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Laurel Canyon Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Too stilted and pre-programmed to come alive.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2/4

March 28, 2003
James Berardinelli
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Comes across pretty much as a pretentious soap opera -- a movie that wants the audience to believe it has more to say about life than the usual melodrama.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2/4

March 1, 2003
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

It's a half-step backward for Cholodenko, whose latest film has none of the tenderness or fresh insight about relationships and sexual ambiguity of High Art.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 1, 2003
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

it goes without saying that McDormand is the high point of Laurel Canyon. She tears through the stiff, paper-thin movie with a sense of complete freedom, the same way Geena Davis did in The Accidental Tourist.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 2/4

March 17, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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A clumsy package of clichés.

| Original Score: 1/4

February 24, 2003
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The spectacle of pretty people floating languidly across the screen notwithstanding, Laurel Canyon is short on conviction and long on contrivance.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 4, 2003
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The characters are tedious, as are the fussy performances of Bale and Beckinsale.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

March 6, 2003
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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[A] tame exercise in hedonism and self-discovery.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 28, 2003
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Self-discovery seems to be the goal, but the revelations hardly seem worth the work.

| Original Score: 3/5

April 18, 2003
Mark Sells
Oregon Herald

Despite a great ensemble of actors, it will leave you hanging from a cliff.

Full Review Source: Oregon Herald | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 13, 2004
Sean O'Connell
Flipside Movie Emporium

With vocal inflections and a caring glance, McDormand rescues the mother-son dynamic that twists through Canyon like the famed Mulholland Drive.

Full Review Source: Flipside Movie Emporium | Original Score: C+

May 28, 2003
Matt Kelemen
Las Vegas CityLife

'We're left with a film that doesn't create enough interest in what went on in those Laurel Canyon backyards to justify pulling over and watching.'

Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

March 3, 2004
Annette Dasey

No matter how many times she pushes her specs up her nose Beckinsale is never going to be believable as a nerd. Bale as a psychiatrist: it's easier to envisage him as Batman.

Full Review Source: Teletext | Original Score: 2/5

November 14, 2003
Chuck Rudolph
Slant Magazine

If the booze-swilling, oversexed evil sister of McDormand's Almost Famous matron were to make her own movie, it might look something like Laurel Canyon.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine

February 9, 2003
Vic Vogler
Denver Post
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Never reaches the bar it sets for itself.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 4, 2003
J. C. Farrow

The chemistry between McDormand, Ian and goody-two-shoes Alex is soggy rather than sexy.

Full Review Source: Citysearch | Original Score: 6/10

March 6, 2003
Mark Olsen
L.A. Weekly
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Relies on easy caricature over true character such that the film fails to build emotional momentum or resonance.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 6, 2003
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal

By the time Laurel Canyon closes, we're left with a number of dangling subplots, lots of questions and two hideously unbelievable reconciliations.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

May 2, 2003
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

...a strikingly judgmental movie in favor of liberal lifestyles.

Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) | Original Score: 2/4

April 11, 2003
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Maybe it's that Cholodenko's more familiar with New York and loath to be too critical of another town, but Laurel Canyon lacks the sense of risk that High Art had, and in doing so, emasculates its apparent protagonist in Sam.

Full Review Source: New Times

March 14, 2003
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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January 14, 2012
Nick Schager
Nitrate Online
March 14, 2003
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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February 9, 2006
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
September 7, 2003
Lori Allen
February 25, 2004
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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April 11, 2003

Baltimore Sun
May 23, 2003

Boston Phoenix
July 2, 2003

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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July 16, 2003

January 15, 2004
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