Box art for Behind the Candelabra

Behind the Candelabra


Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star in this HBO Films production that recounts show-biz icon Liberace's tempestuous five-year relationship with a young live-in lover. Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Rob Lowe and Debbie Reynolds co-star.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It's both a romp and uncomfortably real.

- Dave Calhoun, Time Out, Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fresh: This is one of the strangest and strongest TV movies in memory.

- David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer, Monday, May 27, 2013

Fresh: There's never a sense Douglas or director Steven Soderbergh is after a caricature, but there's still the sense that we sometimes get one.

- David Hinckley, New York Daily News, Friday, May 24, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Soderbergh is one of the worst directors to tackle a love story, but the countless oddities, the fabulous glitz, and the stunning performances are hypnotic.

- fb100001581602053, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3 stars

I usually skip the made for tv movies. But when a movie stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas and it's on HBO, it's worth a watch. "Behind the Candelabra" is the story of Liberace(Douglas) and his relationship with the much younger Scott(Damon). It's about how the Liberace imposes his lavish lifestyle onto Scott. From showering him with money and jewelery, to forcing him into plastic surgery. Then, it plays out how it all crashed down and Scott's attempt to get palimony before Liberace's death in the 80s. Douglas is absolutely amazing, and this is probably the best performance he has ever done. Never once do you go "Man, Douglas does a great Liberace." Instead you really believe you are watching Liberace. Damon does good, but he is overshadowed by Douglas. Rob Lowe plays a plastic surgeon who works on them both and has had too much done himself. Lowe is awesome and should be considered for Supporting nominations when it comes to awards. This is probably the gayest movie I've ever seen, and I've watched and liked "Brokeback Mountain". So if homosexual's make you uncomfortable, or if your homophobic, then you should pass on this. Otherwise, you should check it out for a fascinating look at one of the most polarizing figures in music history.

- fb100000145236770, Monday, May 27, 2013

4 stars

Matt Damon's performance deserves to win awards, and Michael Douglas' as Liberace should even more so. It feels nothing like a TV movie, it's very cinematic and stylish. Great cinematography and music as well. The ending is an emotional and bravura ending, the best I've seen in quite some time. It's the type of ending that would get a standing ovation. The only issue I had with this film was that it dragged on a bit in the middle. Still, it's totally worth seeing, mainly for the wildly great performances it's perfection of an ending. Brilliant.

- fb1350754613, Saturday, July 13, 2013