Critics Consensus

Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard do their best with the material, but Lovelace lacks enough depth and conviction to truly do its fascinating subject justice.



Total Count: 129


Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,365
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Movie Info

In 1972-before the internet, before the porn explosion-Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the highlife when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation-less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world-and herself as the survivor of a far darker story. (c) TWC-Radius


Amanda Seyfried
as Linda Boreman/Lovelace/Marchiano
Peter Sarsgaard
as Chuck Traynor
Hank Azaria
as Gerry Damiano
Sharon Stone
as Dorothy Boreman
Robert Patrick
as John Boreman
Bobby Cannavale
as Butchie Peraino
Adam Brody
as Harry Reems
Chloë Sevigny
as Female Journalist
James Franco
as Hugh Hefner
Wes Bentley
as Thomas - Photographer
Eric Roberts
as Nat Laurendi
Ronald Pritchard
as Sammy Davis, Jr.
Frank Clem
as Moonlight Roller Rink Manager
Chris Noth
as Anthony Romano
Carrick Moore Gerety
as Moonlight Roller Rink Band
Austin Williams
as Moonlight Roller Rink Band
Trevor Faris
as Moonlight Roller Rink Band
Gaston Willig
as Beach Hippy Guitar Player
Brian Gattas
as Robert - Deep Throat Sound Man
Cory Hardrict
as Frankie Crocker
Peter Asle Holden
as Alex - Medical Salesman
Sofia Karstens
as Piano Singer
Don R. McManus
as Arty Shapiro
Adam Tomei
as LA Sheriff #1
Lou Richards
as Senator Specter
Sandy Martin
as Ticket Lady
Lauren Fray
as Playmate
Nicole Andrews
as Sexy Nurse
Kristian Lupo
as Anthony's Goon
Arthur Eric Hunter
as Keith - Long Haired Guy
Shira Vilensky
as Hippy Girl
Soumaya Akaaboune
as Feminist #1
Simona Williams
as Feminist #2
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News & Interviews for Lovelace

Critic Reviews for Lovelace

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (60)

  • Seyfried, with her huge features crowding her small face, looks like Alice in a very strange Wonderland. But whatever possibilities she may have as an actress are eradicated by the filmmakers ...

    Sep 2, 2013

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • One thing's for sure: this exposé ain't deep.

    Aug 23, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Moralising anti-porn tract rather than ambiguous life story of a true enigma.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Lovelace may be a little contrived and unoriginal as drama, but it's a useful exercise in de-sentimentalisation.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Linda's feelings are rarely revealed: that's left to the gloomy final act, which feels more like a guilt-inducing postscript than a genuine reveal.

    Aug 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Anna Smith

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • "Lovelace" becomes too distracted by industry politics and the cultural context of the film's release to provide more than a snapshot of her life either before or after she stepped in front of a camera.

