Christian Bale, American Psycho
Credit: American Psycho: Kerry Hayes

Before Batman, Christian Bale was best known as Bateman — Patrick Bateman, the Wall Street serial killer with a perverse appreciation of Phil Collins and Huey Lewis. Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel American Psycho was heavily criticized for rampant misogyny, but director Mary Harron impressively mines the dark social comedy from this scathing satire of the 1980s. Bateman almost seems sane when surrounded by his equally decadent yuppie pals, whose business-card rivalries are seeds for murderous mayhem. Bale and Ellis regrettably pass on the EXTRAS, but co-writer Guinevere Turner’s commentary helps clarify the ambiguous hallucinogenic last act of the film: ”We really set out? — and we failed — to make it extremely clear that he was really killing these people.” In the 42-minute doc ”From Book to Screen,” Turner also reveals how Gloria Steinem, an outspoken critic of the book, reportedly urged Leonardo DiCaprio not to play Bateman — which, ironically, paved the way for Bale, Steinem’s future stepson, to be cast.

American Psycho
  • Movie
  • 103 minutes