Critics have been sharpening their knives for months in anticipation of Liz & Dick, the Lindsay Lohan-starring biopic of Elizabeth Taylor that premiered on Lifetime Sunday night. But not even the most pessimistic among us expected reviews of the TV movie, which chronicles Taylor's multiple turbulent marriages to Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? co-star Richard Burton, to be this bad. From the cheap-looking production to the hammy script to Lohan's disastrous performance, critics are gleefully piling on in their savage reviews. Here, six devastating takedowns of Liz & Dick:
1. A "well-timed candidate for the TV Turkey Hall of Fame"
"Even deep breaths seem too much to ask of Lindsay Lohan these days, let alone capturing the essence of an exotic film goddess who reigned for years as a superstar sex symbol," says Matt Roush at TV Guide. "The most authentic moment occurs when Liz informs Dick, 'I can't tell you a thing about acting.' Tell us something we don't know. And later, during one of the many tantrums and benders that constitute a story line, Liz cries, 'I'm a joke!' The joke is on anyone who tunes in hoping for a memorable TV train wreck."
2. "Custom-made for the curious custom of hate-watching"
"Liz & Dick arrives on the small screen with a giant 'kick me' sign rooted both in Lohan's tabloid infamy and the sad overreaching of trying to chronicle an epic love affair that unfolded across continents and decades on a tiny television movie budget," says Nathan Rabin at The AV Club. "It's a testament to how badly Liz & Dick misses the mark that Taylor receiving news of Burton's death inspires the film's biggest unintentional guffaws. At least the actor has the release of being put out of his misery, a fate that should have befallen this misbegotten vanity project before shooting even began."
3. "Brings Lifetime to a new low"
"Lohan portrays Taylor as a childish brat, like a teenager playing dress-up in her mother's furs and jewels," says Jill O'Rourke at Crushable. "It was reported that Megan Fox was also considered for the role of Taylor. After watching Lohan's portrayal, I would love to see Fox take on the role. For that matter, I think they could have just given Grant Bowler [who plays Burton] a brunette wig, violet contacts and a beauty mark, and he could have played both roles. It still would probably have been better than what we got."
4. "A peculiar, drab, damp little TV-movie"
"When she opens her mouth, Lohan doesn't speak in the high-register, almost girlish voice that Taylor was using well into her 20s — instead, we heard the raspy rattle familiar to anyone who's seen Lohan on TMZ or in the ABC Family movie Labor Pains," says Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly. "No effort seems to have gone into Lohan's preparation other than to have her eyes tinted Liz-violet."
5. "An instant classic of unintentional hilarity"
"By the time Lohan is playing mid-'80s Taylor and it looks like a lost Saturday Night Live skit, your body may be cramped by convulsions," says Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter. "Lohan as Taylor was a bad idea in the dramatic sense, but it's pure genius both for marketing and for belly laughs and drinking games."
6. "A cheap-looking, exploitative movie"
"Liz & Dick is is badly paced, cheap-looking and encrusted with a tinkly, preposterous soundtrack that is designed to make viewers go insane," says Maureen Ryan at The Huffington Post. "There is drinking game fun to be had here, but that's all Liz & Dick really offers. Please, don't drink every time one half of the lead duo downs some vodka or every time Lohan provides an absolutely affectless line delivery — I don't want to be responsible for any deaths by alcohol poisoning."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)
- If Scotland leaves the union, is Northern Ireland next?
- Will the Higgs Boson destroy the universe in a cosmic death bubble?
Subscribe to the Week