The Rules of Attraction (2002) - Comedy, Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.

IMDB: 6.7
Director: Roger Avary
Stars: James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder
Length: 110 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 109 out of 413 found boring (26.39%)

One-line Reviews (264)

The reactions by the actors in their situations feel contrived.

Waste of time .


I shoulda walked out.


The world were the bad guys get their justs, the hero gets the heroine (or vice versa), and the film ends with a happy note, you get up leave the theater feeling good again.

Need a reason to see it , well it was entertaining from an almost comic point of view.

Intriguing study of unrequited attraction .

The pretentious film kids are going to go crazy.

Victor's fast paced story of his trip to Europe, Sean and Mitch's drug deal with Rupet gone wrong.

A real tragic pathos cuts into the later scene where Lauren calls on her presumed 'current boyfriend' (who has been travelling around Europe; an empty jaunt conveyed bleakly in staccato lines, read quickly by the actor 'gainst a backdrop of partial, flickering images), Victor (Kip Pardue), who doesn't even remember her and is harbouring a hooker in his room.

And by boring I mean everything about it is boring.

Once again easton ellis creates a story with no plot and has me glued to the screen.

Pretentious Trash .

Their crises are trite and the script is full of wordy diatribes that amount to nothing.

Its a horribly empty world of people that you would never want to meet.

Engaging roll-backs take us from a straightforward bad taste pastiche - drunken students have sex while another films the action, the first male repeatedly and almost absent-mindedly vomiting over the woman he is shafting.

The poignant secret admirer subplot, to mention it, gives a sense of progression to a story that would otherwise run the risk of getting repetitive.

All that just to introduce 3 very shallow, uninteresting characters that never get really related in a way that makes me feel for them or them situation.

It definetly goes on my top 5 Worst Movie list.

"The Rules Of Attraction" starts James Van Der Beek of "Dawsons Creek" fame as Sean Bateman (younger brother of the other Bateman from "American Psycho"), a screwed up individual who takes ridiculous ammounts of drugs and who's life is all in all pretty pointless.

Three: using the stars of Dawson's Creek and 7th Heaven (basically clean shows) to show intense drug use, suicide, gay sex, masturbation, gang bangs and profane language.

A fascinating look at a love triangle on the campus of Camden College where self-absorption seems to be universal and education of minimal interest to the students.

the cons: lack of clarity, and is hard to follow, at times.

Rules of Attraction follows the student drink, drugs, sex and unrequited love themes of many formulaic movies.

Starts well, with fast-rewind action linking various threads in the narrative, but becomes boring with all the deliberate schlock (a pretty stomach churning suicide scene rivalling ken park) and inane psychobabble.

I found it a little boring as the movie tries too hard to be shocking.

And he does it so perfectly that movie-goers looking for intense action or tears or giggles feel just as numb as the players.

Revealing frailties and hypocrisies of contemporary college students in the rarefied and exclusive atmosphere of (transparently) Bennington College is in and of itself something of a bore.

*Yawn* Rather than focus on some type of theme, the script just crams as much drugs, sex and violence into the shortest amount of time without any regard to the plot.

Pointless, mundane, and morose beyond reality, it reinforced a paradigm that is dangerous to our society and our future.

Van Der Beek's role performance is powerfully dark and intense.

They are all vacant automatons living empty lives with empty brains knee jerking their way to their next abuse of sex, drugs, music etc. The characters are neither believable, likable, sympathetic nor developed.

Dull, and hardly as provocative as the filmmakers must have hoped .

I was rather surprised at some of the other comments that the film was trashy, vulgar and boring.

In the five or six times he does it, the reverse goes on FAR too long.

A Horrible Waste of Time and Film .

WORST movie I've ever seen .

This movie has no plot.

It worked great on American Beauty, as well as Fight Club once it got out of the monotone, and American Psycho, sortof.

don't waste your time and mood.

Of the principal actors, Shannon Sossamyn is dishrag-bland; Van Der Beek is trying so hard to be "edgy" that you can see his neck veins bulging; Jessica Biel actually does a good job with her character,it's just too bad her character is despicably irredeemable; and Ian Somerhalder is great--until you realize he's just ripping off Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

Cheezy, boring, cliche, pointless and any just flat out stupid.

