User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 384 Ratings

User score distribution:
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. JoshC.
    Jul 21, 2006
    10
    Great movie--but you have to watch it as a fable. Not a horror film, not a "M. Night-twist" film, but as a fable. Enjoyed the characterizations. A rare summer movie that actual made me feel something while watching it, and think a lot afterwards.
  2. NicoleV.
    Jul 22, 2006
    10
    I didn't know what to expect and given the reviews, I wasn't expecting too much thinking the story might be confusing or, as one critic said "with too many holes in it". It is not confusing at all!! And the story was great- inspiring, humorous, suspenseful, symbolic, heartfelt... It definitely surpassed my expectation! I liked MNS other movies, but this is my favorie now by far I didn't know what to expect and given the reviews, I wasn't expecting too much thinking the story might be confusing or, as one critic said "with too many holes in it". It is not confusing at all!! And the story was great- inspiring, humorous, suspenseful, symbolic, heartfelt... It definitely surpassed my expectation! I liked MNS other movies, but this is my favorie now by far and I have greater respect for his art now. I can see where some critic gave bad reviews because MNS basically makes fun of them by incorporating a critic character into the film as someone who doesn't know good films. The critics definitiely don't know a good film when they see it! This maybe a fairytale, but many people missed that it is still a representation of life now. Expand
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. K.Shanmuga
    Jul 21, 2006
    10
    Simply and truly superb. Shyamalan has once again proved his superior movie making abilities. I am sure that "Lady..." will once again prove all those critics wrong and be a runaway hit.
  11. SusanH.
    Jul 21, 2006
    9
    beautiful and suprising. Disagree with most of the reviews, again.
  12. GregoryB.
    Jul 22, 2006
    8
    I can't believe this got such low reviews from critics, but I can see why. M. Night, isn't really liked by them in the first place, cast himself a small part in his own movie, and even had a critic character in this that was made fun and says in the movie, "there is nothing original anymore." Well if that critic would have stepped out of the screen, he would have seen something I can't believe this got such low reviews from critics, but I can see why. M. Night, isn't really liked by them in the first place, cast himself a small part in his own movie, and even had a critic character in this that was made fun and says in the movie, "there is nothing original anymore." Well if that critic would have stepped out of the screen, he would have seen something that was. If you liked the village, you will like this. It is a beautiful story that is intriguing as it is hypnotic. It is "slow" as there isn't anything blowing up every 5 seconds, but who wants that 24/7. The acting is superb and as I don't think he should have necessarily cast himself in this, he does a good job. GO SEE IT. My fiancee and I love his movies and were talking for an hour after this one. Critics should drop their biases and grudges and see this movie for what it really is, a compelling and thought provoking tale. Expand
  13. JeffreyA.
    Jul 22, 2006
    10
    I never expect much from critics, but reading the reviews before seeing the movie my expectations were a lot lower. However, I was completely blown away after watching the movie. M is brilliant in creating a fairytale that shadows paradigm shifts that are occuring in our present time. I love the characters, the way they evolve over time and the emotions they create on film. If you can I never expect much from critics, but reading the reviews before seeing the movie my expectations were a lot lower. However, I was completely blown away after watching the movie. M is brilliant in creating a fairytale that shadows paradigm shifts that are occuring in our present time. I love the characters, the way they evolve over time and the emotions they create on film. If you can connect with this movie through it's layers and symbolism you will be in for a beautiful movie experience. As for holes in the story line, uhm, there are none! Expand
  14. CynthiaL.
    Jul 27, 2006
    8
    I found the movie entertaining. A story, that kept my attention to the very end. I think the critics wanted this movie to fail. They were panning it before people got a chance to see it for themselves.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. BitBurn
    Jul 30, 2006
    8
    This was, yet, another strong picture by M.Night and yes its right up there with Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village. A matter of fact, the movie was exactly what I come to expect from M.Night and I mean this in a good way. Yes, he uses the same twists and spookiness as usual and this is possibly why he was booed by Hollywood critics but, come on, the guy has nothing to prove here. His This was, yet, another strong picture by M.Night and yes its right up there with Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village. A matter of fact, the movie was exactly what I come to expect from M.Night and I mean this in a good way. Yes, he uses the same twists and spookiness as usual and this is possibly why he was booed by Hollywood critics but, come on, the guy has nothing to prove here. His recipe works, just like a Big Mac, and that's why we like it so much! Expand
