American Psycho

Rated 3.0 Sleek young Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a cog in the machine of 1980s conspicuous consumption, is also a serial killer whose sadism would make Jeffrey Dahmer faint. Bret Easton Ellis’ infamous novel is adapted by director Mary Harron and co-writer Guinevere Turner into a dark, bitter satire of the Armani-and-wide-suspenders set. Harron and Turner wisely omit the (porno) graphic excesses that made the book such a stomach-churning ordeal, focusing on the shallow soullessness of the character rather than his crimes (Ellis should have let them edit the manuscript before publication; they seem to know what he was driving at better than he did). Unfortunately, as Bateman unravels, so does the film, dissolving in a puddle of loose ends; still, Harron’ s incisive eye and Bale’ s bravura performance carry the day.