    Aug 16, 2013 | Full Review…

    Todd Gilchrist

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Lovelace

  • Jan 26, 2017
    I did not know that Lovelace's story, especially her involvement with the classic porn film Deep Throat, was such a tragic story of naivety and abuse. Seyfriend entirely disappears behind her wig and make up here, giving a pretty damn convincing performance. The writing and direction could have been a little more stringent, though, making it a somewhat uneven movie. People hoping for big sex scenes will not get much out of it either.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2014
    Linda Lovelace's special talent propels her to stardom as she hobnobs with high culture, but her abusive husband casts a pall on the seventies era fun. This film is structured oddly. During the first hour or so, it delights in all the sex, fashion, sex, riches, and sex, and while it isn't nearly as seductive as Boogie Nights or as a wild as The Wolf of Wall Street, Amanda Seyfried's doe eyes certainly make it attractive. The second hour is dedicated to making us feel guilty about having fun. As a result the film becomes a reproach of the porn industry. This is fine, but the structure of the film seems aggressive and didactic. Peter Sarsgaard is actually bad. It's shocking, but his Ike Turner impression is cliched and without depth. Amanda Seyfried is perfect for Lovelace, but the film doesn't give her much to play with. She is allowed to be sexy, and she is; she is allowed to be a victim, and she is; she is allowed to be triumphant, and she is. But the beats between these transitions aren't fully explored. Overall, this film had a lot of potential, but it doesn't live up to it.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2014
    The most interesting thing in this solid biopic is how it shows us one side of Linda Lovelace's life and then subverts it to reveal the real dark truth behind all that we are witnessing, becoming a touching drama about a terribly unlucky woman caught in a very sad life.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2014
    Ah, finally, we are experiencing the story of noblewoman Ada Lovelace, and how her innovate mathematic abilities would go on to influence computer programming as we know it. Jokes aside, this biopic's actual subject matter isn't exactly as tasteful as you might expect, based on the fact that it's a low-profile independent film. Well, "Boogie Nights" was a pretty effective drama, but then again, I don't know how artistically seriously they're taking this project, because, wow, its cast is so bloated with [u]actual[/u] movie stars that it may as well be considered a major commercial project. Hey, the film didn't cost but about $10 million, so some would argue that these mainstreams took this project because they believed in it on artistic level, but they clearly saved some money thanks to the fact that Sharon Stone, Wes Bentley and Eric Roberts are so eager to just remind people that they're still alive that Stone and Roberts both just starred in the DVD films "Border Run" and "A Talking Cat!?!", respectively, - if you want to use a derivate of "respect" when referring to Sharon Stone's and Eric Roberts' recent career moves - with Bentley playing a minor role in "The Hunger Games". Shoot, come to think of it, it's not like the still-relevant members of this film's star-studded cast have been consistent in doing respectable films, but hey, if this film stars Amanda Seyfried, and if art films are often considered an excuse for actresses to get naked, then for all I care, you can call this the American adaptation of the dramatic, French-language Cannes Film Festival entry "The Pornographer". Oh hey, I guess you can make a hyper-artistic film about the adult film industry, and I really do stress "I guess", because like most people, I didn't see "The Pornographer", although I did see this film, which is probably going to be about as seen as "The Pornographer". Suit yourself, fellas, because you're missing out, both on Amanda Seyfried as a woman who is legendary for professionally getting into explicit situations, as well as on a pretty decent film, if you can get past plenty of problems. Sure, this story is recognizable, not only because it's based on relatively well-known true events, but because subject matter of this nature has been tackled by plenty of films in the past, and yet, I can't help but feel as though this particular film stands to associate you with its subject matter more, slapdashing through potential expositorily (That's a word, right?) rich segments in its narrative, or at least underplaying characterization. There's only so much attention being put into fleshing out this character study, and while there are enough well-rounded areas for this film to not feel awkwardly rushed, the final product is still about as distancingly undercooked as, of all things, distancingly draggy. Andy Bellin's script goes tainted by some meandering, if not repetitious excesses in material, if not filler, leaving pacing to often go limp on paper, alone, until it finds itself brought to a crawl by atmospheric dry spells. Directors Rob Epstein's and Jeffrey Friedman's thoughtful storytelling has some pretty effective moments behind it, but generally speaking, it simply has a tendency to get a touch too thoughtful for its own good, to where the film is rendered, not so much dull, but lacking in flavor, making it easier to detect the familiarity that further blands things up. Again, this story, in spite of limitations to flesh-out, is recognizable, and too much so, as Linda Lovelace's story is a pretty traditional one, made to feel more formulaic by a blandly conventional plotting structure which reflects laziness through inspiration. Conviction is here, but it's limited, because no matter how hard the film tries in some places, in too many other places, inconsistencies in pacing and formulaic plotting are enough to defuse much of the intrigue out of this promising project, until is falls as rather bland, under-inspired and, well, forgettable. It's certainly not the "Boogie Nights" companion piece that one might expect it to be, but it still proves to quite enjoyable with its meeting every misstep with some inspiration, at least in the selling of this subject matter's notable setting. The soundtrack, of course, plays a literally and figuratively "instrumental" role in selling this effort, delivering on some delightful '70s pop classics that aren't too clichéd, and capture the style of the era primarily covered in this period piece about as much art direction which delivers on distinctly 1970s set and costume designs. Even visual style helps in selling this film's setting, as Eric Alan Edwards' cinematography all but nails the low-budget '70s grime to its definition, polished by well-defined modernist tastes in lighting, thus making for a refreshing visual style that is both handsome and fitting. Now, style isn't all that terribly sharp, but it is sharp enough to sell this effort's distinguished setting, and that, alone, does a lot to reflect a degree of conviction which brings life to this subject matter's very much, at least conceptually, present intrigue. Again, this film's story concept is too familiar, and not just because it's based on a true story, but it's genuinely interesting, with potential as an exploration of the human depths of various people involved in a sleazy, dehumanizing business that finds itself done a degree of justice by a flawed script by Andy Bellin whose characterization has genuine areas for every undercooked area, enhanced by some thoughtfulness to direction by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Storytelling is kind of limp in one too many places for comfort, but that's likely simply because of a lack of filmmaking experience for Bellin, Epstein and Friedman, rather than a lack of inspiration, as a sense of ambition rarely abates in the midst of the cold spells in storytelling, and it's often matched by true inspiration, especially on the screen. Material is limited, as you can imagine, but most every member of this surprisingly star-studded cast convinces, and that especially goes for the leads, with Peter Sarsgaard stealing the show in his excellently subtly layered, piercingly intense portrayal of the sleazily charismatic, but disturbed Chuck Traynor, Linda Lovelace's brutal husband and pusher, while the beautiful Amanda Seyfried unveils a potential as a talent that she has rarely flaunted before through the capturing of the vulnerability of Lovelace, and how it leaves innocence to dissipate as the pornographic legend plummets, if you will, "deeper" into fame and filth. Seyfried might not be quite as impressive as Sarsgaard, but she and her antagonistic partner both carry the film, though not by themselves, for although the storytelling isn't as consistent as it should be, given the potential of this subject matter, there's enough inspiration on and off of the screen to make the final product a decent one, with very compelling moments, limited though they may be. In conclusion, inconsistencies in pacing leave the film to either brush through or drag along its subject matter, which is also approached too formulaically for potential to be explored enough for the final product to come close to truly rewarding, but through a solid soundtrack and visual style which capture the '70s era, a reasonably well-characterized script, often thoughtful direction, and a pair of compelling performances by Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried, "Lovelace" stands as a flawed, but endearing study on the success and struggles of one of the adult industry's most influential figures. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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