Lady in the Water

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6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 402 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 7, 2016
    2
    M. Night Shyamalan returns again to direct another film and this time, we're going to the water to find the Lady in the Water. This seems to be a simple project for the entire movie cast to see where Shyamalan might live for the rest of his eternity no matter dead or alive.
  2. Jan 5, 2016
    5
    Eh, Lady in the Water feels better than this, but this rating also feels a tad generous. I do not really know. On the surface, the story is incredibly dumb, many things occur that are incredibly far-fetched, and the film even (ironically, but stupidly) explains itself and story structure. The characterization is odd and people are far to willing to accept that this sea nymph stuff isEh, Lady in the Water feels better than this, but this rating also feels a tad generous. I do not really know. On the surface, the story is incredibly dumb, many things occur that are incredibly far-fetched, and the film even (ironically, but stupidly) explains itself and story structure. The characterization is odd and people are far to willing to accept that this sea nymph stuff is legit. However, if you look at as a fable, it does come together better and makes you suspend some of that belief. Even better, it really makes you feel something and has a great message in it. However, some of the character actions are incredibly dumb. I think critics took this one purposely due to the characterization the critic, so I feel as though their reactions were a little too harsh, but Lady in the Water certainly stops short of being good, even though I wish it was better. Expand
  3. Oct 5, 2015
    5
    While not necessarily a BAD movie, there are certain elements in Lady in the Water which work fine, but there are a lot which don't. Although coupled with good performances and a fairly original tale, the movie starts to become slightly ridiculous and all over the place.
  4. Sep 29, 2015
    7
    We all know that M. Night Shyamalan's career started plummeting at a certain point but he gets unfairly criticised for movies like this. I mean sure, it's a bit silly but it's also intruiging. Paul Giamatti was brilliant as usual and Bryce Dallas Howard was really good too. My biggest complaint was that there's this character who only works out one half of his body (so one arm is moreWe all know that M. Night Shyamalan's career started plummeting at a certain point but he gets unfairly criticised for movies like this. I mean sure, it's a bit silly but it's also intruiging. Paul Giamatti was brilliant as usual and Bryce Dallas Howard was really good too. My biggest complaint was that there's this character who only works out one half of his body (so one arm is more muscular than the other) and while the character isn't forgotten or anything, you'd expect that detail to come in important. But still, it was an interesting movie, definitely better than some of the Shyamalan disasters. Expand
  5. Aug 26, 2015
    9
    Who cares if the story is fleshed out or Shyamalan's Greek-mythology bed time story is confusing, but "Lady In The Water" is mystical, magical and peaceful also scary, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan keeps us interested into the characters and the Greek-mythology, be glad he didn't make the film boring. A building manager Cleveland Heep (played by Paul Giamatti) rescues a woman namedWho cares if the story is fleshed out or Shyamalan's Greek-mythology bed time story is confusing, but "Lady In The Water" is mystical, magical and peaceful also scary, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan keeps us interested into the characters and the Greek-mythology, be glad he didn't make the film boring. A building manager Cleveland Heep (played by Paul Giamatti) rescues a woman named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) from danger he discovers she is a narf a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make a treacherous journey from our world back into hers. Cleveland and his tenants discover that they are also characters in the bedtime story. Cleveland starts to fall in love with her he works together with his tenants to protect her from deadly creatures called "Scrunt" from preventing Story to go home to the "Blue World." WARNING: This isn't a family film. It's cliche'd and the story is silly but who cares, but this is Shyamalan's biggest ample imagination I have ever seen. Maybe this isn't Giamatti's best work but he and Howard did tried and that's all the credit I can give them. This fantasy film is magnificent and striking. Grade A- Expand
  6. Jun 8, 2014
    6
    I don't know what kind of mind set was the director on when writing the script but he must have been way over his head...

    There are many things here that don't click together: i mean, there are some memorable character traits and the directing is actually competent, but the whole movie is stuck in it's own state of mind that is hard to fully sympathize with the circumstances, for
    I don't know what kind of mind set was the director on when writing the script but he must have been way over his head...

    There are many things here that don't click together: i mean, there are some memorable character traits and the directing is actually competent, but the whole movie is stuck in it's own state of mind that is hard to fully sympathize with the circumstances, for example: why prolong the movie with unneeded conversations? they pretty much add nothing to the film, that doesn't classify has "character development", why all the weird editing and camera positions? they just make the movie silly to watch and what's up with shyamalan casting himself has the choose one? is he pretending to be the best? is he trolling us...?

    The movie is memorable, has a nice soundtrack and the directing effort is where it counts, with it's actors who all do a good job in my opinion... however I can't help but scratch my head at all the weird choices and ridiculous style that make the movie more off a comedy than anything else. I can at least say that the movie made me watch it until the end and I can appreciate that the director wanted to break the common rules of storytelling.
    Expand
  7. Apr 19, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I consider it a minor miracle I actually stayed awake for the entirety of this movie. Questions arise within the viewer that M. Night never seemed to consider: Why does the eagle-creature not come earlier in the story? Do these Scrunts prey upon its kind? Wherefore the negligible character development? Why and how does the kid engage in divination with **** cereal boxes? And of course, why did M. Night cast himself as the indirect savior of humanity? I’ll come clean: I had never actually seen any of his other movies before this one, so I’m rating all his other films more cautiously as a rule.

    The correct adjective for this would be SOPORIFIC.

    I would give this movie 1/10 only, but it does get an extra point for predicting America’s future president as being a Midwestern orator, and two years and change after this movie was released, guess who…
    Expand
  8. Jul 10, 2013
    6
    No question this film is the start of a drop off for Shyamalan, but call me crazy I still enjoy watching this film as a ridiculous, bizzare, and overall nonsensical bit of fun.
  9. Mar 9, 2013
    0
    This film should be retitled "Forgetting M. Night Shyamalan."