Truly this is one of the best college movies ever made, Stunning actors and produced by one of the greatest Directors who have ever faced the earth!

I found it quite entertaining though may be considered rather crude to some.

This is by far the worst movie i have ever seen in my life.

I suppose we see too much throughout the story and then become bored by its repeated presence.

Twisted, strange and oddly fascinating slice of cinema...

Word to the wise people, make sure you get a little info about a movie before you waste your time and money.

The characters are sad, pathetic, and deeply intriguing.

Seemingly obsessed with biological functions, Avary takes us through a boring nonstory about some ridiculous coed caricatures and booze and drugs and sex and masturbation and defecation and regurgitation..etc. Given no tangible storyline, much time consuming filler, and nothing original or creative, this droning kaleidoscope of nonsense is, well, a load of crap destined for the "pull my finger" youth mentality.

Perhaps because he feels that the audience won't be able to stomach a dumb, boring, promiscuous Lauren, he has completely re-invented the character and transferred all of her bad qualities on to her blonde American Pie-style roommate.

Because it is fascinating, you know something big is gonna come, and you struggle through the experience to get there.

The plot, if any, was SO SLOW!!!

However, i was surprised to see the reactions of people indicating that it was one of the worst movies ever.

The first one said: "it's the worst movie i have ever seen".

This film is duller than Ceramics 211.

They were unpredictable and exciting to watch.

Either way the characters are completely uninteresting; they are purely self-centered and static.

And it dragged on just a little too long...

The film went nowhere, and was too depressing and empty.

Then, about a quarter of the people left between a half-hour and a hour into the movie.

On the one hand, it's quite disturbing, overtly confusing, and utterly pointless.

The technique of running parts of the film backwards wasn't novel or inventive, it was done for such long stretches that it became trite and annoying.

the editing must have been tedious as heck.

This was definitely one of the worst movies that I've ever seen!

There's a point to it, and I respect the way he uses this gimmick to have different stories overlap, but the reverse filming is overdone and becomes little more than a waste of time.

Its intense at times and most certainly not another one of those predictable teen angst movies.

About half-way through, the film takes a different turn, something perhaps more true to Ellis' style of writing, but the actual implementation of it leaves a vaguely bland aftertaste.

It's so pointless and trying way too hard to be unaffected.

Save your money.

It's a painful and unsettling movie to watch for you'd leave the theater wondering what's happening to the current youthful generation and why it's becoming so difficult for them to connect with one another.

Perhaps surprisingly enjoyable, "The Rules of Attraction" is a strange beast: part exposure of the artifice and posturing of Reagan's America and of 'Generation X' and part "Fight Club"-esque ambivalent support for today's individualist, consumer culture.

It's hard to decide which character is the most repellent and empty since we don't like or care in the least about them.

A self-indulgent film with poor character development.

In the end, it was a very enjoyable film.

The story was empty, the characters were empty, and the dialogues were...

No message or social commentary.

His self-indulgent pornography is not literature, only verbal masturbation.

Highlights include a breathtaking three and a half minute summation of Victor's trip to Europe and a dinner table scene with Faye Dunaway, Swoozie Kurtz, Somerhalder and a drunken Quincy Evans.

And so are all the other characters in this dreary, pointless tale of student angst.

Trite .

These types of pointless scenes are constant throughout the film.

This film is obviously trying very hard to be edgy and cool, but unfortunately comes off as pretentious and quite boring.

But it's also very entertaining and darkly hilarious.

This scene in particular really captures the essence of Ellis's book, as does Victor's thrilling trip round Europe.

Boring, pointless, and insipid would best describe it.

An unpredictable comedy in the same ranks as Trainspotting and Bongwater: lots of drug use, lots of disaffected/jaded youth, and lots of dark comedy.

If you've read or seen any other of Bret Easton Ellis works, it makes the movie all the more enjoyable.

I wouldnt' say that I enjoyed it very much because I was so swept away by it's art and style.

I'm fine with not having to love or even like the protagonists in order to enjoy a film, but the characters were too dull.

Amazing how a movie can be both pretentious and Porky's-style stupid at the same time.

The rest of these spoiled rich kids just bored me.

The film is flashy and pretentious .

