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The Canyons (2013)

1:12 | Trailer
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.


Paul Schrader
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lindsay Lohan ... Tara
James Deen ... Christian
Nolan Gerard Funk ... Ryan (as Nolan Funk)
Amanda Brooks ... Gina
Tenille Houston ... Cynthia
Gus Van Sant ... Dr. Campbell
Jarod Einsohn ... Hoodie Guy
Danny Wylde ... Reed (as Chris Zeischegg)
Victor of Aquitaine ... Randall
Jim Boeven ... Jon
Philip Pavel ... Erik (as Phil Pavel)
Lily LaBeau ... Young Hot Girl (as Lily Labeau)
Thomas Trussell Thomas Trussell ... Young Hot Guy
Alex Ashbaugh ... David
Chris Schellenger ... Jaden


Christian kinda-sorta uses his family money to produce movies by day; by night, he arranges three-ways with his girlfriend Tara at his minimalist Malibu mansion with just a few taps on his smartphone. He is about to start production on a low-budget slasher flick in New Mexico starring Ryan, the blandly handsome boyfriend of his assistant, the blandly pretty Gina. But unbeknownst to him, Tara was involved with Ryan a few years ago-and has started up an affair with him again. Christian, meanwhile, is having a fling on the side with the blandly pretty Cynthia, a yoga instructor who used to take acting classes with Ryan. Ryan, meanwhile, gets hit on left and right by pseudo-connected Hollywood types. Written by lament

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:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site





Release Date:

2 August 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Canyons See more »


Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,351, 4 August 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was first submitted to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, but rejected because of unspecified "quality issues" according to an anonymous member of the selection team, that spoke with the media. This breach of confidentiality is highly unusual for a film festival and was strongly criticized by director Paul Schrader, because it damaged the festival career of his film, which was then also rejected by the SXSW Film Festival, probably because they didn't want to be seen as a second-rate festival taking leftovers. Schrader received an apology by Sundance, but the damage through the American media reports was already done. Fortunately, there was far more interest by prestigious film festivals in Europe, where Schrader still has a strong reputation as an 'auteur'. Schrader said, that his film had been invited into the competition of the 66th Locarno International Film Festival (in early Aug. 2013), but he decided that a European premiere out of competition at the much bigger 70th Venice International Film Festival (in late Aug. 2013) would be better for the film's promotion. 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.
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Alternate Versions

Two versions of the film are available: a rated and "unrated director's cut". The unrated version features about a minute of additional footage edited from the rated version. A sex scene at the beginning of the film, which featured the characters of Tara, Christian, and Reid, had to have cuts made to meet the content standards of iTunes. Thus the shots of Reid indulging in masturbation had to go, since they were unsimulated, unlike the other sexual content shown in the film. See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


February Blues
Written by Christopher Porpora
Performed by Cheval Sombre
Courtesy of Sonic Cathedral Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It's worth at least one viewing.
4 August 2013 | by momentfilms-1See all my reviews

I was eager to see 'The Canyons' because of Paul Schrader, Brett Easton Ellis directing and writing respectively, and Lindsay Lohan as the lead. I'm not a LiLo fanatic by any means, but I have always thought that given the right script and director she would be primed for a comeback. And if she can clean up her personal life then maybe she deserves one. The film for me was neither horrible nor far from perfect. The movie opens with scenes of boarded up movie theaters's, and I don't quite get the symbolism there since Hollywood seems alive and well. It is puzzling to me though that the Schrader/Ellis team had to go the Kickstarter route to raise a minute $250,000 for the budget. As you probably know, the film center's around two couples- a trust fund 'doucebag' named Christian who hasn't even read the script for the movie he is helping fund and Lohan as his girlfriend Tara, and unknown to Christian, Tara's ex Ryan, who is now dating Christian's assistant. Ryan has also been cast as the lead in the movie, and he and Tara are still hooking up. You would think Christian wouldn't be jealous of Tara's sex life since he constantly invites strange men and women into their bedroom, but of course he is. He suspects Tara is sleeping with Ryan, and things spiral out of control from there. Much has and will be said about the sex scene's in the film, but for me what really worked was Lohan's performance. You can sense that the actress knows her career is in trouble, and when she talks about needing to be taken care of, and not wanting to go back to being poor, you start to wonder where the acting stops and her real life begins. The movie isn't perfect, and the performances are flawed. I'm not at all happy with the ending, but I still think it's worth watching.

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