  10. Feb 24, 2013
    7
    OK, what kind of drugs is M. Night Shyamalan on and how can I get some!? This is one weird, tripped out movie! Overall it's was good, but just very very weird. It has Shyamalan's typical, dark, methodical, presence, as well as his unique brand of humor. What's not typical thou is this story. I don't give spoilers, so let's just say the whole movie I was either saying WTF?!?! or WOW that'sOK, what kind of drugs is M. Night Shyamalan on and how can I get some!? This is one weird, tripped out movie! Overall it's was good, but just very very weird. It has Shyamalan's typical, dark, methodical, presence, as well as his unique brand of humor. What's not typical thou is this story. I don't give spoilers, so let's just say the whole movie I was either saying WTF?!?! or WOW that's cool! It's a strange one, but unique and imaginative. It took me a little while to figure out, but ultimately I decided, I liked it! Expand
  11. Aug 17, 2012
    0
    I've said my personal opinion of M. Night Shyamalan's movies. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs are personally my favorite's from him. But his movies started to get to bland, boring, and silly. This film....is unbelievably boring. The plot is boring, the characters are boring, the dialogue is boring, THIS MOVIE IS BORING!!! I can't remember one thing about this movie with falling asleep.
  12. Mar 3, 2012
    1
    Another step in the rapid implosion of Shyamalan's career. After Unbreakable, Signs (not bad but only so-so), The Village, The Happening, this awful mess, The Last Airbender and Devil (even if it's just his name slapped on it, he's gotta take some credit for it), I don't expect to be hearing much more of this one-hit-wonder again.
  13. May 6, 2011
    7
    Meh. This movie is a little too heavy-handed for its own good, but if you can forgive that, then it turns out to be a pretty good fairy tale horror-fantasy with some decent scares and laughs.
  14. Sep 13, 2010
    5
    Critical reviews for a movie that, if you just checked your brain at the door, you could've enjoyed it. This movie is so far out there and is a fun movie. Don't incorporate logic, if you do you wont like it. It is a movie for kids, and anyone with a fantasy. Watch it, enjoy it, but don't incorporate logic, that would be a huge mistake.
  15. HarvG.
    Oct 19, 2009
    9
    Weird, all the negative reviews. I had a knot in my throat several times in the movie. I can totally understand why someone wouldn't like this movie, but to say M.N.S. can't tell a story is wrong.
  16. AngelaH
    Aug 15, 2009
    10
    I am continually drawn to this work every time I stumble upon it on cable -- and no matter what I was doing or should be doing -- am drawn back into it without fail, like a moth -- or 'butterfly' -- to the flame. And I don't for the life of me understand the critics' near-universal negative response to this movie. It makes me think they perhaps deserve the I am continually drawn to this work every time I stumble upon it on cable -- and no matter what I was doing or should be doing -- am drawn back into it without fail, like a moth -- or 'butterfly' -- to the flame. And I don't for the life of me understand the critics' near-universal negative response to this movie. It makes me think they perhaps deserve the just-desserts fate of the critic in the movie. I thought critics were usually enamored with originality, multi-layered narratives, and meditations on film and storytelling. That this movie is all of these is undeniable. That is also beautiful and magical in the extreme is also without doubt. Perhaps it is these two more 'feminine' attributes that are lacking in today's critics -- notably, still mostly male -- and that is why the near universal defiling of this work of a true original master. Expand
  17. ChrisM.
    Jun 27, 2009
    1
    Shyamalan's faithful audience has been supporting him since the Sixth Sense's wonderful surprise but this is no such movie!He overloaded the film with numerous character's,confusing ideas,mythic creatures and stupid anti-critic allegories as if he is trying to prove how imaginative he can be,turning it into a chaotic mess with no substance or purpose,It's to immature Shyamalan's faithful audience has been supporting him since the Sixth Sense's wonderful surprise but this is no such movie!He overloaded the film with numerous character's,confusing ideas,mythic creatures and stupid anti-critic allegories as if he is trying to prove how imaginative he can be,turning it into a chaotic mess with no substance or purpose,It's to immature even for a child to watch and the attempt of making a bedtime story is no excuse.The worst thing is that he tries to even lure humoristic moments out of it.An undeniable mind-f*ck! Expand
  18. StephenP
    Apr 2, 2009
    10
    This is my favorite movie. People who review these films should not be taken so seriously. This film is not a horror movie, but an incredible story of love, redemption, and sacrifice. Those words could be used to describe many films, but as a teenage boy who is quite a film enthusiast, never have I seen a film that has impressed me more in the acting department (let alone cinematography, This is my favorite movie. People who review these films should not be taken so seriously. This film is not a horror movie, but an incredible story of love, redemption, and sacrifice. Those words could be used to describe many films, but as a teenage boy who is quite a film enthusiast, never have I seen a film that has impressed me more in the acting department (let alone cinematography, music, or direction) than Lady in the Water. I am not a fan of Shyamalan at all, as I didn't like Sixth Sense, Signs, or the Happening. But this movie, this is something different. This movie made me want to make films when I grow up. This movie actually changed my life, and M Night's character in the movie wasn't him blowing his own horn... he was simply filling the part of a character who was in the BEDTIME STORY he thought up for his kids. I love this movie, and I only wish that people could have another chance to see this. I was fourteen when I saw this film, and I cried. I was a fourteen year old teenage boy... and I cried. Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, (heck, even Bob Baraban) do a fantastic job. This movie will one day (hopefully) be seen for what it really is: a cinematic masterpiece. Obviously, my views are shared with a few other folk around, the high ratings for this movie are aplenty on this website. Thank you, M Night Shyamalan for changing my life with your beautiful film, and thank you Metacritic for allowing my voice to be heard. Peace. Expand
  19. BrandonT
    Jun 27, 2008
    6
    A weird movie but oddly entertaining and chilling. Shyamalan mixes some humor and horror in this powerful film. Not the strongest of his set though and certainly not a classic.
  20. SteveF
    Jun 15, 2008
    10
    Seeing most of the reviews for this movie I can see that you will either love it or hate. I love it!
  21. DanF.
    Jun 13, 2008
    1
    I enjoy fantasy films, and I like all of M. Night's other films, but this was downright terrible.
  22. Luisc
    Apr 13, 2008
    3
    Boring...no sense movie! If you have problems to sleep just see this movie.