This boring-as-a-satire scene serves no...

The problem is when she tries to show this aspect of her character she falls flat on her face, be it the contrived crying scene after having sex with Sean or the awkward, parading around the room half-naked scene when she's ruining her roommates infatuation with Victor.

Roger Avary the director deserves praise for attempting to present the film in a novel way involving rewinding time, but he deserves criticism for doing it in a way which just causes confusion and/or frustration.

I have seen many of them, and, as you know, it's all basically cliché and formula.

Our cast are a group of near-automatons, empty in the eyes and always indulging in sex, drugs and rock and roll.

We couldn't take it anymore and walked out.

What this film does is hover around its principal for far too long.

This ugly, pointless film uses neat film techniques and strange music to showcase, for some strange reason, the dregs of humanity.

The performance like Van Der Beek's is excessively honest and true, and maybe that is why this film has left so many reviews empty or wishing for something else.

There's more such examples (the tacked-on suicide girl subplot, the flashy MTV re-telling of Victor's story, and more) but I'm already bored of typing so I'll stop now.

Perhaps because I could not relate to ANYONE, I found ALL characters boring and/or mean-spirited, and thought the direction was just pretentious, the 45 minutes was punishment.

I think this film thought it was going to be some brilliant masterpiece and in reality in was just a boring hateable movie.

The film is engaging and important if you watch it with an eye for the subtle nuances of the satire.

The film is flashy and pretentious with endless homages to Stanely Kubrick and other filmmakers.

It uses the same content over and over again to try to create so many different things: Love, drama, tragedy, romance but ultimately, these things are never really in the picture and you never get a sense they will ever be with the rather bland, bored expressions the characters have on their faces.

"The Rules of Attraction" is both boring and unpleasant.

Electrifying And Intense .

Pretentious and self indulgent, the character development and plotline construction within the film seem to be far less important than the use of flashy stylistic techniques.

Misrepresenting itself as inane, it lulls the viewer into a false sense of superficiality, an apparent nonchalance.

Top Ten in pointless movies.

The camera tricks were cool at first, then just tedious.

i dont like it when movies change the way you think about things (in a bad or confusing way).

First of all, a little more than half of the people in the theater left ten minutes into the movie.

Save your money and your time.

No one in the movie is remotely likable, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they are all also extremely boring -- who cares what they say and why they say it?

Well, gave it two stars because Faye Dunaway didn't look bad at all.. The story was immediately forgettable, there was no plot and the characters were immensely unsympathetic.

First of all the main characters are quite weird, the actions unravel in a slow pace, resulting into a love triangle between the main characters, but the point is none of them really communicate very well with each other, and through out the movie a viewer can easily be mislead or rather get bored, because of the weird movie parts, which really are not that logical and interesting when you look at it out of context.

Avary scores a slam-dunk with the brilliant forwards-backwards beginning which manages to stay faithful to the spirit of the source material, whilst also being stylish and exciting to watch.

It makes Sean Bateman's infatuation with her all the more cliche, the slutty guy falling for the pure as snow girl.

Some felt the movie was too much like it's characters--empty, posh, glossy and confused callowness.

It's unpleasant with unlikable characters, and a slow pace.

It's a complete bore!

In this case, however, the premise and characters are so devoid of any meaning, the editing and dialog so contrived, that it would be akin to rating the performance of a serial killer putting a few random pieces into a jigsaw puzzle: In the end you don't really get a clear picture of anything, and they're not people you'd want to spend time with anyway.

If your looking to waste 2 hours of your life, then go ahead and watch this horrible film.

Begins with a technicolor yawn...

Pretentious piece of trash about the lives of several college students.

Sex, drugs, sex, drugs, sex, drugs, no plot .

The dose of reality involving the insights into Victor alone make this movie worth watching when you compare it to the girl that's been waiting for him.

Fascinating and at times complex with some heartfelt moments managing to come through the mix, but this film will leave you exhausted and hating yourself the next morning, Problem is you never really care about any of the characters (well save that, I felt a bit sorry for a girl who sends Van Der Beek secret love letters) and the film can be very empty at times and is nearly pointless.

I do agree with other IMDB users who say the film was pretentious.

