Bad Influence

Watch Bad Influence

"When fantasy becomes a fatal distraction."
  • R
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.3  (10,819)
  • 63

Bad Influence is a gripping drama thriller directed by Curtis Hanson, that was released in 1990. The film follows the life of a clean-cut financial analyst, Michael Boll (played by Rob Lowe) who meets a charismatic stranger named Alex (played by James Spader) in a bar. The two men develop a dangerous friendship, which leads Michael down a treacherous path.

As Michael's obsession with Alex grows, he starts to neglect his work and girlfriend, Claire (played by Palmer Lee Todd). However, Alex's true character is revealed when he introduces Michael to a world of drugs, violence, and depravity. Michael is lured deeper into Alex's world until he eventually loses control of his life and himself.

The film opens with Michael's life seemingly in order. He is a successful, clean-cut financial analyst in Los Angeles who is about to get a promotion. However, his life takes a sudden turn when he meets Alex in a bar. Alex is charming, confident, and completely unpredictable. His wild and impulsive behavior fascinates Michael, who starts to become increasingly infatuated with him.

Despite Alex's dubious past, Michael is drawn to him and begins to seek his company regularly. Alex quickly starts to influence Michael's behavior, encouraging him to break out of his carefully regimented life and explore his more impulsive and risk-taking side. They hang out in trendy bars and clubs, drink, do drugs and pick fights with strangers.

Through Alex's influence, Michael becomes more adventurous, daring, and self-indulgent, essentially becoming a new man. However, as Michael becomes closer to Alex, he loses touch with his old life and his girlfriend, Claire. Michael finds himself increasingly drawn to Alex, even though he mistrusts and suspects him of something nefarious.

As the film progresses, Alex's true character is revealed. He's not the free-wheeling, carefree spirit that he seems to be. He is, in fact, a charismatic sociopath who has a twisted sense of fun that involves violence and manipulation. Alex manipulates Michael, getting him involved in unwelcome situations, such as posing as someone else to gain insider information essential for a big takeover deal.

As Michael becomes more enmeshed in Alex's world, he realizes that he has become a pawn in his game, and Alex has left him out to dry. Michael's old life comes back to haunt him, and he is caught in a downward spiral of drugs, violence, and betrayal.

The movie does an excellent job of keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout, with its engaging and gripping storytelling, which makes for a thrilling cinematic experience. Besides, the director almost perfectly captures the mood and feel of Los Angeles in the late 80s and early 90s.

The acting performances in the movie are impeccable. Rob Lowe delivers an outstanding performance as Michael, conveying a range of emotions convincingly, from desperation to confusion to anger. James Spader delivers a similarly brilliant performance as the charismatic but deceptive Alex. The two actors work extremely well together and wonderfully capture the ups and downs of their characters' unconventional friendship.

Overall, Bad Influence is a well-made, well-acted film with a great storyline that keeps viewers engaged until the very end. It is a fascinating exploration of two men's personalities, who initially appear to be polar opposites, but who become inextricably linked through a shared interest in danger and excitement. The movie raises questions about the nature of friendship, the dangers of influence, and the complexity of human relationships.

Bad Influence is a 1990 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 63.

Bad Influence
Where to Watch Bad Influence
Bad Influence is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, MGM+, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Bad Influence for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (10,819)
  • Metascore