  23. VxDx
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    Simply beautiful. I don't understand why people are so stupid as to think that just because the director made a horror movie or two in the past, his next movie is also a horror movie. Lady in the Water is not a horror movie - and imo, even Night's previous movies were not horror movies. Since people ( especially critics ) are so used to categorizing every movie they see into one Simply beautiful. I don't understand why people are so stupid as to think that just because the director made a horror movie or two in the past, his next movie is also a horror movie. Lady in the Water is not a horror movie - and imo, even Night's previous movies were not horror movies. Since people ( especially critics ) are so used to categorizing every movie they see into one of the genres, they are not ready to think out of the box with a movie like this. And Night's bash on critics is just brilliant! One of the wonderful things about this movie is that there is not 'fantasy world' here. There is only reality through and through. Expand
  24. PabloE
    Jan 10, 2008
    8
    Maybe I am stupid, but I was touched by this movie. It is just a fairy tale after all and in my humble opinion much better than all that predictable Harry Potter cultural non-sense.
  25. RachelC
    Nov 8, 2007
    10
    Unfortunately, promoters continue to advertise Night's movies as horrors because he once made a horror movie that people absolutely love. People go into these movies expecting to be terrified and therefore they lose the story because for some reason they become enraged at the fact that they weren't sickled by blood and gore every 5 minutes. This is a fantasy, The Village was a Unfortunately, promoters continue to advertise Night's movies as horrors because he once made a horror movie that people absolutely love. People go into these movies expecting to be terrified and therefore they lose the story because for some reason they become enraged at the fact that they weren't sickled by blood and gore every 5 minutes. This is a fantasy, The Village was a love story. All of Night's movies are amazing if you just sit down and watch them! This movie is beautiful, the scenes are gripping.. Cut the hatred of Night because people are using him to sell tickets to the horror obsessed. Would you really rather watch Saw 10?? Expand
  26. SimonP
    Aug 13, 2007
    1
    I
  27. KalakaN.
    Jun 9, 2007
    10
    This is the first time I have ever seen a movie like this. The opening act, where Mr. Heap is in a cupboard under a sink killing an insect, is absolutely unique; all the way through to where the Asian girl translates that her mother wished she could be more like her sister that married a dentist is so true to life, even though this is a first rate fantasy film. I loved it. I look at it This is the first time I have ever seen a movie like this. The opening act, where Mr. Heap is in a cupboard under a sink killing an insect, is absolutely unique; all the way through to where the Asian girl translates that her mother wished she could be more like her sister that married a dentist is so true to life, even though this is a first rate fantasy film. I loved it. I look at it often because there is always something I didn't get or see from a previous viewing. Expand
  28. ShereefE.
    May 8, 2007
    10
    I believe the people reviewing this movie are too sick to understand the truthness of Night's movies. You all seem to judge Night's movies on the basis of them being Horror movies. BUT THEY ARE NOT HORROR MOVIES!! As some, who may sometimes be able to open their minds to new ideas, may have noticed, all of his films relate to a certain important topic on life: such as religion, I believe the people reviewing this movie are too sick to understand the truthness of Night's movies. You all seem to judge Night's movies on the basis of them being Horror movies. BUT THEY ARE NOT HORROR MOVIES!! As some, who may sometimes be able to open their minds to new ideas, may have noticed, all of his films relate to a certain important topic on life: such as religion, self-hate, self-ignorance, society and it's corruption on people, and even politics. If one just looks at the trailer, thinking that Night takes on the Horror genre at full, and runs to watch a movie they hope will present headless ghouls, bloody beasts, gruesome monsters and all the like (IMO this type of horror film is disgusting, and it has evolved in the last 10 years devastatingly, perhaps to keep the people's minds off what is truly horrible in this world), it is only normal that they will be dissapointed. However, if one goes into the Theatre with a clear conscience on his mind, he will soon realise the pureness of the film. This review is not only for The VIllage, but also for all the other Night movies that I feel were undoubtedly underrated, such as The VIllage or Signs. Some people are unable to understand that Night does not undertake the Horror genre as his dominating genre, he simply uses it to spice up his film and make it slightly more enticing and eye-grabbing for the people. And again, one must always remember that the horror genre has moved to heights that were before unimaginable. So to compre Night's horror with these new horrors would be to compare something non-comparable. That is all I have to say. I hope you will take this review seriously, and remember that I am not writing this review in hate towards the mainstream reviews, but simply in anger towards how they rate such movies that do not comply to one genre alone. Peace to you all. Expand
  29. Frickinmedia
    Apr 2, 2007
    10
    This movie is simply Brilliant!!! Very original, full of fantasy, but in a very real,
  30. BrianD.
    Mar 26, 2007
    0
    After watching this movie, me and my 2 friends looked at each other and asked, "what the hell did we just watch?" The "twists" were predictable, the acting was terrible, and the story was non-existent.
  31. JoeyC.
    Mar 5, 2007
    10
    Poignant. Original. A terrific story told without swearing, blood, graphic violence, or sex. It's got fantasy, mystery, comedy, and suspense. Maybe the critics don't like the film because Shyamalan mocks them so directly. One of the better films I've seen in a while.
  32. MitchM.
    Feb 25, 2007
    4
    I went into this film with a GREAT attitude, really wanting to get lost in this supernatural world, and enjoyed it out of the box. But ... as each scene dragged on, with more layers of incomprehensibly convoluted and voluminous dialogue that supposedly dilineated this "other world" ... my eyes became droopy, and I became snoozy, and suddenly I didn't care what was in the pool, or I went into this film with a GREAT attitude, really wanting to get lost in this supernatural world, and enjoyed it out of the box. But ... as each scene dragged on, with more layers of incomprehensibly convoluted and voluminous dialogue that supposedly dilineated this "other world" ... my eyes became droopy, and I became snoozy, and suddenly I didn't care what was in the pool, or under the grass, or in the trees, or ... zzzzz. Expand
  33. JazminA.
    Feb 20, 2007
    6
    Nice story although underdeveloped. Maybe Shymalan should concentrate on writing the next movie and get someone else to direct.
