The Lifeguard

 (269)5.61 h 38 min2013X-RayR
Feeling unfilled, a 29 year old reporter quits her job in New York City and returns to her childhood home and the last time of happiness as a lifeguard, but takes this a bit too far when she starts a romantic relationship with a teenage boy.
Liz W. Garcia
Mamie GummerMartin StarrKristen Bell
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Liz W. GarciaMike LandryCarlos VelazquezJoshua HartoMilan Chakraborty
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R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Nuditysexual contentfoul languageviolencedrug use
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3.7 out of 5 stars

269 global ratings

  1. 52% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 12% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 16% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

J. PalkoReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Deceptive marketing
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The movie is packaged from the cover art on as a dramedy, or a slice of life drama with minor comedic elements. This is totally not the kind of picture this is. It's primarily about a group of arrested adolescents trying to recapture the free spirit and endless opportunities of their youth when ennui of their thirties hit with no large successes and the reversals of fortune that every life holds hit hard. Unfortunately, the solution they choose is to make very bad decisions. For this type of film, it's fairly well done. Most of the comedy is situational. The acting is excellent. The social message of just putting down you head and slogging forward, being grateful for 'privileges' is muddled by the pedophilia plot thread. If the Kristen Bell part had been written for a man, the feminists would have been burning down theaters, but since she's a womyn it's all okay. The obligatory gay character follows her example and contributes to the suicide of another troubled teen, but that's neatly ignored after being swept under a rug.
21 people found this helpful
keepingitrealReviewed in the United States on June 22, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Inappropriate and dumb movie
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Movie made me cringe. I thought it would pick up. Main character, Leigh, is a wreck. Stopped watching when Leigh started making out with the teenager. I'm sure it went further. Was there ever a plot? Or is this movie designed to desensitize people from criminal and moral behavior of adults being intimate with minors? Wish I could give it zero star instead of 1.
13 people found this helpful
JayciekReviewed in the United States on July 12, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Unsavory "Coming of age" drama - tr
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Kristen Bell (Leigh) can act, but nothing can save this deceptive wreck. "Adults" Behaving Recklessly and Criminally is the alternate title. Even Amy Madigan, one of the supposed voices of reason, is selfish and blind to her daughter's obvious breakdown. The other voice of reason, the husband of the doughy-faced Mamie Gummer character, is right in everything he says but comes off as strident, jealous and bitter. The only somewhat sympathetic portrayals are the teen victims, and, surprisingly, the fathers involved, glimpsed only briefly. When you are disappointed that the main character doesn't go to jail at the end, well, not sure what you have just watched. A cautionary tale about immaturity and selfishness? No symbolic dip in the pool is going to wash this one clean.
3 people found this helpful
D. RobertsReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Save me Kristen!!!
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Leigh (Kristen Bell) is a 29 year old journalist who has lost her taste for the dog-eat-dog world of journalism. After writing a story about a tiger that died in the squalid conditions of captivity by a private owner, Leigh goes into reflection about her own life. She feels that she is something of a captive of her life. She writes a piece on the tiger that is flippantly dismissed by her editor. That is the last straw.

With her life being complicated, she seeks to return to her carefree teenage years. As such, she moves back in with her parents and picks up a job that a teenager would be likely to get as a 1st job: she becomes the lifeguard @ her hometown's public pool. Surely, this will make things simple again. Or will it? In her quest to return to being a teenager, she has an inappropriate relationship with a 16yr old boy (uh oh!). She knows better....but she can't help herself.

Symbolism regarding the trapped tiger re-emerge throughout the movie. A teenager who is an acquaintance is dying to get out of the small town & move elsewhere. In his own way, he resembles the trapped tiger. When Leigh's affair with a juvenile is uncovered, she begins to worry that she might be in a form of captivity herself, known as a woman's prison.

This is a thoughtful movie about the transition from our high school years to becoming an adult. Some of us get a head start while others of us never make it. Kristen Bell is a lovely young woman, but her beauty is dumbed down for this role; little to no makeup and a plain hairstyle. She portrays the girl-next-door who tried to fly out of the next but who ended up not making it....@ least the 1st time. I found this to be a nostalgic film that explores a very sensitive topic: statutory relations in the opposite direction that we normally think of them.
10 people found this helpful
SBC97223Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Should have been better--In the end very conflicted.
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I think there was some good in this movie about playing well with others and not every thing being as perfect as it appears. In the end, The Lifeguard ends up being mostly strange things happen to both good and bad people and in the end we must venture forward. Thus The Lifeguard misses some opportunities while presenting that the most ethical decision can be incredibly challenging to navigate. Parts of this movie had me cheering for more while other had me saying they are in an entirely nasty situation from which they should be no recovery so in the end, it is watchable and not just for the pool scenes. But in the end I did not feel enriched for the time invested.
One person found this helpful
WickWire9Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Just Check Your Prudeness level at the Door when watching this Movie !
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Man I tell you what I just hope They didn't use a Body Double I'll be very disappointed!!
That lil'Lady looks amazing !
Sorry but I digress !
The Story line was okay but had that been a guy we been under the Jail ! I hate double standards ! But Heck I applaud him ! I had my share of older women but it was a good movie if you like that kinda thing if not you need to check your "Prudeness Level"!!
One person found this helpful
Dave LenReviewed in the United States on June 29, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Movie sucks
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Can't they make a movie without having the f word the predominant word. It is especially bad when they have children using this word and other foul language. My opinion of Kristen Bell definitely went down hill.
One person found this helpful
Lost in VegasReviewed in the United States on June 21, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Deep and Real
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This is an off-beat film but not what one might expect from the cover picture. It's a drama, delving deeply into the raw emotions and messed up or at least terribly confused lives of most of the characters. Teens, 30-somethings, and the middle-aged all deal with issues with themselves and with one another. The characters are compelling and, despite the unusual nature of their problems, bring a ring of truth to their portrayals. Yes, it was a bit hard to watch at times because of the intense feelings presented, but it was hard NOT to watch as you come to care about the characters, no matter how unlike you they may be.
5 people found this helpful
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