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Lady in the Water (2006)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 211
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 160

A far-fetched story with little suspense and unconvincing scenarios, Lady In The Water feels contrived, pretentious, and rather silly.


Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 41

A far-fetched story with little suspense and unconvincing scenarios, Lady In The Water feels contrived, pretentious, and rather silly.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 418,715

My Rating

Movie Info

A modest building manager named Cleveland Heep rescues a mysterious young woman from danger and discovers she is actually a narf, a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the treacherous journey from our world back to hers. Cleveland and his fellow tenants start to realize that they are also characters in this bedtime story. As Cleveland falls deeper and deeper in love with the woman, he works together with the tenants to protect his new fragile friend from the deadly creatures

Dec 19, 2006


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Latest News on Lady in the Water

February 5, 2008:
Trailer Bulletin: The Happening
M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening won't reach theaters until June 13, but 20th Century Fox has...
March 30, 2007:
Mark Wahlberg to Star in Shyamalan's "Happening"
Retired rapper and underwear model Mark Wahlberg's cinematic hot streak looks set to continue at...


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All Critics (221) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (160) | DVD (29)

[Perhaps it's] improvised and protracted, nonsensically and unnecessarily, just for the sake of stringing us along. And, maybe, putting us to sleep.

September 13, 2006 Full Review Source: | Comments (5)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What was [Shyamalan] thinking? This isn't just duff, it's career-threatening catastrophic.

August 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

despite the childlike nature of the story, Lady in the Water will prove too confusing for most kids, which is a shame, since they're also the ones most like to greet that giant-eagle business with something other than a derisive laugh.

July 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story is so convoluted and ultimately preposterous that you're almost embarrassed by the earnestness of the actors trying to carry it off.

July 21, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, Shyamalan's stumbling Lady never gives us a reason to believe.

July 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crazy as this might sound, it turns out that self-indulgent ramblings designed to put your children to sleep are pretty much the opposite of art.

July 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once again Shyamalan is a maddening storyteller, by turns inspired and insipid, and he still manages to conjure some odd, unnerving moments.

November 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

Peevishly defensive, intransigently personal and serenely indifferent to critical (and audience) reaction

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)

While the film's performances are intriguing and the direction tight, Shyamalan's fairytale ends up being more interesting than the actual film.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

... to put it bluntly, badly paced and completely trivial, not to mention utterly juvenile.

July 4, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter | Comments (5)

This could have made a decent movie but the mythology comes so thick and fast that it mixes to a slurry as you watch.

June 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

What is most annoying about "Lady" is that no one ever considers the possibility that nothing magical is actually occurring.The film starts out silly and just gets sillier.

April 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Beyond Hollywood | Comments (3)
Beyond Hollywood

While I love where Night's head and heart are at, I think he tried to communicate them in a way that was clumsy, cumbersome, lacking in suspense and menace, and frankly, unexciting.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

Ignore the critics on this movie. Yeah, I am one. Which means I'm telling you to ignore me, too.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

The film is a mess, a ramshackle affair. Its silliness cannot sustain itself.

April 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

It's a fairy tale that never flies the way it should.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: UGO

We get it. We just don't want it. Because this Lady is the Showgirls of fantasy films.

February 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

High on talk-heavy exposition and low on actual scares and thrills . . .

December 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

A return to storytelling in the first order, "Lady in the Water" is highly recommended.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Once the filmmaker spells everything out for us in the first fifteen or twenty minutes, the rest of the plot simply unfolds in a jumbled series of incomprehensible events.

December 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Lady in the Water exposes Hollywood's master of suspense as a wet noodle.

November 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Arts

review in Greek

October 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

El director toca fondo con una fábula para adultos tan ridícula como pretenciosa. Solo Paul Giamatti logra mantener a flote este fiasco.

October 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

It lacks the heart that made you care when you realized Sixth Sense's secret. It lacks the connection with the characters that made Signs' ending feel so triumphant.

September 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

I've not been overly impressed with Shyamalan's last few films, but this one is better.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for Lady in the Water

Offensive for the critics, the director put himself in a role, where he is a future hero for the world that write beautiful things and Bob Balaban's role is a intelligent, but rude critic that have a violent end. Lady in the Water present a charming cast and a interesting script, but become sort of a magic cliche movie.
July 26, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Okay, so this isn't quite the complete and utter failure that I had been led to believe that it was...but still, it is pretty bad. The film is basically a fairy tale bedtime story concerning Cleveland Heep- the superintendent of an apartment complex who discovers a sea nymph who entered into our world through the pool at the apartment cocmplex. She tries to get back to her world, but she's threatened by menacing creatures, and requires help from Cleveland and the various colorful tenants of the building.

Just looking at the broad concept (a supernatural thriller/fairy tale sort of bedtiem story thing) this isn't too bad. It's kinda unique, though the execution of it all is where there's trouble. The specific story itself is a little hokey, the script is atrocious, the cast, while notable, give some really dry, wooden, and downright awful performances, and to top it all off, the jokes suck, the film is unintentionally funny, there's tons of cliches, the bits where the 4th wall is broken really fall flat and induce facepalms, and it's all a bit of a bore and I didn't care too much. Also, Shyamalan really shows his narcissism here, but I won't spoil it by detailing specifics.

But, since I did give it a barely passing grade, that means it's not all bad. LIke I said, good cast, terrible work. The cinematography is quite wonderful (as should be expected), the direction is decent (I've always felt that Shyamalan was a far better director than a writer) but he's been far better, and I do think Howard is pretty, even if she often gets miscast or misdirected.

So yeah, bottom line, this film does mostly live up to its reputation. I liked some aspects of it, but it is essentially a really poor misguided piece of work.
April 11, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

All I keep hearing about director M. Night Shyamalan is that he was phenomenal with his debut, THE SIXTH SENSE, but after that his films began to plunge down an endless slope. I loved THE SIXTH SENSE so much that I couldn't bring myself to believe it. It's one of those times when seeing actually is believing. I fully agree with that statement I've heard all too many times after seeing LADY IN THE WATER, a total disaster.

The first problem with LADY IN THE WATER is the script. It's hard to tell if this was intended to be funny, but I laughed very hard in some parts. Let me give you an example of one of the worst scenes. It's when one of the characters is faced with the dog-like creature. The character is a film critic (is that Shyamalan trying to earn some critical respect?), and he states that it's like a moment out of a horror movie. (Seriously, are you M. Night Shyamalan or Mel Brooks?) He rambles on and on about how it's the moment when the side character is about to be attacked, and that he's going to run through the door behind him and the dog will barely miss him. He has rambled on so much that not only is it incredibly predictable when the dog slaughters him, it's excruciatingly funny.
April 4, 2012

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