Lady in the Water

5.51 h 49 min2006X-RayPG-13
HD. M. Night Shyamalan's cinematic fairy tale about an apartment superintendent who discovers an otherworldly creature in the complex's pool.
M. Night Shyamalan
Paul GiamattiBryce Dallas HowardBob Balaban
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jeffrey WrightSarita ChoudhuryFreddy RodriguezBill IrwinJared Harris
Sam MercerM. Night Shyamalan
Warner Bros.
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentsmokingsubstance useviolence
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4.5 out of 5 stars

2990 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

OrdrocReviewed in the United States on September 12, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Under rated
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Neat, decently acted flic
One person found this helpful
Jason GReviewed in the United States on September 6, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting movie
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Interesting movie. The trailer got us curious so we decided to rent it. I didn’t mind the movie, but I wish I hadn’t payed $4 to rent it.
The premise is very interesting. BASED ON THE TRAILER, a woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) appears in an apartment caretaker’s (Paul Giamotti) pool. He finds that she is part of an ancient childhood bedtime story that an apartment resident is familiar with. He also finds that he himself is a part of that story, and has to find his role and discover what he must do next. Like most M.Night Shylamaiaallama (sp?) movies, it has an ending that leaves you wondering, which I understand is the point. But I felt underwhelmed by this movie. Though it wasn’t really inappropriate, Paul Giamotti’s relationship with Bryce Dallas Howard seemed awkward, especially at first. He always seems to play a good, decent man, but in this film he came off as a dirty old man sometimes. He does work hard and humbles himself to learn what steps he needs to take, but his plan to take those steps seems weird. We learn that he has some difficult history that he has to face, which he does in a heartbreaking moment near the end but also comes off as awkward and out of place.
I would have been happy to catch this movie on TV or included in a streaming service, but unfortunate we had to pay to rent it. I would never purchase or rent this movie again, but if I saw it on TV I might watch it again.
2 people found this helpful
Genoveva mattaReviewed in the United States on August 8, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful movie ,sit on edge of seat whole time
One person found this helpful
Jeremy A.Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Hidden Masterpiece
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I had seen this movie several years ago when it first came out and really enjoyed it based solely on the story. I had seen several other films by M. Night and, unlike most other movie-goers, find myself appreciative of his film styling. This film follows suit and has a deeper meaning than just a lady appearing in the water. As I've gotten older and revisited this film, I see a lot more in the plot than I did upon my first viewing.

I have seen several reviews of this movie mention that there wasn't enough of the "lady" and way too much of everyone else. I'll shed some light on this topic: The film ISN'T about a lady in the water. Let me explain. Yes, the film does have a lady who appears to the film's protagonist, but the focus of the film is more on the concept of the purity that remains in humanity. Why is the lady here? This question is answered by the existence of the film itself. She arrived as a spark to fan the flame of change in humanity's souls. Could this be what M. Night was attempting to do by writing this story? Perhaps.

The film focuses more on the rest of the characters BECAUSE they are an example of the good left in the world. It takes a great deal of time in character development so that we can see the different aspects of the human race. Even the "powers" of those important people destined to assist this young lady represent some pieces of who we are. We can be guardians, healers, interpreters, and even groups of people banding together for the common good. SPOILER: Who is the ONLY human character to die in this film? The embodiment of those who see the world for all its negativity and strife and exploit it for their own purposes. Does the elimination of this character speak to the reason the lady has come? Some may say it does.

Ultimately, this film cannot be appreciated by only viewing it for what it portrays on the surface. It's one of those movies, like most all of M. Night's movies, that takes some contemplation and reflection to really get to the purpose of the story. Take some time to think about what it's all about and you might find yourself smiling at the masterpiece that is the Lady in the Water.
10 people found this helpful
Somhat LanodReviewed in the United States on April 8, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Very strong imagination
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 29, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love it
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Love the movie great acting and a good family movie.
One person found this helpful
H. E. PaulReviewed in the United States on April 17, 2008
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Good Story
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Somehow I missed this movie when it came out. I recently had the opportunity to view the movie and I was very impressed. I have a couple of famous storytellers in my family tree, so I always enjoy a good story. This movie is exactly that, it is the big-screen version of a good story.

Part of the wonder of the story is in the mystery. I think the less said about the plot the better, because the characters in the movie learn about the story as the plot unfolds. The story is told briefly in the beginning of the movie, so you have to pay close attention so the rest of the plot will make sense. It can be very easy to get lost and not know what is going on if you don't pay close attention throughout the movie.

