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Apt Pupil

Romance . Thriller . Drama

Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Mackellan) is nazi war criminal. Bowden confronts Denker and offers him a deal: Bowden will not go to the authorities if Denker tells him stories of the concentration camps in WWII. Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly. The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects him.

Actors: Bruce Davison , David Schwimmer , Brad Renfro , Ian McKellen , Ann Dowd , Elias Koteas , Joe Morton , Jan Tříska , Joshua Jackson , Mickey Cottrell
Directors: Bryan Singer
Country: USA , FRANCE
Release: 1998-10-23
More Info:
  • Kim Newman

    Not all the plot developments ring true, but moments carry a real chill - even in a coma, McKellen can terrify a fellow patient almost to death - and it has more than enough thought-provoking material to command your interest.

    Empire Full Review
  • Jean Oppenheimer

    This brutal film borders on the brilliant. Beautifully structured and edited, with a chilling central performance by Ian McKellen and an exceptional score by John Ottman, who also edited the picture, it churns up emotions and leaves the viewer feeling stunned and depleted.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Brought off with such skill and commitment that there isn't any time to snicker at its obviousness.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    It's scariest as a parable about the evil that exists in the hearts of adolescent boys.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Elvis Mitchell

    Both actors play their roles so trickily that tensions escalate until the horror grows unimaginatively gothic.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Lisa Alspector

    Largely free of generic horror-movie elements, such as exploitative torture and murder scenes. Those it does contain draw attention to the difference between the conventions of psychological drama and those of pulp horror.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    It's not perfect King, but it is jarringly close, which these days remains pretty much all one could hope for.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Do director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Brandon Boyce really mean to suggest that the roots of genocide lie in homosexual desire?

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    Despite the riveting performances of Renfro and McKellen, we're left with classic horror-movie sociopaths, evil-doers without conscience, or much to say about the nature of evil.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    A creepy, well-acted story of contagious evil, Apt Pupil has more than enough chilling dramatic scenes to rivet the attention but suffers from some hokey contrivances and underlying insufficiencies of motivation.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    When bodies are buried in cellars and cats are thrown into lighted ovens, the film reveals itself as unworthy of its subject matter.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    This sensationalistic tale doesn't delve very far into the issues it raises.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Apt Pupil is the lack of sustained tension generated by director Bryan Singer.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    No matter how you judge it -- as a strict morality play or simply a psychological thriller -- Apt Pupil just doesn't make the grade.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Merle Bertrand

    A creepy, if disjointed exploration of the nature of evil. But compared to its predecessor, it's also a bit of a disappointment.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Scares, to be sure, which is certainly one promise on which it delivers. But the film offers little insight into what it seems to be saying is essentially a mundane fact of life: When one devil leaves the world, there is always another one waiting just outside the door.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    Ultimately the movie disintegrates due to its own clumsiness. It's far too coincidence-driven to be believable.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    Heartless piece of ill will.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    McKellen is fine, of course, but the film as a whole offers about as much insight into evil as Ming The Merciless in a “Flash Gordon” serial.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Denby

    Overwrought and unpleasant nonsense.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • David Ansen

    In the end, artifice overwhelms art. Apt Pupil is too serious to work as a genre movie, and too contrived to be taken seriously. [12 October 1998]

    Newsweek Full Review
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  • 1. Tristan Und Isolde Performer: Carlos Kleiber and The Bayeurth Festival Orchestra Stream Music Online
  • 6. Prelude And Liebestod Performer: Charles Münch as Charles Munch and The Boston Symphony Orchestra Stream Music Online