  34. DylanG.
    Feb 14, 2007
    9
    Super heart warming. I worked for years in a rep-movie theatre and have seen all kinds of indie films and I very much enjoyed this one. While this movie seems to have been hated by the critics I loved it. It breathed a freshness into both the way the story unfolds and its handling of fairytale cliches making somehow seem fresh all over again.
  35. AscenV.
    Feb 1, 2007
    10
    I love this film. Nothing important can be achieved without the participation of everybody. Everyone has something to say, especially children. They are nearer to the truth than adults. The voice of the heart is more powerful than the voice of reason (critics). The simpler the person is the most important his task may be. We dont need to go very far to find our purpose. Everything we need I love this film. Nothing important can be achieved without the participation of everybody. Everyone has something to say, especially children. They are nearer to the truth than adults. The voice of the heart is more powerful than the voice of reason (critics). The simpler the person is the most important his task may be. We dont need to go very far to find our purpose. Everything we need is just so close to us that we are not usually aware of it. The boy as the interpreter reading cereal boxes was so good!! This is one of my favourite films!! Expand
  36. DavidR
    Jan 28, 2007
    10
    A masterpiece. Shyamalan proves he is a superb actor. I can only imagine how much better The Sixth Sense and Signs would have been if Shyamalan would have starred instead. I'm interested in seeing where he goes from here. His work is clearly far ahead of it's time and the critics simple-minded opinions.
  37. PeterR
    Jan 28, 2007
    9
    This is a something you'll love or hate, but there's no way it will leave you indifferent. That should be reason enough to give it a chance, what you might discover is an incredibly beautiful movie.
  38. JamesL.
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    I loved the movie. I thought it had a lot of heart and a message that is sadly missed in the world today.
  39. TrevorG
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    Like Derek P. already said....you really have to have an imagination to enjoy this film. If you do open up your imagination though, and decide to let the movie take you in.....you'll be pleasantly surprised. In my opinion this is up there with Shyamalan's best work.
  40. GenR
    Jan 25, 2007
    7
    I really liked this movie. Much more than
  41. TimR.
    Jan 22, 2007
    0
    Crap. . . The Sixth Sense was ridiculous and predictable, but at least I watched the whole thing. Unfortunately, Shyamalan has turned to vinegar with age, and I fear his ego has gotten in the way of his talent and ability to judge when something of his creation is crap. Oh well, hopefully this fiasco of a film will wake the brat up a bit.
  42. Julien
    Jan 17, 2007
    6
    This is by far the less interesting Shyamalan movie. But still, the direction and the music are amazing, and the story, mere but fearsome, can make you cry at the end.
  43. DerekP.
    Dec 29, 2006
    9
    This is a movie that requires an imagination, which, obviously, there is a lack of in the world today, and a child-like open mind towards the story.... granted, it drags on in some parts and it is somewhat korny, it is a movie that goes to many levels untouched in film today... if you really admire the splendor of this film, you'll realize the originality and fantasy that is seen in This is a movie that requires an imagination, which, obviously, there is a lack of in the world today, and a child-like open mind towards the story.... granted, it drags on in some parts and it is somewhat korny, it is a movie that goes to many levels untouched in film today... if you really admire the splendor of this film, you'll realize the originality and fantasy that is seen in few other films. Expand
  44. Trevor
    Dec 27, 2006
    3
    In short this is truly clunky. A fairy tale with such a ridiculously convoluted storyline, it spends almost all of its time giving an exposition. The character with most of the relevant information spends a great deal of the movie saying 'oh wait, here's something else my mother didn't tell you before'. The director's attitude to both himself (messiah) and film In short this is truly clunky. A fairy tale with such a ridiculously convoluted storyline, it spends almost all of its time giving an exposition. The character with most of the relevant information spends a great deal of the movie saying 'oh wait, here's something else my mother didn't tell you before'. The director's attitude to both himself (messiah) and film critics (killable) is self-indulgent and distasteful. Nearly everything in this film seems leaden and forced. Many of the actors give good efforts, but the dialogue they're saddled with is just so bad (and embarrasingly earnest), this was never going to work. Expand
  45. ChristopherW.
    Dec 26, 2006
    1
    If this turkey doesn't win the top Razzie award this year, then there is no justice in the world. I once respected Shyamalan and looked forward to his next project, but 'The Village' and this embarrassment will surely, OK, hopefully, force him to reconsider a new profession. What a shame!
  46. bao
    Dec 26, 2006
    5
    An okay film, although it moves like a snail. See it if you want to be like a kid again..nor not.
  47. LouP
    Dec 22, 2006
    9
    This is a well-made, well-acted and fun movie. I don't know much about Shymalan, but its obvious that the critics have some preconceived dislike for the man and are not taking the movie on its own entertainment merits. It appears to me that it is the critics and not Shyamalan who are taking themselves way too seriously. Just like the critic in the movie.
  48. Mike
    Dec 19, 2006
    0
    Ouch! I couldnt believe how bad this movies was! Shyamalan movies are getting worse and worse. To the point when this movie is just unwatchable! Avoid at all costs!
  49. johnc
    Dec 11, 2006
    2
    Unspeakable, unbearable, unwatchable, un... believable, but the narf's legs are gorgeous.
  50. PeterC.
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    This movie, so under-rated and so misunderstood, rises to such beautifulness that it made me cry and if you really give it a chance it might touch you deep as well. The whole idea of oneness; deployed into such grandeur, making so much sense especially considering how our world is so very much screwed up nowadays (war in the middle east, poverty, aids, etc). No other movie has taken my This movie, so under-rated and so misunderstood, rises to such beautifulness that it made me cry and if you really give it a chance it might touch you deep as well. The whole idea of oneness; deployed into such grandeur, making so much sense especially considering how our world is so very much screwed up nowadays (war in the middle east, poverty, aids, etc). No other movie has taken my breath away as much as this one did in years. Expand
  51. CarlM.
    Nov 19, 2006
    2
    Interesting concept, but poorly executed. It just didn't go overboard enough to support the oddball story line. Sort of like a cross between "Splash" and "Cujo", it's not nearly as good as either.
