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A young high school student uncovers a deadly secret. A Nazi war
criminal has been quietly living in his hometown. Fascinated with
the atrocities he committed during the war, Todd begins to blackmail
him. In exchange for the teenager's silence, Dussander must reveal
his evil past..
Drama - Apt Pupil is a psychological thriller with some potentially
unpleasant content for many viewers. The subject matter deals with the
Holocaust, manipulative human relations, animal cruelty and murder, with
an extremely dark tone throughout. Fans of director Bryan Singer (The
Usual Suspects) may want to watch to see his style applied to
another creepy story. Many viewers are likely to be turned off by
the content if they prepare lighter, more uplifting stories. Solid
acting, particularly by Ian McKellen.
PROFANITY: Strong and fairly frequent SEX/NUDITY: Bare male buttocks; suggestive sexual references VIOLENCE: Scenes of murder and animal cruelty DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Scenes of characters getting drunk; marijuana use ACTION: One scene of physical conflict between characters COMEDY: Dark-humored references to manipulative actions
The premise of Apt Pupil is creepy, disquieting stuff to be sure --
a golden boy All-American teen (Brad Renfro) becomes obsessed with the
tales of wartime atrocities told by his neighbor (Ian McKellen), a
Nazi war criminal whose identity the boy has discovered. It would have
been a lot more creepy if we had understood the why's behind the lad's
improbable fascination. McKellen's transformation from recluse to rejuvenated
monster in the second half is truly compelling, and that's exactly
what's missing from the first half. Apt Pupil ends up more morbidly
intriguing than it is truly disturbing.