An adaptaion of a novel of the same name, American Psycho stars an excellent Christian Bale as the strutting, Narcissistic corporate high-flyer Patrick Bateman (a nod to Norman Bates?), in a mind-numbingly artficial and greed-obsessed mid '80's. His colleagues and acquaintances (and, indeed, Patrick himself, as he admits in the beginning) are completely hollow, devoid of any emotion and concerned only with prestige enhancing finery like business cards and restaurant reservations.
Patrick is different, however, in that he occasionally breaks free of this drudgery by committing deranged and brutal murders (in an almost whimsical fashion). The balance between Patrick's smooth facade and his psychopathic cravings begins to collapse, and this is where we join the movie.
Bale's performance is outstanding. He shows all the characteristics of a serial killer (obsessive neatness, ridiculous over-articulation and a pedantic hyperanalysis of everything from business cards to Phil Collins albums) but in an incredibly subtle and underplayed way, as befits someone who is trying to keep this in check. Interestingly, the one person he can't bring himself to kill might well be the only genuine human being in the film: his secretary (Chloe Sevigny).
As with many films made in the early noughties, there is a twist towards the end which only reinforces Patrick's overwhelming normalness and is completely believable having listened to his opening speech.
A very intelligent and stylish film.