  52. MarkB.
    Oct 16, 2006
    2
    Q: Who had a worse summer, M. Night Shyamalan or Mel Gibson? A: Shyamalan, because at least Disney will still release Gibson's next pic! Seriously, though, I've been a fan of Shyamalan through most of his career as a pop culture fixture (a mild one of his box office smashes The Sixth Sense and Signs, a very enthusiastic one of his less universally well-liked gems Unbreakable and Q: Who had a worse summer, M. Night Shyamalan or Mel Gibson? A: Shyamalan, because at least Disney will still release Gibson's next pic! Seriously, though, I've been a fan of Shyamalan through most of his career as a pop culture fixture (a mild one of his box office smashes The Sixth Sense and Signs, a very enthusiastic one of his less universally well-liked gems Unbreakable and The Village) but this already-legendary train wreck about a mermaid...er, merperson...oh, all right, "narf" is a textbook example of exactly the kind of arrogance, self-indulgence and megalomania that derailed the careers of such equally, unquestionably talented filmmakers as Peter Bogdanovich with At Long Last Love and Michael Cimino with Heaven's Gate. (At least, unlike the latter, Lady was crippling but not fatal to its studio; thank God Night didn't utterly destroy Warner Bros. with it!) Let's play William Petersen or Gary Sinise for a moment and perform a brief autopsy: to start with, you DON'T base a movie on the bedtime stories you tell your kids, and if you must, you DON'T apparently make it all up as you go along! (This from a filmmaker who became justifiably famous for his meticulous construction and completely rational surprise endings!) You DON'T cast the great Paul Giamatti as the lead in the first film he stars in that guarantees that his not receiving an Oscar nomination for it won't arouse the tiniest peep of protest. (He's not bad, but that stutter is TERRIBLE.) You DON'T feature Bryce Dallas Howard after you get a genuinely touching and impressive performance in The Village in a role that can be played by any attractive woman who looks good in a man's shirt (and nothing else) and can tread water. You DON'T abuse such fine character players as Mary Beth Hurt and Tovah Feldshuh by casting them as painfully stereotyped apartment complex residents (the ethnic "balancing" in this movie is so contrived and forced that I'm surprised that Shyamalan left out a Maori warrior and a Navajo shaman). You DON'T make your movie so stultifyingly self-important, pretentious and lacking in humor that Cindy Cheung, playing an overbearing Chinese student, comes across as giving the best performance by default, if only because it resembles some type of ersatz comic relief. You DON'T play with the camera in ways that echo the worst excesses of 1960s navel-gazing by shooting so much stuff in extreme soft focus that people in my audience thought something was wrong with the print and alerted the management, or by filming an entire expository scene through poor Cheung's armpit! You DON'T make a movie that preaches that what the world needs now is love sweet love and then in the middle of it express such vindictive, self-serving hatred toward critics that it would be hard to blame Roger Ebert's hospital guards if Shyamalan was the one director they DIDN'T allow to visit him! And for God's sake, M, you DON'T cast YOURSELF as a Thoreau/ Lenin/ Thomas Paine-type writer whose ramblings hold the key to saving the world as we know it, if we all just listen. There's no doubt that Shyamalan still has much to offer, and that he'll make better (or at least mildly watchable) films again, but in the meantime maybe the time is ripe for him to take a nice long rest (just as disappointed Lady patrons will surely want to take a rest from him). Perhaps when he returns, a possible project for him--and one that's as far removed from the supernatural-suspense genre as possible--would be a remake of Sullivan's Travels, the Preston Sturges classic in which Joel McCrea played a director who travels countrywide for material and inspiration to make a film that expresses The Great American Social Statement, only to find that often the best thing a filmmaker can do for people is simply to entertain them. Now THERE'S a role that Shyamalan would be a perfect fit to cast himself as! Expand
  53. DaisukeI
    Sep 8, 2006
    10
    An extraordinary good movie: original, fantastic, true, warmhearted. [***SPOILERS***] The encounter of an old myth and modern world is compelling. The roles were acted in a very natural way. Fun and drama were well balanced. The photography was wonderful and so was the musical score. The message that people have forgotten to the listen to their inner voices is compelling. They have to do An extraordinary good movie: original, fantastic, true, warmhearted. [***SPOILERS***] The encounter of an old myth and modern world is compelling. The roles were acted in a very natural way. Fun and drama were well balanced. The photography was wonderful and so was the musical score. The message that people have forgotten to the listen to their inner voices is compelling. They have to do so again in order to stop the self destruction of mankind. This important and widely ignored truth is told here as a modern fairy tale. This is one of the best films I ever saw. Expand
  54. RandallP.
    Sep 1, 2006
    9
    M. Night Shymalan, achieves old world mythic reverence for the unknown... in the most mundane of urban settings. The film contrasts what we know with what we feel... or at least used to feel .. towards the shadows and noises that disturb us at night. This isn't meant to be shlock horror.. it is meant to be dark fantasy.. the way the old world feared fairy ringy and dopplegangers... M. Night Shymalan, achieves old world mythic reverence for the unknown... in the most mundane of urban settings. The film contrasts what we know with what we feel... or at least used to feel .. towards the shadows and noises that disturb us at night. This isn't meant to be shlock horror.. it is meant to be dark fantasy.. the way the old world feared fairy ringy and dopplegangers... Has our sense of wonder been so eroded that we trash even the exploration of this theme? Expand
  55. AceM.
    Aug 29, 2006
    10
    Bottom Line: Critics trashed this movie only because Shyamalan has the critic character die! I am glad the critic died...NO ONE likes movie critics adn NO ONE listens to them! They complain about nothing original coming out of Hellywood (yes, Hellywood) and then when something VERY original comes out, they trash it! They're idiots! M. Night Shyamalan is one of the great storytellers Bottom Line: Critics trashed this movie only because Shyamalan has the critic character die! I am glad the critic died...NO ONE likes movie critics adn NO ONE listens to them! They complain about nothing original coming out of Hellywood (yes, Hellywood) and then when something VERY original comes out, they trash it! They're idiots! M. Night Shyamalan is one of the great storytellers of our time! A nice, very well done, very clean fantasy. I'm sure the fact that this movie is very clean of sex and profanity, that is another reason the idiot critics trashed it. Expand
  56. NickR.
    Aug 27, 2006
    9
    I think you have to be in the right mood to enjoy this movie. It's a fairy tail not hi-art. The critics should get over themselves. Totally enjoyed it.
