment you could give him is that if you met Patrick Bateman in real life you’d want to repeatedly punch his smug face. The Welshman-done-good is also ably supported by Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe and Jared Leto.

American Psycho (based on the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis) expertly mixes satire and shocking violence and Mary Harron’s movie is a joy to watch on a number of levels. Sure it’s controversial and women’s groups certainly didn’t like it but it’s done in a knowing way and an exaggerated way to show the extent to which someone can have a double life.

It's Got: Laughs and shocks, some very nice business cards, Cristian Bale's first great performance

It Needs: A sense of humour to get past the shocks

DVD Extras 5 minute making-of featurette, talent bios and a shiny box to make Bateman proud. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10


Controversy, biting satire and shocking violence all sit comfortably together to leave the money-obsessed American Dream of the Eighties in tatters. American Psycho is also the film that catapulted Christian Bale into the A-list from where he’s never looked back.