• R, 1 hr. 37 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Liz W. Garcia
    In Theaters:
    Aug 30, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 8, 2013
  • Screen Media Films


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The Lifeguard Reviews

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Matt Shiverdecker
Paste Magazine

The Lifeguard sadly drowns in its own clichés.

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 5.5/10

August 29, 2013
Sheila O'Malley

"The Lifeguard" is hemmed in by vagueness and cliche, and nearly ruined by its soundtrack, an insistent barrage of thematically obvious alt-radio music cues.

Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com | Original Score: 2/4

September 2, 2013
Jamie S. Rich

Bell gives a strong performance, eschewing her own perky persona to navigate the melancholia, but the script's conclusion fails to go as deep as the heavy lead-in requires.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: 3/5

August 29, 2013
Jeff Beck

What the film desperately needed was some originality.

Full Review Source: Examiner.com | Original Score: 2/4

August 29, 2013
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell's frustration within the first five minutes, the movie continually reiterates it.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C-

August 29, 2013
Eric Hynes
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As listless and self-regarding as its protagonist, flitting among underdeveloped characters and subplots and indulging in rote emo shots by the pool, yet never figuring out how to dive into the deep end.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 1/5

August 27, 2013
Jordan Hoffman
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is, and there's no point in mincing words now, awful.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: D

January 30, 2013
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru

Solid performances can't save the undercooked, shallow, overly simplistic screenplay.

Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru | Original Score: 5.0/10

August 29, 2013
Nicolas Rapold
New York Times
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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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

August 29, 2013
Brian Orndorf

The fit's a little loose, but Bell reveals impressive range with this challenging role, helping to snap writer/director Liz W. Garcia out of the fog of absurdity she seems determine to remain in.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: D+

August 28, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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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 Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1/4

August 30, 2013
Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] In spite of its ragged edges, "The Lifeguard" captures an essence of alienation in America whose future resembles a dark abyss, rather than anything bright.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: C

August 26, 2013
S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Drama is short on story, long on illicit romance.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 2/5

September 3, 2013
Justin Lowe
Hollywood Reporter
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Not even a checklist of indie film attributes can inject a sense of originality into this familiar narrative.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

January 22, 2013
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness

With apologies to Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again; The Lifeguard just proves that sometimes it's not the best course of action.

Full Review Source: Shared Darkness | Original Score: C

August 30, 2013
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews

a tale of arrested development that strains credulity to an overly literal soundtrack.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: C-

August 28, 2013
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

Apparently it's hard to be a grownup in today's crazy world without committing consequence-free statutory rape. Ugh.

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher

August 29, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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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 Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 29, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The movie really depends on Bell, and her story, and neither is interesting or compelling enough to engage us.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 30, 2013
Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve

Even if it had the courage of its convictions, The Lifeguard would still be hampered by its commitment to cliché.

Full Review Source: The Dissolve | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 6, 2013
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