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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Peril and brief, explicit violence, graphic suicide scene.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Extremely graphic and explicit sexual situations.
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Extremely strong and abusive language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Extreme alcohol and drug abuse.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie contains many elements that they wouldn't want their kids to see. The first scene alone of a horribly demeaning date-rape is followed by a nonstop montage designed to shock the most jaded of college party kids, let alone their parents. Sex is pervasive, casual and often described in excruciating detail. Drugs are ubiquitous and feature no downsides beyond the occasional bloody nose or fight with a dealer. Alcohol is more prevalent than soda. The bathtub suicide of one of the minor characters is so devoid of emotion that the laying out of the razor blade is as casual as removing one's rings. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Roger Avary has done a good job of adapting Ellis' multi-perspective narrative into a slick, visually dynamic movie. Ellis' books have all dealt with similar 1980's themes from different perspectives and have woven in references to characters from his other works. For example, Rules of Attraction protagonist, Sean Bateman, is younger brother to American Psycho's Patrick Bateman. Avary's backward-forward filming and present-past-present timing gradually reveal the story, but he cannot put content into what is, in the end, an empty tale.
Although the movie is set in the present day, the strong influence of the book and Avary's decision to weave in references to Ellis' other books keeps a '80's zeitgeist. The times having changed so dramatically over the years: the end of the Cold War; the flannel-clad nihilism descending from the Seattle scene; the disappearance of the rich, white boy as the movie bad guy; the return of heroin. But perhaps, most importantly, the world did not end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate