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Lady in the Water Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… convoluted, weird and silly. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 10

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This cloying piece of claptrap sets a high-water mark for pomposity, condescension, false profundity and true turgidity -- no small accomplishment for the man whose last two features were the deadly duo "Signs" and "The Village."

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Shyamalan's most alienating and self-absorbed project to date.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The character played by lead Paul Giamatti is a dead-on Shyamalan protagonist: emotionally distanced and something of a train wreck.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Shyamalan does project genuine menace and suspense into this mundane location, especially in nighttime scenes. But the magic that would transport you from reality into fantasy is missing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Lady in the Water reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

More soggy than scary. Still, not for youngsters.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie features a fierce dog-like creature most often indicated by shadows or red lights (his eyes). His attacks (he crashes through glass, drags off a girl, and kills a character) are rendered in quick cuts, hectic camera movements, and victims' screams. The creature is eventually ripped apart by monkey-like creatures in another dark, loud, and chaotic scene. The film includes a couple of jump scenes. A few characters smoke cigarettes.

  • Families can talk about Heep's dedication to figuring out the story/puzzle, as this shows his generosity as well as his need to work through his own past trauma. How does Story inspire Heep and the other tenants? How do the diverse characters work together toward a common goal? How does Story's story become everyone's?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Disparate apartment dwellers work together to help a nymph-like girl return to her storybook home.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Monstrous, wolflike CGIed dog (covered in grass, with red eyes and big fangs) attacks and drags off Story, and ferociously kills a character (in briefly violent images and cuts).

  • sex false0

    Sex: Story's nakedness is mostly out of frame; Anna calls Heep a "player."

  • language false0

    Language: Minor profanity ("ass," "damn").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: "Slackers" in apartment complex smoke cigarettes even though it's against the rules (they keep a heaping ashtray outside their door).