  57. RMoon
    Aug 22, 2006
    1
    Shoddy film making (the boom microphone kept dropping into the picture) plus a ridiculous story--you get the idea. A night spent staring at your cereal boxes would be more entertaining.
  58. TrinityX.
    Aug 18, 2006
    10
    Does not need a long review, is simple, don't hate art or original expressions, relax, the time is not over for a happy ending. Good.
  59. Mannyto
    Aug 18, 2006
    10
    Be happy and enjoy this great movie, is it for kids?, yes and for all ages, don't feel so old like many critics!!.
  60. Patrick
    Aug 18, 2006
    2
    The plot made absolutely no sense, and the parts that were meant to be scary the whole audience laughed at. It dragged on for too long as well.
  61. ShawnO.
    Aug 17, 2006
    10
    This is not a movie for people who don't like to think about what they're seeing (most movie critics). The film is full of symbolism that must be understood to appreciate the story. If you're not willing to do that, don't bother going. It's really not a horror movie as some of the previews suggest. This is one of the best films of the year and well worth seeing a This is not a movie for people who don't like to think about what they're seeing (most movie critics). The film is full of symbolism that must be understood to appreciate the story. If you're not willing to do that, don't bother going. It's really not a horror movie as some of the previews suggest. This is one of the best films of the year and well worth seeing a second time. Expand
  62. Mr.Keeg
    Aug 16, 2006
    1
    After seeing so many merely mediocre movies recently, it was refreshing in Lady and the Water to watch one that was mind-bendingly awful. [***SPOILERS***] The plot revolves around a ginger girl (a "maiden narf" no less) found in a swimming pool who is in danger from a beast that looks like a labrador. Loads of people try to help her get back to the Blue World, including M. Night himself, After seeing so many merely mediocre movies recently, it was refreshing in Lady and the Water to watch one that was mind-bendingly awful. [***SPOILERS***] The plot revolves around a ginger girl (a "maiden narf" no less) found in a swimming pool who is in danger from a beast that looks like a labrador. Loads of people try to help her get back to the Blue World, including M. Night himself, who (modest man that he is) plays a writer who's work will go on to influence the future saviour of mankind. Pretentious nonsense. Expand
  63. KenG.
    Aug 15, 2006
    2
    [***SPOILERS***] It can be taken as an ego trip that Shyamalan cast himself as the character whose words will change the world, and it also might have helped if he was a better actor, but I won't bash him too much for that because I think he might be a better actor then he is a film-maker. It's time to admit that "The 6th sense" was some kind of freak accident, and that M. Night [***SPOILERS***] It can be taken as an ego trip that Shyamalan cast himself as the character whose words will change the world, and it also might have helped if he was a better actor, but I won't bash him too much for that because I think he might be a better actor then he is a film-maker. It's time to admit that "The 6th sense" was some kind of freak accident, and that M. Night Shyamalan has little talent as a film-maker. In fact, forget about just admitting it, it's time to shout it from the heavens, get the word out, warn people. His latest turkey (Lady in the water) is a muddled, at times incoherent mess which is so sloppy that at times he either forgets or ignores things he established ealier in film. The whole thing has an underdeveoped feel, as It feels like he is just haphazardly throwing together the various pieces of the story, before the story ever crystalized as a whole in his mind. And he really got carried away (big time) with the whole question of what role each character will play thing in the rescue, until it reaches the point where you just want to shout "Just make up your mind, and get on with the story! " Also if Shyamalan wants to bash movie critics in his movies, fine. As a group movie critics might be ripe for bashing. But it can't come off as if he's given a lot more though to how he will bash them, then he gave to the movie that he's bashing them in. Expand
  64. [Anonymous]
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    Good movie.
  65. Portmix
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    With ingenius, art and the best suspense since Signs, another good option for original tales seekers.
  66. thatguy
    Aug 13, 2006
    9
    i have NO IDEA why the critics dissed this film so bad! thi smovie was much better than the though-low-rated-still-overrated the village. this movie, though it lacked scenes of horror, was a very incredible and beautiful.
  67. EleazarJ.
    Aug 12, 2006
    5
    This movie has too much characters to boot which can easily confuse casual viewers. Also too much mumbo-jumbo words referring to the creatures and the resident's role in fulfilling their part. A sheer dissapointment when compared to 'The Village'. I want more unexpected endings!
  68. ShaunM.
    Aug 11, 2006
    9
    I love how people are so dumb and unperceptive. This is an excellent movie. Of course the critics didn't like this movie... the movie bashes critics outright! Whatever. Go see this and look forward to a DIFFERENT experience instead of all the mindless drivel that seems to pollute the screens nowadays.
  69. DianaG.
    Aug 11, 2006
    10
    One of best this year, but not a movie for all kind of people ( critics for example ). A wonder tale, film made of heart.
  70. JerrodE.
    Aug 10, 2006
    10
    I really cannot believe that critics would bash this. I dont think it would be much of a stretch to imagine their real reasoning is his blatant stab at movie critics in the film. I personally give the man props for standing up for himself, as well as constructing one hell of a bedtime story. Shyamalan killed with this one and everyone knows it.
  71. Angelito
    Aug 10, 2006
    10
    Of course it is not like Citizen Cane, there is no comparisons, but this is another time and genre, genre dominated by Night S., an excelent movie, like always taking risks, I like the result.