  18. MichaelK.
    Jul 24, 2006
    1
    Erin D.- given that your response is the most rational of all, there should be no reason for you to question it. this movie just made me cringe more and more as it became hopelessly derailed. the dialogue was clumsy and entirely unrealistic, characterization was rote and forced, cinematography was nonexistent or at least very plain (except for the one shot at the very end which removed Erin D.- given that your response is the most rational of all, there should be no reason for you to question it. this movie just made me cringe more and more as it became hopelessly derailed. the dialogue was clumsy and entirely unrealistic, characterization was rote and forced, cinematography was nonexistent or at least very plain (except for the one shot at the very end which removed from context was pretty cool) and the story was overburdened to the point where it might as well have not been there. Best part of the film, the minute-long stick figure animated piece at the beginning which was the ONLY part free of pretension. The only salvation that night was following it up with Kevin Smith's Clerks II to wash out the horrendous aftertaste. Now I would actually look forward to one of Shamylan's contrived twists. Expand
  19. MattF.
    Jul 20, 2006
    1
    absolutely ghastly. A twisted, uninteresting pile of steaming dung.
  20. 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.
  21. JacksonE.
    Jul 21, 2006
    0
    It appears from other votes that you will either love this film or hate it. To quote Blaine and Antoine . . . Hated it!
  22. RathM.
    Jul 21, 2006
    1
    Someone please stop him before he makes another truly pathetic attempt at storytelling. "M" really needs to stuff his ego where the sun doesn't shine, fire the yes men around him and truly work on something that isn't utter tripe. First year film school students produce better films than this garbage. I saw this as a free pre-screening promotion and still want a refund and my time back!
  23. jaimeharrington
    Jul 22, 2006
    2
    Horrible film. What was he thinking? I liked his earlier films but hits is embarrassing bad. Giamatti did a good job in his role (thus the 2 rating).
  24. DavidB.
    Jul 23, 2006
    1
    Disaster. What an absolute mess. Would be a 0 if not for some unintended comedy from the narfs, tartutics, scrunts, and the great eatlon. Can't help but get a laugh when the tartutics jump out of the trees to attack the scrunt, which is a evil grass hyena. ;)
  25. DavidL.
    Jul 26, 2006
    2
    My friends and i were unable reach a consensus...was it embarrassingly bad, laughably bad, or tragically bad? however, we did all agree on contrived, pretentious, and stupefying. All of which is especially disappointing for me personally, as i thought, and still think, that "The Sixth Sense" is a masterpiece, and a far better picture than that year's Oscar winner "American Beauty" i My friends and i were unable reach a consensus...was it embarrassingly bad, laughably bad, or tragically bad? however, we did all agree on contrived, pretentious, and stupefying. All of which is especially disappointing for me personally, as i thought, and still think, that "The Sixth Sense" is a masterpiece, and a far better picture than that year's Oscar winner "American Beauty" i rate "Lady In The Water" a '2' rather than a' zero' for two reasons: a beautifully evocative and sometimes truly haunting atmosphere (the cinematography and score, both excellent); and an against-all-odds beautiful and haunting lead performance by Bryce Dallas Howard, who is compellingy otherworldly and somehow entirely convincing (in a critical, but very difficult-to-carry-off part), despite the inconsistent and idiotic (and shockingly predictable) script. Without her presence the film would have been all but unwatchable, but probably even a whole lot funnier...unintentionally, of course. So, ultimately, i guess, it's really tragically bad, given the director's obvious and previously established talent, and also his apparent lack of humilty and self-awareness as an artist; he needs to spend less time and energy manufacturing and proclaiming his own cultural significance, and more time doing what he has so effectively done in the past: just create entertainment. In the end it's about the AUDIENCE, Mr Shyamalan, not about YOU. Expand
  26. 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.
  27. MaryS.
    Aug 1, 2006
    10
    It was what I expected. A very sensational movie that I want to see again.
  28. SriHarshaK
    Jul 23, 2006
    10
    WOW and Awesome were the two words tht came to my mouth after watching the film. Almost perfect.....one of his best. And critics should just shut up and limit themselves to the normal crap that they like. Worth watching twice and i am dying to watch it again.
  29. [Anonymous]
    Jul 26, 2006
    8
    Good movie.
  30. 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.
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. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    What's odd about Lady in the Water is that for all Shyamalan's histrionics, he's overcontrolled.