THE MACHINIST
2004, Paramount, 101 min, Spain/USA, Dir: Brad Anderson

This haunting portrait of a man on the edge of sanity stars Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik, an industrial worker plagued by insomnia and hallucinations. Fired after his erratic behavior causes an accident at work, Reznik’s sole source of comfort is prostitute Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), but soon even she becomes suspect in his eyes as the machinist grows increasingly paranoid. Bale went on a crash diet to play the emaciated title character, losing more than 60 pounds.


AMERICAN PSYCHO
2000, Lionsgate, 101 min, USA, Dir: Mary Harron

Director Mary Harron slyly distills Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial novel down to its satirical essence, using the conventions of the slasher film to explore the sociological horrors of 1980s America. Christian Bale is hilarious, charming and disturbing as an upwardly mobile yuppie who goes on a killing spree - the logical extension of his desire to consume everything in sight. With a terrific 1980s soundtrack, a visual style of Kubrickian precision, and an ensemble that includes Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto, this is a literary adaptation that is fully worthy of its source.


OUT OF THE FURNACE
2013, Relativity Media, 116 min, USA, Dir: Scott Cooper

The gritty new thriller from director Scott Cooper (CRAZY HEART) stars Christian Bale as Russell Baze, a steel mill worker in a declining Rust Belt town. When his younger brother (Casey Affleck) runs afoul of a crime ring and vanishes, local police prove ineffectual, and Russell embarks on a dangerous quest for justice. The top-flight cast includes Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard.


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