  72. D.C.
    Aug 9, 2006
    4
    I find it very interesting that Shyamalan has such a cult following by some and can be dismissed by others (especially critics at times). I think this film desrves all the comments here... it is good in some respects (atmosphere, cinematography, some of the acting) and pretty formulaic in many others. I think Shyamalan tries hard to establish himself as another Hitchcock and I think this I find it very interesting that Shyamalan has such a cult following by some and can be dismissed by others (especially critics at times). I think this film desrves all the comments here... it is good in some respects (atmosphere, cinematography, some of the acting) and pretty formulaic in many others. I think Shyamalan tries hard to establish himself as another Hitchcock and I think this is part of the problem. Every new generation of filmgoers wants an auteur to call their own (especially one with such a cool name) and that perhaps explains all the 9's and 10's people are giving it here. At the same time, the 1's are not fair either. But I do understand the low scores as Shyamalan is beginning to feel like another Tarantino as his films have a hard time living up to the high expectations and hype. The film is fairly decent but I would say rent it. Shyamalan stands out from the mostly crap that is coming out of Hollywood these days, but there are much more compeling and interesting films (independent and international) to see out there. Expand
  73. SalA
    Aug 8, 2006
    10
    Beautifully crafted story. Shymalan is simply a master of storytelling, I have enjoyed all of his movies to date.
  74. ArthurH.
    Aug 8, 2006
    10
    This picture is maybe the best of this year until now. Bryce and Giamatti are brilliant!, others must learn " this is a good suspense ". Lady will be on my mind for a long time.
  75. A.
    Aug 8, 2006
    10
    Like always another movie full of surprises, thanks Mr. Night. Good!.
  76. Staubin
    Aug 7, 2006
    2
    this movie was complete drivel and i totally disagree with anyone who would give it a "10." in giving this movie a "10," you are basically saying that you would mention it in the same breath as Citizen Kane, or Goodfellas. if you gave this movie a "10," you should probably go give Little Man a 10 as well. i think the critics actually liked that better. the plot was more like m. night this movie was complete drivel and i totally disagree with anyone who would give it a "10." in giving this movie a "10," you are basically saying that you would mention it in the same breath as Citizen Kane, or Goodfellas. if you gave this movie a "10," you should probably go give Little Man a 10 as well. i think the critics actually liked that better. the plot was more like m. night reaching into a hat of assorted ideas, characters, and names and then throwing them like Jackson Pollack onto a script. this is not good filmmaking at all, shame on you. Expand
  77. HowardC.
    Aug 7, 2006
    9
    A warm tale told lovingly and beautifully. Critics have a baffling vendetta against Night, but his movies will outlast them.
  78. Chacas
    Aug 6, 2006
    10
    Thank you stupid critics who say this movie is silly ?, you are calling us silly to all this 60 or 70 percent- part of the audience who really liked and enjoyed this amazing tale, after all Shyamalan is making his films for us, not for you!, for you are dedicated his character of movie critic who is killed!!, je, je... ok. you offend our way of think. But dont going to stop us of going to Thank you stupid critics who say this movie is silly ?, you are calling us silly to all this 60 or 70 percent- part of the audience who really liked and enjoyed this amazing tale, after all Shyamalan is making his films for us, not for you!, for you are dedicated his character of movie critic who is killed!!, je, je... ok. you offend our way of think. But dont going to stop us of going to the theaters to see it again. Expand
  79. Signer
    Aug 6, 2006
    10
    Mikel G. is completely right!, many of us ( the critic public ) are not fools, we know and recognize when a movie has all we want to see, an excellent bedtime story, for me its director is one of the best top 3 of this early century, The L. In the Water is for all those adults who still knows how to be happy in this hard life with wars and Tsunamies, please dont forget you were children!, Mikel G. is completely right!, many of us ( the critic public ) are not fools, we know and recognize when a movie has all we want to see, an excellent bedtime story, for me its director is one of the best top 3 of this early century, The L. In the Water is for all those adults who still knows how to be happy in this hard life with wars and Tsunamies, please dont forget you were children!, keep the faith and hope like a child does!. Expand
  80. Keli
    Aug 6, 2006
    9
    I absolutely adored this movie. It's been a while since I read any theatre theory, but I thought the "sloppy filmaking" felt more like an intentional alienation effect, used to make the audience ponder why Shyamalan would transport an epic fantasy into a thoroughly modern setting. I am so glad I went to see it in spite of the negative reviews.
  81. BrianM.
    Aug 5, 2006
    5
    Shyamalan underwhelms me once again with, 'Lady in the Water'. Granted, I wasn't expecting anything even decent when I went into the theatre, so I was not let down, merely met with an adequate film that does not disappoint, but does not excite in any way either. Although some things are "not as they seem" here, the movie is still very predictable. Shyamalan tries to throw Shyamalan underwhelms me once again with, 'Lady in the Water'. Granted, I wasn't expecting anything even decent when I went into the theatre, so I was not let down, merely met with an adequate film that does not disappoint, but does not excite in any way either. Although some things are "not as they seem" here, the movie is still very predictable. Shyamalan tries to throw some twists into the mix, but is quite unsuccessful with this. Overall, this is a pass in my opinion until it hits shelves on DVD. Then, I'd recommend renting it, because it is still not a BAD film. Certainly a step-up from the dreadful, 'The Village' I'm hoping this is the first film in re-establishing Shyamalan's touch with filmmaking that we haven't seen since 'The Sixth Sense' or 'Signs'...I sure hope so. Until then, here is an average film that we are left with. It is amazing that Shyamalan is continuously given so much creative control over his films, that many better filmmakers have not, and will never see in their careers. I do not mean to come off as a "Shyamalan hater", I did love 'Sixth Sense' and liked 'Signs' quite a bit. I suppose that's what happens when the bar is placed at such a high level to begin with. Expand
  82. MikelG.
    Aug 5, 2006
    10
    I think that the fact that they had a scene were they savagely tore apart and killed a movie critic might be the reason that the eggocentric critics wrote bad reviews... Shyalaman probably new that they were gonna write a bad review. I personally loved they movie and I give 100 thumbs up.
  83. RandyM>
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    I was a bit skeptical when first hearing about Lady in the Water. I admit I do love Shyamalan's movies, but this one looked a little strange. And after seeing it, I admit it, it still is strange. But Lady in the Water is one of the most captivating fables I have ever witnessed. The movie also gets bonus points for having some pretty frightening sequences. The Scrunts are terrifying.
