Apt Pupil

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1998

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Movie Summary

Director:
Bryan Singer
Released:
1998
Rating:
R
Apt Pupil is a 1998 psychological thriller that chronicles the friendship between high school student Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) and his elderly neighbor Arthur Denker (Ian McKellen). When Bowden discovers that Denker is actually Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander, he blackmails him into telling him stories about the war. Bowden's grades begin to suffer and Dussander then in turn blackmails Bowden to work harder in school. Reliving his past causes Dussander to kill again, eventually leading him to kill a homeless man who sees him in his Nazi uniform. When Dussander suffers a heart attack, Bowden helps him finish the killing and then rushes him to the hospital. Dussander's past is exposed and the cops tell him that he will be extradited to Israel. Bowden then distances himself from Dussander and claims no knowledge of his troubled past. Also starring David Schwimmer, Bruce Davison, Ann Down, and Elias Koteas, Apt Pupil was directed by Bryan Singer.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

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

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times

    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.

  • 60

    Variety 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 underlyin...

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