A pretty shallow film about self-obsessed middle-class freshmen at a New England college who conspicuously consume their way through suffocating student ennui by engaging in drunken shags, chemical abuse and keg-swilling frat parties.

Much like Patrick in American Psycho (despite any debate which surrounds the killings in the book/movie Ellis himself has said that the vicious behavior of Bateman is confined to his psyche, to his own feelings of inadequacy etc), the characters in 'Rules' are impotent to express their rage and emotion in mature ways and are reduced to the expressions we see in the film- empty sexual experiences, suicide, drug use, repressed feelings, and acting out against their parents.

as an unpredictable and edgy dealer with a hair triggered temper.

Oh, the poor little rich kids who are so bored with life that they have to turn towards the dark side of drugs and demeaning sex.

The movie explores these characters via clever, exciting montages and by starting off at the end, showing where each character will wind up, then going back to the very beginning.

If you care for wacky plot lines, beyond believable characters, and insipid bland banter, this is the movie for you.

There are drawn out passages celebrating nihilism ad infinitum beyond the point of despair.

That is the whole point and to label the film itself as being pretentious is absurd.

"The rules of attraction" is one of the worst movies I remember watching.

All of this being taken into account, however, i still walked out of this film satisfied and prepared to recommend it.

Something full of empty actions and empty of meaningful acts.

My head now hurts from the bland attempts of this movie to appeal to an over-sexed, over-drugged community of college students who want to feel intellectual by analyzing this avant garde crap.

I thought that Roger Avary's screenplay was trite and makes kids in college look like 1,000 times more vacuous, superficial and f*cked up than they really are.

If I weren't an optimist who sincerely believed the movie would get better and worthwhile, I would have walked out.

Don't waste your time.

The main character of the movie, James Van Der Beek, we know nothing about except that he is in school, uses and sells drugs, and is a pretentious prick.

fascinating and disturbing .

However, they're bored enough to do really, really unbelievable things without a flinch or the bat of a lash.

boring and interesting at the same time .

Standing on it's own, it's the worst movie I have ever seen, and I've seen thousands.

This movie was really enjoyable.

This movie is self-indulgent without adequate compensations.

Normally, love triangles in cinema are interesting subject matter, but it is rendered uninteresting by a story that goes nowhere.

When it was 15 minutes I was already annoyed by the nonsensical abuse of reverse camera, which looked pretentious and after the third consecutive use I was rolling my eyes.

The cinematography is topnotch and engaging, each character has a cinematic style and the style adapts as the character grows.

But, i'm sure there are plenty of people just like Roger Avery--swarmy, smug, self-inflating "artists" so obsessed with complaining about the so-called "Hollywood System" and showing what they learned in film-school than to actually make an intelligent, entertaining work.

Skip this piece of self-indulgent pseudo-intellectual trash.

Visually and aurally stunning.

drugs and a little sex, mix in some pretentious boring droll dialogue, and you have this movie.

Although only Ellis' second effort (a follow-up to Less Than Zero), and written less than a year after he graduated from college, I found "The Rules Of Attraction" to be his most enjoyable book, all the more so when read in conjunction with the other four novels (Ellis does a great job of letting characters from previous books coexist in all his work- witness Paul Denton in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman in Glamorama, etc.). As a huge fan of the book I was crushed when I learned that it was to become a movie, especially one starring James Van Der Beek (who despite a strong performance in the film, is NOT who you would picture as Sean Bateman when reading the book)!

I feel somewhat hypocritical for writing a comment on a film that I walked out of, but that's why I have to comment on it: I have never, in my 20 or so years of seeing movies in theaters, walked out on a movie before and requested my money back.

Sean Bateman - rather convincingly, swaggeringly portrayed by James Van Der Beek - spouts the above words as some sort of justification; they mean no more than his almost sinister, empty muttering of "Rock'n'Roll" when action is nearby.

But stick with it, and you could be pleasantly suprised how deep and engaging this film is.

"The Rules of Attraction" is a well crafted and very entertaining look at college life today.

But what I got was one of the worst movies of the year.

Yawn, fast forward .

Casting James Van Der Beek (television's squeaky clean Dawson) as Sean Bateman, an intense college kid who sleeps around and deals drugs, is a bold piece of casting that really pays off.

