The Lifeguard (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Lifeguard (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Lifeguard Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Leigh, almost 30, is living a seemingly perfect life in New York. But when her career and love life both come crashing down, she flees to her suburban hometown and regresses right back into high school life. Picking up right where her teen halcyon days left off, she moves into her old room with her parents, hangs out with friends who never left town, and reclaims her high school job as a condo-complex lifeguard. But as Leigh enjoys shirking off adult life and responsibilities, and enters into an illicit affair, she begins a chain reaction that affects those closest to her. (c) Screen Media and Focus Worldmore
Rating: R (for strong sexuality, brief graphic nudity, drug use, language and a disturbing image - some involving teens)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Liz W. Garcia
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 8, 2013
Screen Media Films - Official Site


Amy Madigan
as Justine
David Lambert
as Little Jason
John Finn
as Big Jason
Mike Landry
as Officer Miller
Tom Kondilas
as Officer Federici
Anthony Marino
as Scrappy Kid - Aaron
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Lifeguard

Critic Reviews for The Lifeguard

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (12)

Although writer-director Liz W. Garcia's wistful, angsty tale treads familiar ground, the filmmaker has crafted a credibly flawed and conflicted heroine who holds interest.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The central character simply comes across as whiny and entitled instead of troubled and dark, and the central theme of getting your groove back by acting like a kid again has been done many times by much more talented filmmakers.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

The movie really depends on Bell, and her story, and neither is interesting or compelling enough to engage us.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

This directorial debut by Liz W. Garcia, a writer for television, bears some echoes of its creator's origins, going from deft to trite in its drama and setting up character arcs that feel sappily resolved within its feature length.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie's being billed in some quarters as a comedy, which is a hell of a stretch given that the plot expands to take in statutory rape and teen suicide.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

This sorrowful, achingly wise little drama has a lot to say about the dangers of hanging on to youth at all costs.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lifeguard


The central character, Leigh (Bell), is a selfish, disgusting, pedophilic person whose narrative isn't all that interesting or valid. She says she's lost in her life and needs to be grounded in her childhood job and home, but instead of finding herself, she simply gives up her life in the city because she's thoughtless. It's fine to misstep and take time off, but she doesn't come home to reflect and get along with her parents. Contrary to this supposed storyline, Leigh disrespects her parents, takes up with a sixteen year old kid, drags her friends into her wormhole of horribleness, and acts out like a teenager. The entire film is gross in its lovelorn depictions of the affair between Leigh and a teenager (Lambert), who she manipulates throughout the course of the film. She nearly ruins her friend's (Gummer) marriage and makes her other friend (Starr) feel like a horrible human being. The ending doesn't have Leigh understand her missteps and rectify the situation, but abandon her victims and flee elsewhere. This is a seriously screwed up film, if indeed it's trying to make the main character seem emotionally sound.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

This Summer Growing Up is Optional.

Good movie! The film is only exiting and exhilarating if you know before hand what Statutory Rape is and what are the consequences if you were to engage in this illicit act. In Connecticut, the legal consequence for statutory rape is prison for 10 to 20 years. Here in Florida is even worse. It means to be a registered as a sex offender for the rest of your life and not being able to live within a 3 mile radius of a High School, park or where children play. To find a place like that here in South Florida, you would have to move under a Highway and close to the Everglades swamps. Though a decidedly darker film than one would expect, tragic moments are often interrupted by a certain lightness that, in the film's conclusion, allows the audience to hope for our protagonists' future. This is definitely a film worth watching, if simply for the experience of becoming invested in this deeply character-driven story.

A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

three stars

MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

The Lifeguard Quotes

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