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3.0
316 Ratings

Apt Pupil

Directed by Bryan Singer
Canada, France, 1998
Drama, Thriller

Synopsis

Bryan Singer directed this Brandon Boyce adaptation of Stephen King’s novella about teenager Todd Bowden, who discovers Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander living in his California hometown.

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Apt Pupil Directed by Bryan Singer

Critics reviews

Less unsettling than Stephen King’s source story – McKellen’s war criminal fails to cook a pet in an oven, while the book’s version is much more successful at such things – the film still catches a whiff of madness when the teenager forces the pensioner to dress in full Nazi regalia and do a creaky goose-step across the living room, two maniacs locked in combat.
May 13, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Trevor Tillman's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    Pulp by way of Hitchcock, no doubt elevated by Ian McKellan. A story of a young man's infatuation with Naziism—the iconography and the ideology—is more unnerving and plausible today than in the pre-Columbine, pre-Trump zeitgeist of 1998. It's also impossible not to contextualize the underage, homoerotic undertones in light of the multitude of allegations against the director. A shower was warranted after watching.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    It begins brilliantly, with a slow-burning mystery. Singer doesn't hold back from the darkness of his characters, teasing hallucinatory holocaust imagery to the point of almost becoming exploitation, but always remains focused on the main hypotheses: attraction to evil & corruption of innocence. Things unfortunately fall apart during a haphazard third act, which seems to force an hour's worth of plot into 25 minutes.

  • Addy K.'s rating of the film Apt Pupil

    APT PUPIL is about the representation of evil. There's an effort to also examine the corruption of innocence. Yet for all the nuance and beautiful craftsmanship, where it falters is answering that basic question Brad Renfro asks his horny date: "Why do people do the things they do?" Her reaction is hilarious but telling: "It's better not to think." Then she goes down on him. Ladies and gents, I give you Stephen King!

  • REH1101's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    Holy throwback, I'll never forget the circumstances under which I saw this. I was 12 years old, and my friend and I walked alone to a small local video store half a mile from his cabin in upstate New York. The clerk let us rent this and Orgazmo without any adult present. Then we watched a fat biker woman get a full back tattoo through the window of the tattoo parlor next door. That was the day I became a man.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    A very safe and boring adaptation of King's novella, this movie fails on delivering the twisted relationship between Dussander and Todd, or the effect that the Holocaust stories had on him... which were the core of the whole story! Everything needed to be rushed so the lesson about how you can't get away once you've touched Death just doesn't come across. Violence, cursing, fear, sexuality... all were toned down.

  • Dan Kenneth Gigernes's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    Thriller drama based upon one of Stephen King's best stories. Ian McKellen is excellent as an old Nazi, who is forced to awaken up his demons when a young student wants to learn everything about his war crimes. It touches on themes that usually are tucked safely away by the film industry, but the potential of the film falls apart by a weak ending and a confused young leading actor.

  • DenoResandono's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    APT PUPIL came after Bryan Singer made THE USUAL SUSPECTS three years prior. I guess a lot of people expected that APT PUPIL would be a great movie. I'm not gonna say this is a bad movie. It's just this movie wants to reach something but somehow, It failed. APT PUPIL is good as a psychological drama. I must admit, it looks disturbing in some parts. What's the point of those if it doesn't come with a good story?

  • Sara T'Rula's rating of the film Apt Pupil

    Greatly underrated, but brilliant performances by the cast. Interrogates the banality of evil and the loss of control, and is a psychological drama that stands out. Really disturbing movie for that, and it shows how evil behaviour is often heavily influenced by situational factors. It's compelling - you can feel both disgust & some sympathy for the characters. Note: I haven't yet read the King novella it's based on.

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