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American Psycho

Director Mary Harron adapts Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel

concerning serial killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) who acts

out his male rage by killing women ... or does he?


Bateman is young, handsome, successful ... and homicidal. This Reagan-era yuppie-gone-mad portrait is not a savory story. Fortunately, much of the

violence is off screen, and some of the more gruesome elements of Ellis'

novel were not in the script. Though Wall Street's 1980s excesses seem

dated, this black satire is oddly fascinating.


"American Psycho's" standout is Welsh actor Bale, whose convincing performance as a chainsaw-wielding sociopath is matched only by the pure delight of watching

Bale's sculpted physique. Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis and Guinevere Turner are at turns humorous, tragic and touching in the supporting roles, but who notices? Throughout the movie, Patrick flexes, poses and preens in all his tighty-whitie glory.


Harron, rather than concentrating on the murders, focuses on the excesses of Patrick's lifestyle -- expensive meals at exclusive restaurants, designer facial products and business cards printed on the finest paper. What could have been a run-of-the-mill serial killer pic is instead a mesmerizing account of the mystery behind a murderer.

Bottom Line

If you long for Reaganomics and hot bodies (and don't those two go together!), you'll like "American Psycho."