  84. Belorekha
    Aug 5, 2006
    10
    At this decade for me Shyamalan is one of the best and amazing-talented young directors, all his films are so original, some seems have envy of this, see again Lady in the water fool critics, this require more appreciation!!
  85. Randallturner
    Aug 5, 2006
    10
    Loved it. This is exactly what it is advertised, a bedtime story. I'm going to be a father soon, and I can't wait to share it with my boy.
  86. ChrisI.
    Aug 4, 2006
    10
    Simply one of the best movies I've ever seen. I'll see it again, too, which is a rare thing for me to do. If I'd listened to the "professional critics" I would have missed out on something wonderful. The movie takes the mundane and elevates it to the unique. It takes the common and lifts it to the special. I left the movie feeling better about the world and the people in Simply one of the best movies I've ever seen. I'll see it again, too, which is a rare thing for me to do. If I'd listened to the "professional critics" I would have missed out on something wonderful. The movie takes the mundane and elevates it to the unique. It takes the common and lifts it to the special. I left the movie feeling better about the world and the people in it, and strangely moved to want to be a better person. Expand
  87. David
    Aug 4, 2006
    8
    critics have been much to severe on this flick, its not "signs" or "sixth sense", but, it is a great fairy tale telling, with the odd characters we have to expect from this screenwriter. that a character playing a film/book critic is the only victim of a grizzly (off screen) death, likely motivated most of the red ink. well worth matinee money!
  88. FreddyF.
    Aug 3, 2006
    10
    Well I think its a good movie, among the best 3 of this first mid of year, there are no perfect movie but this special film deserves more than 8.
  89. Brendan
    Aug 2, 2006
    8
    Lady In the Water definantly does not deserve the low ratings these critics are giving. Shyamalan wrote this whole story for goodness sake! You must be pretty darn talented to come up with a story such as Lady in the Water. I definitely reccomend this movie to anyone. Great job Shyamalan!
  90. TimothyP.
    Aug 1, 2006
    9
    Best movie of 2006 so far...
  91. DerekG.
    Aug 1, 2006
    8
    Perhaps a bit too literal of a "fairy tale," but I truly don't understand why the critics are trashing it so badly. Perhaps it's because of the critic character in the film. Did Shyamalan hit a bit too close to home?
  92. A.Blankenship
    Aug 1, 2006
    1
    This movie is on par with "Manos: The Hands of Fate." I was too offended to watch the scenes with Shyamalan's acting in them, preferring to watch the drapes on the walls of the theater instead. Alas, I could not escape the condescension in the tone of his voice, and I have not been more bitterly disappointed by a film in my entire life.
  93. CathyS.
    Aug 1, 2006
    10
    I can enjoy a lot this kind of suspense, stories and actings. Giamatti excelent as usual, ( Oscar must pay attention ).
  94. TeresaW.
    Aug 1, 2006
    3
    The film was weak throughout, cluttered beyond understanding and, most notably, uninteresting as a whole. Lady in the Water leaves its audience aching as the forced plot strains their attention span.
  95. MaryS.
    Aug 1, 2006
    10
    It was what I expected. A very sensational movie that I want to see again.
  96. DanN.
    Jul 31, 2006
    7
    Contrary to most of the media critics on here I actually enjoyed the movie. Part of the problem is that in the previews it was billed as a scary movie which it certainly is not. It's more fantasy than anything and should be viewed as such. Just relax and watch a decent bedtime story.
  97. PopR.
    Jul 31, 2006
    10
    If this movie was made by Sofia coppola or Spielberg without changing anything Critics would give an excelent review to Lady, but their critics are about Night Shyamalan not about the movie, therefore his movies are not made for they, are made for us, the common public who without prejudices only go to the theaters to enjoy a fantastic and original tale. Remember he ( Night ) gave us the If this movie was made by Sofia coppola or Spielberg without changing anything Critics would give an excelent review to Lady, but their critics are about Night Shyamalan not about the movie, therefore his movies are not made for they, are made for us, the common public who without prejudices only go to the theaters to enjoy a fantastic and original tale. Remember he ( Night ) gave us the best performances of Bruce willis, Mel gibson, Holey joel osment and Bryce dallas...etc. Expand
  98. JohnC.
    Jul 31, 2006
    10
    A very good film. Ive read many reviews by closedminded people who apparently did not see the film for what it is. Paul Giamatti is definitly in the running for Best Actor with a stellar performance. The reason I believe some critic are giving film lower marks is because it is made by Shamalan, and it did not live up to what they expected. It could have had a few things dont differently A very good film. Ive read many reviews by closedminded people who apparently did not see the film for what it is. Paul Giamatti is definitly in the running for Best Actor with a stellar performance. The reason I believe some critic are giving film lower marks is because it is made by Shamalan, and it did not live up to what they expected. It could have had a few things dont differently but all and all it is a pretty solid film. The bottotm line is go see the film, but do not go in expecting anything. And take the film as its giving, and hopefully you will see it the way I did and enjoy it. Expand
  99. MarkD.
    Jul 31, 2006
    6
    Better than reviews! Snobby movie critic probably made most critics angry and snipey.
  100. SarahB.
    Jul 31, 2006
    10
    Being a fan of Shyamalan I couldn't wait for this movie to come out. I believe he did not disappoint. One thing with M. Night that I love is that you have to get past the "horror" in his movies and look for the deaper meaning and intricate story. I thought "Ladyin the Water" was his most spectacular attempt in story telling, as beautiful stories go. I loved the symbolism, the humor, Being a fan of Shyamalan I couldn't wait for this movie to come out. I believe he did not disappoint. One thing with M. Night that I love is that you have to get past the "horror" in his movies and look for the deaper meaning and intricate story. I thought "Ladyin the Water" was his most spectacular attempt in story telling, as beautiful stories go. I loved the symbolism, the humor, the suprise. It was Shyamalan and I loved it! Perhaps I'm biased, but I think everyone should give this one a try. Expand
Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 36
  2. Negative: 14 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    40
    A ponderous, self-indulgent bedtime tale. Awkwardly positioned, this gloomy gothic fantasy falls well short of horror.
  3. What's odd about Lady in the Water is that for all Shyamalan's histrionics, he's overcontrolled.