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The Canyons (2013)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  2 August 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.9/10 from 7,984 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 83 user | 159 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence.


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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan (as Nolan Funk)
Dr. Campbell
Hoodie Guy
Chris Zeischegg ...
Erik (as Phil Pavel)
Lily Labeau ...
Young Hot Girl
Thomas Trussell ...
Young Hot Guy


When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not the hills.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including graphic nudity, language throughout, a bloody crime scene and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 August 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amartia  »

Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,351 (USA) (2 August 2013)


$49,494 (USA) (23 August 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On Bret Easton Ellis' Podcast, he claims to now have a new appreciation of the film, saying he had trouble at first accepting Paul Schrader's vision of his material, but in the end, has come to an understanding over his reservations during the creative process. He also openly praises Lindsay Lohan's performance, calling it "searing," and blames the film's perceived 'failures' on Lohan's reputation in the media, which has nothing to do about the film's quality or her performance in the film. He continued with saying he believes the film to have ended up as being a success both creatively and financially for all those involved. He concludes with saying he is very proud of the final product. See more »


When Ryan comes upon Cynthia stabbed to death in her apartment, the camera does a slow close-up pan across her "corpse" in which the actress's pulse is clearly visible in her neck. See more »


Ryan: Don't worry, baby. It'll be alright. It'll be okay.
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Love, French, Better
Performed By Gold Zebra
Written By Jean-Phillippe Richard & Julie LaFontaine
Courtesy of Visage Musique
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great movie, typical Ellis - detached and cruel
4 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think that a lot of the criticism of "The Canyons" is missing the point. All of Ellis' stories have a detached quality in them which makes them hard for audiences to relate to, especially on screen. They seem "unreal".

A constant theme in Ellis' work is the existential "ennui", the boredom and emptiness of life, the absence of deeper meaning. His main characters feel that something is missing, but they can't pinpoint what it is. As an audience, we know what they are missing - connection with themselves and others, and genuine emotion. This is why there is so much disconnect between the protagonists and the viewers.

It may be that the choice of Hollywood as a backdrop for this display of existential emptiness is an unlucky one because few people can relate to wealthy Hollywood life on a personal level.

However, I applaud the filmmakers for at least having the guts to try. The people in this movie are all choosing materialism over personal connection, and mechanical sex instead of intimacy, an orgasm is for them a reflex just like sneezing. Neither money, sex, nor social status provide happiness for those who get it in abundance; only those who don't have it in abundance think they will bring happiness. The values that popular culture upholds are devoid of value.

In addition, I think James Deen does a perfect job playing a narcissistic, controlling, emotionally empty vessel on the verge of snapping, and Lindsay Lohan (this is her first movie I've seen, and given the bad press, I'm positively surprised) does a great job playing a woman despairing from choosing hell in physical luxury, while starving emotionally.

62 of 101 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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is this film actually a 4/10 or is it receieving hate for other reasons? girlongoing
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The phone plot-hole terino
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