The very early word on "The Canyons" has arrived, and save for a positive review from Variety film critic Scott Foundas, Lindsay Lohan's new film has been raked over the coals. Critical notices from The Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire and Screen Daily range from mixed to outright slam pieces.
"Lohan's performance is certainly terrible, but her steady slide started long ago," wrote Eric Kohn for Indiewire, before citing the infamous 2007 Lohan flop "I Know Who Killed Me." "Here, Lohan is as bland and unfocused as the material. During the one scene that allows her [to] degrade her oppressive boyfriend, her robotic delivery freezes the possibilities of bonafide tension (as well as titillation, for whatever that's worth)."
Written by Bret Easton Ellis ("American Psycho") and directed by Paul Schrader (screenwriter of "Taxi Driver" among other films), "The Canyons" follows a ne'er-do-well actor (played by porn star James Deen) who loses a role because of his girlfriend (Lohan) and starts to plot revenge. The movie has been the source of much curiosity, especially since a New York Times profile on the production titled "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie" was published in January. (Lohan's role required both nudity and participation in onscreen sex scenes.)
"It's this sort of non-entertaining, pseudo-arty film that partially is responsible for the shuttered and abandoned movie theaters that symbolically adorn the opening and closing credits," wrote Todd McCarthy for THR. For his part, McCarthy found Lohan's performance "OK but unexceptional." Those words were echoed by John Hazelton over at Screen Daily, who noted that Lohan is "more than believable."
Only Foundas has really connected with the work thus far. The critic wrote that Schrader's film acts as an indictment on the film industry, while also providing Lohan with her juiciest role in some time -- especially in comparison with her cast mates:
The major exception 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. Whenever she’s onscreen, she projects a sense of just barely holding on to that precarious slide area in the shadow of the Hollywood sign.
Lohan, who is in the midst of a court-ordered rehab stint, was so pleased with Foundas' review that she tweeted it out on Sunday.
— Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) July 28, 2013
The actress did not comment on the other reviews. "The Canyons" is out on VOD on Aug. 2.