Less Than Zero (1987)

Less Than Zero (1987)

Andrew McCarthyJami GertzRobert Downey Jr.James Spader
Marek Kanievska


Less Than Zero (1987) is a English,Spanish movie. Marek Kanievska has directed this movie. Andrew McCarthy,Jami Gertz,Robert Downey Jr.,James Spader are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1987. Less Than Zero (1987) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

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.


Less Than Zero (1987) Reviews

  • Hip, Slick and Dead


    I lived in L.A. in the Eighties and remember the club scene with a chill. From Eddie Nash's joint on Hollywood Blvd[The Seven Seas] to Club Lingerie to the small venues in Long Beach and Orange County, this movie catches the ennui like a manic firefly in a jar. From the 'powder' in the ladies' room to casual sex, it shows it as it was--callow and shallow and a line/hit away from degradation and death. It's heart-breaking to watch Robert Downey Jr.'s character surrender his dignity to a free base pipe. Other posts complain about the James Spader's performance, but he was dead on. Pushers are not nice people. This is an early cinematic example of truth about the nature of drug addiction. Are you frightened? NOT FRIGHTENED ENOUGH! Scare yourself straight tonight. Watch 'Drugstore Cowboy', 'Less than Zero', and 'Rush'. Here's hoping that Robert Downey Jr.'s talent will not be eclipsed by his addiction. He's an amazing actor. ['Chaplin' & 'Restoration' alone earned him a place in cinematic history.]

  • Going Down the Cocaine Drain


    Finally graduating from Beverly Hills High School ("class of '87"), bratty well-heeled Andrew McCarthy (as Clay Easton) goes off to college while his friends back home go off the deep end. Also making it through the twelfth grade (at last) are Mr. McCarthy's sexy girlfriend Jami Gertz (as Blair) and fun-loving pal Robert Downey Jr. (as Julian Wells) - but these two are not college-bound; she decides to work on her modeling career and he wants to start a business. The three are reunited when McCarthy comes home for Christmas. But, partying becomes a downer when McCarthy discovers his friends have become fiendish cokeheads... Can McCarthy save his friends in time? With attractive young stars, semi-MTV quality, and decent soundtrack - propelled by The Bangles' great cover of the old Simon & Garfunkel chestnut "Hazy Shade of Winter" - this film was a big hit with those saw it as representative of a decadent, pre-AIDS lifestyle. And, "Less Than Zero" certainly looks and feels like the 1980s. It's thesis seems to be: Pitiful rich kids, who lack parental guidance, could get bitten by the drug bug. But, this was based on a much more reflective story, by Bret Easton Ellis. Critics singled out Downey for praise, hence the video synopsis: "In a spellbinding dramatic performance, Robert Downey Jr. portrays Julian, a Beverly Hills brat who has it all: looks, charm, smarts, a rich father - and a drug habit. His friend and girlfriend (Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz) are trying to help, but Julian's world is crumbling so fast, he might take them out with him. The result is a powerful and compelling story of three kids who started out with everything and are about to wind up with 'Less than Zero'." Apparently, a little eyeliner goes a long way. Downey would have been even better in the "Rip Millar" role as it was originally written; this isn't meant to suggest either he or James Spader (as Rip) are inadequate; as far as this film takes them, they're fine. But, the male prostitution angle just isn't believable when you compare it to the book; and, it's way off balance. Worse, the original novel's bisexuality is neutered to extinction. A subtler performance is given by Gertz; with less to go on, she fills up her portrayal of a beautiful model on cocaine. ****** Less Than Zero (11/6/87) Marek Kanievska ~ Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader

