Bad Influence (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bad Influence1990

Bad Influence (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Successful LA marketing analyst Michael Boll (James Spader) seemingly has it all -- except a sense of self-confidence. Enigmatic drifter Alex (Rob Lowe) enters Michael's life and immediately begins to exert a negative influence. As Michael's self-esteem zooms (aided by generous dollops of sex and drugs) he allows himself to be dragooned into a life of crime by the demonic Alex. The "doppelganger" aspects of Bad Influence, and the film's many unexpected twists and turns, echo films of Alfred Hitchcock, especially Strangers on a Train. The film's boldest stroke is to cast the likeable Lowe as the bad guy (albeit a charming one) and the often villainous Spader as the malleable milquetoast.

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James Spader
as Michael Boll
Lisa Zane
as Claire
Tony Maggio
as Patterson
Palmer Lee Todd
as Naked Woman
Susan Lee Hoffman
as Woman in Bar
Jeff Kaake
as Man in Bar
Jay Della Valle
as Chez Jay Bartender
Grand L. Bush
as Club Bartender
David Duchovny
as Club Goer
Bianca Rossini
as Bumped Woman
Lilyan Chauvin
as Art Gallery Patrons
John Mahon
as Dr. Fielding
Joyce Meadows
as Mrs. Fielding
Said Faraj
as Hamburger Clerk
Sachi Parker
as Michael's Neighbor
Kelly Miller
as Receptionist
Christina Cocek
as Female Executive
Brendan Hughes
as Arguing Man
Joey Miyashima
as Man at Tar Pit
Dominique Jennings
as Woman at Tar Pit
Sarah Elgart
as Club Dancer
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Critic Reviews for Bad Influence

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Bad Influence takes mostly predictable steps and tries to wrap up a forgotten subplot with some quick dialogue. It's also hard to watch Lowe make inside jokes during a movie with no substantial female characters -- the women are all props or plot devices.

August 18, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The movie sneaks up on you.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Before becoming heavy handed, Bad Influence is almost worth rooting for.

May 19, 2020 | Full Review…

Lowe's surface performance is distracting and eliminates much of the suspense necessary to keep this sort of grasping Hitchcock wannabe afloat.

June 5, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

...improves substantially once Alex drops his charming facade and becomes a flat-out villain...

February 16, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An overlooked classic satire/thriller

September 10, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Bad Influence


Good thriller. Makes you think twice about making a new friend!

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

a down hill point in Rob Lowe,

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


Awesome movie. There's a nice buildup of Lowe's character Alex. It makes Alex seem like a great guy after he stands up for Michael, and they have a nice friendship together, until the relationship slowly spirals into an out of control life or death situation. The pacing of this movie is perfect; not too fast and not too slow. There aren't any boring parts either, which I'm very thankful for. Nothing worse than watching a boring movie. Both characters are likable (at least until Lowe's true character is established), and they both have qualities that make them seem like real individuals. The development of Spader's character was great. I like seeing a character evolve into a completely different one by the end of a movie. It was a slow transition from shy/passive office worker to aggressive/violent gunman, but it worked. It was awesome. It was a very cool movie to watch.

Japes .
Japes .

Super Reviewer

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