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The Canyons

Thriller . Drama

The discovery of an illicit love affair leads two young Angelenos on a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.

Actors: Lindsay Lohan , Gus Van Sant , James Deen , Nolan Gerard Funk , Amanda Brooks , Tenille Houston , Jarod Einsohn , Chris Zeischegg , Victor of Aquitaine , Jim Boeven
Directors: Paul Schrader
Country: USA
Release: 2013-08-02
More Info:
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Schrader tries to find the human side of it all, and he scores with Lohan, who taps a vulnerability beneath her dissolution to remind you why she's still a movie star.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    You’d have to go back to the ’80s to find a film with this jaded a view of Hollywood, a town where every aspiring actor knows every yoga instructor who knows every producer and they all swap partners and dance. Constantly.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    As a visual symphony, The Canyons is often masterful, and while it may be pornographic in places, it’s never campy. At the center of its cold, beautiful and half-dead world is the almost incandescent Lindsay Lohan, burning like a flawed diamond. Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    People who don't understand movies often speak of them as escapism, a kind of passive fantasy. Lohan's performance in The Canyons, so naked in all ways, is the ultimate retort to that kind of idiocy: To watch it is to live in the moment.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    The major exception is Lohan, who gives one of those performances, like Marlon Brando’s in “Last Tango in Paris,” that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography. Lohan may not go as deep or as far as Brando, but with her puffy skin, gaudy hoop earrings and thick eye makeup, there’s a little-girl-lost quality to the onetime Disney teen princess that’s very affecting.

    Variety Full Review
  • Geoff Pevere

    The Canyons is actually anything but gratuitously sensational. On the contrary, it’s rather restrained, even conservative affair, far more interested in expositional conversation and a sustained tone of bleached-out melancholy than cranking up the heat.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Matt Patches

    The Canyons has all the elegance and depth of a daytime soap opera, peppered with flashes of name brand nudity for a tantalizing hook. It’s a slog. Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The Canyons may not work, and the sex (as well as the synthesized glop on the soundtrack) may be tragically unhip, but it was made by a director who still cares.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The Canyons is a sleazy soap opera that fails primarily because it gives us no one to care about and no reason why we should be interested that we don't care.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Matt Singer

    If Schrader and Ellis set out to prove that movies are dying or already dead, they might have done their job too well. The Canyons doesn’t play like the cure for a moribund industry, so much as a mildly effective, highly depressing administration of the last rites.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    In The Canyons, there’s no pleasure — only power struggles disguised as sex.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The Canyons comes across as a desperate gambit for relevance by a group of artists who want to reinvent themselves but don't know how. Fittingly, that's the theme of the film itself.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Adam Lowes

    Despite a liberal dose of full frontal nudity, The Canyons fails to fully revel in its sleaze, struggling to even work as a deadpan satire on the kind of vacuous and deadened Hollywood types Easton Ellis brought to life in the pages of his debut novel, Less Than Zero.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    The Canyons has more in common with Schrader’s opulent immoral tableaux “The Comfort of Strangers,” “Auto Focus” and “The Walker” than with his other work (including the script for “Taxi Driver”). It’s weaker than those, though, and less biting.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    With The Canyons, [Mr. Schrader] tries to get at something real under all the hard, glossy surfaces, but ends up caught in the divide between the movie that he seems to have wanted to make and the one he did.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Denby

    The Canyons is not porn, but it has the demoralized second-rateness and the lowlife inanity of the porn world.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Instead of commenting on the vapidity of the film industry, Paul Schrader's miscast, poorly executed and utterly soulless drama is an example of the failing art form it seeks to indict. Though it has real ideas, Schrader and his team never manage to put them into action.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Paul Schrader, the once-brilliant screenwriter of such films as “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull,” has fashioned a movie that seems to exist to be repugnant. Maybe that’s the point; it was written by Bret Easton Ellis. Nearly every character in this movie is unlikable.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    The Canyons is a bad accident everyone saw coming, and now it is here.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The Canyons isn’t just bad, it’s rank — and it takes a peculiar sort of integrity to denude the frame of life to the point where it smells to heaven.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    Judging from the lack of care that went into making this one, I'm not so sure how much Schrader cares about the movies anymore either.

    NPR Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Far from the renegade, boundary-pushing, sexually explicit sensation that its makers have been suggesting, The Canyons is a lame, one-dimensional and ultimately dreary look at peripheral Hollywood types not worth anyone's time either onscreen or in real life.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    The Canyons is billed as an erotic thriller, but the sexcapades of these empty-headed twentysomethings are far more likely to elicit yawns than titillation.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    Maybe the joke’s on us, and all the pre-release hype suggesting that a micro-budget train wreck was barreling our way was merely part of the marketing strategy. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Stephen Rodrick's New York Times article about the making of The Canyons had humor, suspense and propulsion. They should have made that movie. What we have here is dead on arrival.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    The cavernous emptiness of The Canyons cannot sustain itself, and it makes for a mostly flat, strained and uninvolving experience (not helped by the pace which makes 90 minutes, feels like a sluggish two hours).

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    She (Lohan) isn’t the best thing about this awful, lounged-out drama — it has no best thing — but in her defense, Lohan has been atrociously directed, allowed to get away with the worst aspects of her vocal-fry laziness, and trotted out like a symbolic objet d’art.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    The best acting in The Canyons is done by the porn star. That might be all you need to know about this film, which is the kind of vapid, self-consciously artsy, waste-of-time movie that might never have seen the light of day (or the dark of theater) and would have gone straight to VOD were it not for the triple-threat name-recognition trio of the actress Lindsay Lohan, the director Paul Schrader and the writer Bret Easton Ellis.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Paul Schrader and Brett Easton Ellis don't have the sense of play this kind of narrative of one-upmanship requires, as we're never allowed to enjoy the characters' misdeeds.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Paul Schrader’s The Canyons is not the worst movie of 2013 — it's marginally better than "InAPPpropriate Comedy" and "Scary Movie 5," two even worse bombs that Lindsay Lohan also lent her rapidly diminishing talents to — but it is surely the most boring I’ve seen.

    New York Post Full Review
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