Is it disturbing, yes (in fact I almost walked out after the first ten minutes).

worst movie i have seen in ages.

This movie will leave you feeling so empty.

But this movie had that extra oomph which made it all too enjoyable.

Boring, pointless, shallow exercise in self-gratification .

Some of the camera shots and ideas that the director had for this piece were simply stunning and masterful.

Poor photography, bad acting, story and writing.. A complete waste of time, in my humble opinion, I can't think of a single thing I liked about this movie, I wish I never found out about it.

It's the nihilism that ultimately renders the film unwatchable.

A stunning film, James Van Der Beek will amaze you.

Emotionally empty .

Before any other users pass judgment on me, here are two redeeming factors that seperates this movie from excrutiating and unbearable.

It is a bravura, compelling sequence; the end of a life and of a love unrequited, shown in chillingly sporadic detail.

However, if you look at this film as a Collection of Scenes, as a sort of sit back and enjoy the view movie, then it is very, very intriguing.

That lame angle has been tweaked so much more cleverly than even the best scene in this waste of time.

To sum things up, don't waste your time on this film or these characters.

Don't waste your time.

By making the movie unpredictable it catches the audience off guard and keeps them paying close attention to detail, making a more entertaining movie experience.

Most of the rest is squalid, tiresome trash.

A horrible waste of time and film.

Since there is really no storyline (and don't get me wrong, I don't need an Oscar award winning storyline to keep me interested) it would have to be a character study...

" After viewing Roger Avary's "The Rules of Attraction," this reviewer was left downright bored.

Two of the most enjoyable hours of your life are in your near future.

There is lots of good times though and perhaps it is a good movie to watch when you are high or drunk - when I watched it I was completely straight though, I try to resist temptation these days, and I still enjoyed it a lot.

It is fast paced and energetic, packed with a lot of hedonistic events.

Save your money!

they should call it "the rules of confusion".

The film's mean-spirited, off-putting approach holds everything down, except the esteemed direction-with camera tricks including slow and fast motion, and backward motion.

Nevertheless, RULES OF ATTRACTION is highly entertaining.

See it more than once, don't waste your money on crap, go see this movie, it was to put it simply BRILLIANT!

I only recommend it if the description above sounds intriguing to you.

I'm sure most critics will argue that the plot and themes lacked a sense of coherency, but I felt this was exactly what the film was attempting to capture; the emptiness, cruelty, futility, relational frustration, unrequited desire, and ultimate loneliness of `modern existence' to borrow a trite literary theme.

In this book he threw away such pretentious writing tools as plot, characterisation, multiple tenses and empathy.

This surprisingly tedious, satirically-inept film revolves around a love triangle: A bisexual male (Ian Somerhalder) in love with a heterosexual male (James Van Der Beek) in love with a virgin female (Shannyn Sossamon) in love with a hedonistic male named Victor (Kip Pardue).

What you get is a boat-load of information about all of these people and what you are left with is an empty being, soulless, if you will.

The characters are very thin and any attempts I made to care about them or even have a passing interest in them was thwarted at every turn by the sheer banality of them.

Terrific performances and occasional laughs cannot make up for a dull, incoherent mess with sex, drugs, sex, drugs, sex, drugs, etc etc etc, but no plot to speak of.

The mundane attitude about sex was enough for the MPAA to initally brand this with their NC-17 rating.

This film is definitely not for everyone, but I found its satirical and fatalistic depiction of the `Rules of Attraction' intriguing, entertaining, and tragic all at once.

I think Bret Easton Ellis is a great novelist and the movies that have been made off his books are riveting.

" "The Rules of Attraction" is unbelievably pretentious.

Rules of Attraction is a movie I like to revisit from time to time, for its unique tone and its relentlessness, and because it shows a part of the human experience that hardly any movies do, and does it in a way that is not only dark, but also entertaining.

This is a generation coddled to the point where they set around their schools on the weekend analyzing the point of an obviously depraved and pointless movie, while they naively condemn those realists in the world who safeguard them and their ability to pose as "artists.

The film is highly stylized with many innovative approaches and ideas in its storytelling and editing, yet somehow still manages to often come across as tedious and dull.

) for finally coming back to his starting point, it seems to remember us the daily routine and the boring life we're living, and that nothing and nobody can help us to fill, without a little understanding.

