Flashback: American Psycho

Bateman, played with dead-inside charm and mounting hysteria by an astonishing Christian Bale, invites us into his world of reservations at exclusive restaurants and competitions over the quality of business cards. His detours into murder -- prefaced by detailed speeches about now-embarrassing musical enthusiasms («You actually own a Whitney Houston CD?» gasps Turner through contemptuous laughter. «More than one?») -- are hardly more bizarre and tasteless as everything else in his life. In the end, the scariest thing about Bateman is not that he’s a Lecter-like freak -- his crack-up in the last act brings him horribly closer to humanity -- but that he is no worse than everyone else in his world, except humane-but-dim office minion Sevigny, whose role is to make the film bearable.

-- Kim Newman, Empire