  • 80's Heaven


    Anyone who wants to revisit the excesses of the 80's should definitely head straight for this movie. Every element of it is strikingly evocative of its era. It has all the obvious things like the absurd fashions, the brick-sized mobile phones, the casting (only in the 80's could a cast be assembled so wimpy that James Spader can convince as a tough guy!), and of course the drugs. But it also has the little touches that generate shocks of recognition, from the pink and blue lighting, to the opening Bangles track, to the huge banks of TV screens masquerading as interior design it will rekindle memories you never knew you had. Like the central characters whom it both satirises and glorifies, this movie is beautiful to look at and obsessed with surface and appearance. "You don't look happy", comments Clay (McCarthy) to Blair (Gertz) at one point, "But do I look good?" is her rejoinder. This film, while not a happy one, definitely looks good. Some scenes, notably one of McCarthy swimming and one of a swarm of motorcycles driving past him, seem to have no other purpose in the film beyond being aesthetically pleasing. The film's visual imagery is indeed so striking that when the makers of The Simpsons wanted to include a parody musical "Kickin' It - A Musical Journey Through the Betty Ford Clinic" they drew the leading man (playing a celebrity busted for drug offences) dressed in the distinctive black and white suit worn by Robert Downey Jnr during the first party scene, presumably confident that it would be recognised. But despite its emphasis on visual style, Less Than Zero does have some substance underneath, most of it concentrated in Robert Downey Jnr's acute portrayal of the spoilt, self-destructive anti-hero Julian. It is easy to say with hindsight that playing a drug-addled and desperate man was never going to be a huge stretch for Downey, and plenty of critics have done so. However, regardless of the reasons behind it's proficiency, his performance has a depth and range that gives it an air of authenticity rare in a genre of character which traditionally leads actors into either an excess of hamminess or a glazed vacancy. Downey's Julian swings between easy-going charm, raw vulnerability, spoilt petulance and an aggressive unpredictability in a way which allows the audience to sympathise both with his family's angry hand-washing and his friend's reluctant love for him and determination to save him from himself. The role is a difficult juggling act and luckily Downey has the perfect foil in Spader's subtle turn as the cynically manipulative dealer, Rip. The film really comes alive in the exchanges between the two, Julian puppy-ishly optimistic that he can sort his problems out and Rip cruelly cutting through his confidence to the reveal the self-deception at its heart, chipping away at Julian's fragile self-esteem in order to control him. Unfortunately, the film rather lets itself down with a closing few minutes that seem to drag on for at least an hour. It's lazy, contrived and unlikely ending is more of a get out clause than a culmination and appears to have been written purely as a way of ending the film rather than as its logical conclusion. Despite this fairly major flaw Less Than Zero is entertaining, with enough snappy dialogue, varied music and amusingly dressed extras to counteract its deficiencies.

  • Great snapshot of a time gone by.


    The thing i love most about this movie is that it captures a generation. Whether you were one of the cocaine users, or drinkers, or school students, this movie really takes a picture. I was 18 and just graduating high school when this movie came out and for me the drug life was just beginning. The thing i like about this movie also is that it doesn't trivialize or glamorize drug use. It shows both sides of it. The great heights, the stunning lows. Its honest. And most of all it is realistic with everything it shows you. I give it a 9, a nearly perfect movie.I'm not sure why you have to have ten lines in your comments but I am writing thi sending to accomplish that goal. Enjoy.

  • Why waste your time?


    I avoided watching this movie for years because I thought it was just going to be a bunch of young people hanging out, drinking too much, doing drugs and wasting their lives. Well I finally saw it and ... the people were more beautiful than I expected and the performances more heart felt but it was still about rich kids wasting their lives. I read where people said the movie had an anti drug message. I don't see it. I mean a druggie is not going to miss that Julian died but none of the other people who did drugs died. And Julian's uncle was like way old and he was still doing "bumps." Julian was just unlucky, maybe he got some bad stuff (maybe Rip gave him bad stuff on purpose). And everyone was so beautiful and there's no way Jaimie Gertz could stay that thin without using coke and speed. (And I have to say taking Julian back to Bennington with Clay would not have been an improvement on the LA drug scene.) To me the message of this movie is, "kill the rich." Or at the very least,"tax them so they can't afford so many drugs and bottles of champagne."


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