Laurel Canyon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Laurel Canyon Reviews

Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 25, 2003
The movie's contrivances begin to rankle.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 24, 2003
Fizzles out in the third act, but we're long past caring. By then, Frances McDormand has usurped the movie and turned it into a lesson in character acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 18, 2003
Self-discovery seems to be the goal, but the revelations hardly seem worth the work.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 17, 2003
McDormand is superb. Likewise Bale and Nivola.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 11, 2003
If there is one reason to see Laurel Canyon, it's to witness McDormand in the kind of role she's long deserved.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
April 11, 2003
Laurel Canyon's end isn't entirely satisfying, but the story works.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 11, 2003
Thanks to the performances and the general looseness of the script, the movie is more appealing than it has any business being.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 4, 2003
[Cholodenko's] smart script and sensitive directing make up for sluggish pacing, the picture's one major flaw.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Vic Vogler
Denver Post
April 4, 2003
Never reaches the bar it sets for itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 4, 2003
Plays out like a slow-motion sex farce.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 28, 2003
[A] tame exercise in hedonism and self-discovery.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 28, 2003
Too stilted and pre-programmed to come alive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
March 27, 2003
More obvious and superficial with, except for Ms. McDormand, rather soapy and cartoonish elements.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Loren King
Chicago Tribune
March 27, 2003
An engaging, entertaining glimpse into the lives of musicians nestled in the titular Hollywood Hills enclave.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 14, 2003
A flawed but smart independent film whose virtues outweigh its flaws, and whose virtues are distinct.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 14, 2003
It's a pleasant, good-natured film that's easy to enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
March 13, 2003
Thank goodness for Nivola ... who makes a charming degenerate, and McDormand in her sexiest role to date. They make up for a bunch of sins.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 7, 2003
[McDormand] makes both the character and her Laurel Canyon sanctuary feel genuinely lived.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 7, 2003
All the performances are strong, but McDormand, Bale and Nivola's are most powerful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
March 7, 2003
Cholodenko ... takes the scenario beyond cliché by creating a raft of fully fledged characters and giving the tale a generational twist.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 7, 2003
Laurel Canyon may be more a vibe than a movie. And that's precisely its power.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 6, 2003
It reconfirms the filmmaker's talent as an acutely observant chronicler of upscale bohemian subcultures.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2003
There wasn't a moment in the film that I didn't enjoy, but neither was there anything that got my mind or heart racing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 6, 2003
It has power above and below the waist, and proves that not all the navels in L.A. are in the oranges.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
March 6, 2003
What rescues this situation from the formulaic banality it seems to be headed toward is the seriousness with which the filmmakers take the actual work being done by the various characters.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 6, 2003
The characters are tedious, as are the fussy performances of Bale and Beckinsale.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
L.A. Weekly
March 6, 2003
Relies on easy caricature over true character such that the film fails to build emotional momentum or resonance.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
March 4, 2003
The spectacle of pretty people floating languidly across the screen notwithstanding, Laurel Canyon is short on conviction and long on contrivance.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 4, 2003
Frances McDormand isn't just good, she's fantastic in this movie.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 1, 2003
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 24, 2003
A clumsy package of clichés.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 18, 2002
An absorbing film about men and women and mothers and sons and how choices can forever alter relationships.