The Canyons - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Canyons Reviews

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½ December 31, 2016
So this was a notorious project because of the presence of the notorious Lindsay Lohan.

The thing is it is not a horrible movie. It's not a great movie for sure and someone else would have been better in the role LL plays in the movie, type wise, but she's OK if a bit sad and puffy looking, not great for someone in her mid-20s. But maybe on second thought appropriate for the role of a fading Hollywood woman with a very dim future.

It turned out the most notorious person in the movie is the male lead, James Deen. He came from porn where he performs bisexually, I have not seen any of these movies. He is one of the few contemporary male porn performers with name recognition. The gossip goes that he was brought into the project via Bret Easton Ellis who wanted him.
He is a little weak but good enough in the role even though there was no reason that a porn actor had to do this, there is not that much sex on screen in the movie. He does bring a definite smarminess to the role. I kept seeing him in Overexposed: The Anthony Weiner Story.
Anyway, he plays a bratty LA mega trust fund guy who produces movies. Lohan plays his girlfriend who is basically doing what Charlie wants which is mostly be involved with hook-ups with other people which he likes to record on his phone. They have an encounter in which she gets him to do something with another man and around the same time he thinks that she is seeing someone else who he doesn't know about. All this causes a blow out of his need to control her resulting in nasty wayward brutal emotions.

The question is: Is James Deen basically playing himself and are the nasty scenes in the film, brutality to women, reflective of his actual life? (He has since been accused of brutality toward women by a couple of victims.)
And: Did Ellis know this and for that reason put him in the movie?

Paul Schrader has had a really brilliant career. I hope he gets to make another movie after this.

The themes in the movie, well worth looking into, are more successfully explored in an older movie Star 80 by Bob Fosse. An excellent move.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2016
Apart from Lohan, almost everyone else in the cast is just lame (Deen should stay in porn) and has to deliver some ridiculous exposition amid an atmosphere of cheap soft-porn - and nothing can justify the combined talents of Schrader and Ellis leading to this pointless bore.
½ October 23, 2016
Under normal circumstances, I'd feel kind of creepy saying the best thing about a movie is the chance to see a few people naked who frankly, you'll be interested in seeing naked.

But I'm okay with it in this case for two reasons. First, the nudity is both male and female, meaning that I feel all egalitarian and shit.

And second, if the filmmakers wanted me to care about something else, they would've given me something else to care about. And they didn't.

...with the possible exception of a couple of performances that, at least in places, are of way better caliber than the movie itself:

Amanda Brooks, who may deserve a chance at a better movie, and (yes) Lindsay Lohan, who has had more than a few chances.
½ October 22, 2016
A vapid film that drags, so yeah, not the best combination. Lohan and Deen are equally bad.
September 20, 2016
Coke hangover version of 90210, Schrader's worst.
August 14, 2016
A movie produced for US$ 250.000, but certainly looks much more big budget: Great camera work, a haunting song at the end ("Coming Down") and I do like Lindsay Lohan. The story is nothing to remember. For the good stuff: 3 stars.
½ March 2, 2016
Okay, this film was a bit of a gut-punch for me, not because it so effected my life or anything, but for the sheer fact that I tend to be a big fan of both writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Paul Schrader, and hell, I even like Lindsay Lohan as a slutty party girl in theory, but this film was a huge meandering letdown overall.

About the only thing it has going for it is the Lohan nudity and Ellis' typically ambi-sexual amorality, which is somewhat amusing/interesting, but overall this was a bit of a bore.

Rental, at best. I don't know when I would return to this one.
November 29, 2015
A perfect depiction of the underbelly of the entertainment industry & Hollywood. Actors doing anything for work, people saying they'll do something when they never actually do...boring, sad, disturbing, and dull are the elements The Canyons combines perfectly into a raw and deeply meaningful film. Also, the best performance Lindsay Lohan has ever had. She's better in this than Parent Trap, I'm not kidding.
October 20, 2015
Though it has style and a reasonably good performance by Lindsay Lohan, The Canyons has lies, affairs, and sex abound from most of its disgruntled characters without any consistent commentary, clear statement, or plot reasoning all while maintaining its unqualified self-assurance.
October 4, 2015
It's not the actors fault when the writing is so horrible. Blame BEE for this flop.
½ September 26, 2015
Sometimes a film is so bad it crosses over into watchable again. I was rapt by what has to be some of the worst writing and acting ever seen outside of a late '80s straight-to-cable skin flick. It's all so plastic, so sleazy and so cynical it's kind of trance-inducing. Awful, awful, awful. But, not a terrible way to spend 90 minutes.
September 14, 2015
This is a contemporary film noir shot and directed skillfully by notorious enfant terrible Paul Schrader. Although the film depicts a series of characters more dislikeable than the others, Schrader masterfully uses these young spoiled, burn out / pretty faces and reveal shot after shots the lackluster lifestyle of these people. The cinematography by John DeFazio is superb and express perfectly the state of mind each of these characters seems to be trapped in. The editing is also extremely well executed and the soundtrack adds a touch of oddity, disturbance and moodiness to this modern, neo noir, glamorous and nightmarish venture behind the scene of movie making. This film is like an experience, a journey into a world of excess and volatile whims, the ugly mirror of an ungrateful, spoiled, egotistical and mean Hollywood youth, for whom 'no' is never an answer. What a punch.... no wonder so many people dislike this vitriolic portrait of a generation so lost in it's own decadence, it's almost insufferable.
August 23, 2015
Ridiculously boring. Terribly acted and directed. Very predictable. A waste of time just to sum it up.
½ June 30, 2015
Lähes yhtä heikko kokeilu Schraderilta kuin Girlfriend Experience Soderbergiltä jokunen vuosi takaperin.
May 23, 2015
Horrible, boring and Lohan's face looks like it was beaten by a sack of potatoes.
½ May 21, 2015
Uninteresting-apart from seeing Lindsay Lohan naked-poorly lit, badly and pretentiously directed with stiff dialogues and a boring plot this movie is yet another failed attempt to revive the career of both an actress who is more famous than talented and a director who had one professional success (writing "Taxi Driver") and could't deliver anything of substance ever since.
April 9, 2015
It's not terrible and Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen are actually really decent. The Canyons is just boring. That's the problem. Bret Easton Ellis stories are sometimes just too hard to like because his characters are unsympathetic, depressing low-lifes.
½ March 7, 2015
"The Canyons" | F- | Hiring a midget porn star was a great attempt at disguising Lohan's puffy, surgically-altered face and horrible acting. It almost worked. But there is nothing to disguise Bret Easton Ellis' embarrassingly bad writing or Paul Schrader's laughable direction. Co-producer Lohan should've fired everyone on day one.
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