The only reason I knock off a star is because there is a point where I think one of the director's signature plot twists is attempted. I say attempted because up until that point I was staying with the story closely. I got completely lost about the time the twist was executed, because I felt the pace picked up a bit and the telling of the story seemed a bit rushed. By the time I figured out what was happening again, the magic of the plot twist was lost on me.

I think this is a very interesting movie overall. It definitely requires viewing more than once to really take it all in.

I think the main problem where people have trouble with these movies is the material for the trailers advertising them is very misleading. I originally thought from the ads that this was supposed to be a horror movie of some kind. While there are moments of intense action and frightening scenes, they are few and far between.

Watching this movie made me feel like a kid again and brought to my rememberence the times when my mom would tell me stories at bedtime. If you haven't seen this one yet, give it a chance. If you have seen it before and didn't like it, give it another try.
2 people found this helpful
Brian A. WoltersReviewed in the United States on July 24, 2006
1.0 out of 5 stars
Shyamalan's First Mistake
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I would first like to say that I am a huge M. Night Shyamalan fan. I didn't see Sixth Sense until it was on DVD and once I did, I was hooked. I've enjoyed each film he has directed since then, including the much maligned "The Village." I've been eagerly awaiting Lady in the Water ever since I heard about it. The teaser last winter made me even more curious and I couldn't wait for this movie with a sense of wonder. After finally viewing the movie, I have to say that M.Night has a major mess on his hands.

The movie is about an apartment maintenance man named Cleveland Heep whom seems to have a very dull life. He is good at what he does but you can't help but feel that he wants more. One night, when looking for people swimming after hours, he discovers a girl in the pool. Startled and clumsy, he falls into the pool and nearly drowns until he discovers himself back in bed with the girl in his house. She is a Narf from the Blue World who wants to return to her world and avoid the Scrunts (wolf like monster) as she tries to get back via the great eagle. She is to assist Cleveland in assembling a Guild to help her return. Little does Cleveland know that she is also there to help him overcome his grief of losing his family and quitting his job as a doctor. I have a good imagination and I was ready to see how all of this plays out. The child inside me was waiting for a payoff. I am sad to say, I never get it.

The movie is a complete, convoluted mess and a huge failure of execution. Let me begin with the characters. The supporting characters in the movie were annoying stereotypes of all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. The young Asian woman, who conveniently told the story of the Narf's by interpreting for her mother was incredibly annoying. It would seem like if the story needed more explanation, she conveniently shows up to tell us more, even being available while at a dance club. Then we have the guy who is only working out one side of his body. He serves no real purpose until the end and when he does, it is completely laughable and not worth the moment of "awe" as the movie makes it. Then we have the movie critic, who seems to be there to serve as M.Nights poke at critics at his past movies. M.Night is also playing a supporting role but because he is the director who makes clever appearances, I kept waiting for something magical to happen with his character and we don't get it. He needs to stick with Hitchcock like appearances.

The story itself unfolds slowly but when it should be getting more involving and interesting, it simply gets messier. You meet all of the characters in the film and you notice they have certain traits to their personality. Those traits are to be put to use in the Guild that Cleveland is trying to assemble. When it comes time to put it all together, you are waiting for something meaningful to happen and it just doesn't come together. Take the pool party scene. Has there been any scene in the past several years in movies as confusing and perplexing as this? They were there to protect the Lady yet stupid things happen. A girl drops her mirror who is to be watching for the Scrunt. The movie critic shows up and is given horrible dialogue. A band is to be playing inside but doesn't start on time. As a result of the confusion, the Lady is taken by the Scrunt and nearly killed. Then they realize the Guild is not correct and between a kid reading things in cereal boxes and his Dad finding clues in crosswords to shifting people and roles in Guild, I was simply confused because of the poor execution. We finally get one good scene when Cleveland has his catharsis and it was able to induce tears in audience members. But it simply comes back to the standard M.Night protagonist whom is trying to deal with personal tragedies. We saw this in Signs, The Village and again in this film. While that is a good thing to build a movie around, third time around is one too many. Finally, when things do play out as they should, we are scratching our heads and thinking "Are we too stupid to understand this film, or is the film too stupid to understand."

I've noticed many fan reviews of this film and many liked it but I do tend to think they are way to kind to allow M.Night to have a folly. Lady in the Water is his first folly and I hope he will recover and wow us with his next film.
3 people found this helpful
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