"Rules of Attraction" is a well constructed piece that contains the necessities of a great film: an unpredictable storyline, complex characters, articulate cinematography.

He is ably supported by fellow leads Sossaman and Somerhalder who are equally engaging in their roles, Sossaman plays a highly contrasting character as both an innocent scarred by, and a willing participant, of the sordid games of her social scene, whilst Somerhalder plays the deeper than perceptions first meet homosexual yearning for connection in anyone, literally anyone who takes his wandering fancy.

Roger Avery's sharp editing and his cinematography make the film enjoyable.

I found Rules to be doubly pointless.

The bold style, great soundtrack and strong performances from a very talented young cast makes this an engaging if bruising movie.

Homophobic and pointless .

It's a fascinating method, and he works it capably.

There's ambiguity, and then there's guaranteed confusion.

It isn't stupid like 90% of the current teen movies, but it's quite pretentious.

Instead we get a gripping tale of college life in the middle of the Reagan 80's.

So if you're bored one night pop in this, you'll be entertained.

The split-screen makes it all so confusing.

She is sexy, therefore any movie she is in is worth watching.

It's boring.

"it sucked it had no plot line" get some brains and watch the movie again then.

With these exceptions the film was about nothing, nothing happened and I should have nothing to say about it.

Rules Of Attraction is awesome, just the way the story was told and filmed was so electrifying and intense.

Needless to say those beautiful actresses Biel, Sossamon, and Bosworth, make an otherwise morbid film worth watching.

He was sold as someone empty inside.

Maybe I missed something in this "film", but I have to say it is perhaps one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

This is the worst movie I've seen all year.

Well-done, but intense .

The characters are unlikeable and, worse, uninteresting; the few scenes that are interesting plummet into ho-hum nothingness and the intelligent viewer is left feeling cheated while the unintelligent viewer misspells "libido" in his/her IMDb.

Very good adaption; enjoyable .

" They can even be used as great tools for college humor; and yet, how this film makes sex and drugs seem "uninteresting" is beyond me.

To be truthful, there is no real core to this film; it's just entwining student's stories and even then, they're exploited in a rather distasteful and, to be honest, 'boring' manner.

Total waste of time.

Unlike political satire or compelling internal psychodrama, for example, such effort lacks any objective frame of reference.

Seriously, don't waste your time.

Many times I've liked films that critics called self-indulgent, such as Bob Fosse's "All that Jazz.

People say the this movie is supposed to be a satire, or that Bret Eastern Ellis (who wrote the book on which it is based) is a satirist and in actual fact a harsh moralist who writes in a deliberately flat manner about empty vacuous souls to highlight the deteriorating moral fabric of modern society.

Now, those same hypocritcs are bashing RULES OF ATTRACTION as a pointless and cruel film.

A shocking, entertaining, and powerful portrait of some of the nastiest and most grotesque freaks in American Literature and Film .

Nothing happens.

it's a sort of bored/hopeless/careless/nihilistic/materialistic mindset that just did not come through in the film.

All Time Worst Movie .

This movie was the worst movie I've ever rented.

Besides the boring characters and thin plot, the film techniques (split screen, putting it in reverse, etc.) were distracting and thus annoying.

That having been said, it's possible that the Rules of Attraction is the worst movie I've ever seen.

Some of the scenes in the snow and many of the glimpses of intense expression from one character or another, or the one true phrase in the whole film "No one really knows anyone" (although it looses half its power the second time you hear it) stuck with me after I had went home and even the next day.

It is worth watching alone for the corridor scene, the beginning and the journey through victors travels.

However, I wouldn't say there are any antiheros either, just boring ambling people who don't know what to do with themselves other than do drugs and have sex.

And previous reviews were correct in discussing how pretentious this movie was.

The scene when Paul and his friends bring the freshman to the ER is very confusing.

Finding out who was leaving the mystery letters was interesting, but I just found this movie really stupid and pointless.

Self-Indulgent tale of over-privileged American college kids .

It was well made and very entertaining.

Now, I've never seen a college campus as fun as the portrayed in this film, but the "over the topness" makes this movie worth watching.

It's predictable, nihilistic, and one dimensional.