Up 39 this week

Lady in the Water (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller  |  21 July 2006 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 75,821 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 1,038 user | 282 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Village (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The population of a small, isolated countryside village believe that their alliance with the mysterious creatures that inhabit the forest around them is coming to an end.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix
Signs (2002)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin
The Happening (2008)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A science teacher, his wife, and a young girl struggle to survive a plague that causes those infected to commit suicide.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
Unbreakable (2000)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright
Devil (2010)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.

Director: John Erick Dowdle
Stars: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine
After Earth (2013)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Jaden Smith, David Denman, Will Smith
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
The Visit I (2015)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A single mother finds that things in her family's life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Super 8 (2011)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler
Hereafter (2010)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A drama centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Matt Damon, Cécile De France, Bryce Dallas Howard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An alienated, Americanized teenager of East Indian heritage is sent back to India where he discovers not only his roots but a lot about himself.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: M. Night Shyamalan, Mike Muthu, Richa Ahuja


Cast overview, first billed only:
Goatee Smoker
Grant Monohon ...
Emaciated Smoker
One-Eyebrow Smoker


Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex's pool. He soon learns that she comes from the Blue World, and has a message for mankind. Will he be able to help her complete her mission? Written by JRF

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Bedtime Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some frightening sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama en el agua  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,044,396 (USA) (21 July 2006)


$172,454 (Chile) (29 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


M. Night Shyamalan, delighted after he discovered unknown Cindy Cheung, was shocked to hear that her agent demanded 1 million dollars for her role in the film. Night was prepared to pay the SAG minimum, $65,000. They settled at $100,000. See more »


At the pool party the overhead view shows the flood lights facing the lawn. When Anna is taking her place, she takes off her sweater because the flood lights are facing the pool. Later they are facing the lawn again. See more »


[first lines]
Cleveland Heep: [narrating] Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man's need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that live in the ocean, and the world of men, separated. Through the centuries their world, and all the inhabitants of it stopped trying. The world of man become more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Childlike illustrations appear over and under some of the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Church (2015) See more »


Every Grain of Sand
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Amanda Ghost
Courtesy of Plan A Records & Face Family Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a truly disastrous, ultra pretentious work of film-making that fails completely
19 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was totally boggled when Lady in the Water ended. Actually, that's a white lie, I was boggled from the very beginning. I read the signs though (no pun intended on M. Night Shyamalan's other film) from reading some reviews, and the general response from online. But I could not have expected such a rancid pile of egotistical malarkey to ever make it past any lowly production company, let alone a major studio, and that it's meant to be taken seriously, absolutely so. It almost reminded me of another film from 2006- Apocalypto- where a director hot on the heels of recent success went for broke on something burning in the filmmaker to be told. Both films, truth be told, aren't good at all, but Lady in the Water- still no pun intended (maybe some)- sinks even further. I can almost picture Shyamalan sitting in front of his computer writing out the script to this film thinking "I am so clever. I mean, I have narfs, I have scrunts, I have a giant eagle, and porcupine monkeys that hide in the trees, what more could an audience ask for? This is so awesome." Rarely in the history of modern movies has a director's hubris gone to such lengths and taken an audience down with them.

And the shameful thing too is that the little merit that came with Shyamalan's previous film, seriously flawed The Village, was in his abilities as someone who could direct well enough up to a point. Here though, script and direction sink to lows, to the point where as an amateur filmmaker myself I felt like I had achieved a lot in comparison with this. Shyamalan cooks up some incoherent mythological 'fairy tale' (originally meant for his kids, usually not a good idea) involving Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), a maintenance man at an apartment complex, one night finds a very strange, petrified girl in the pool, and soon he finds out a) her name is 'Story', and she's b) called a 'narf' based on an old tale told to him by a Chinese lady, not to mention c) she needs to leave this place before these weird moss-covered dog creatures called 'scrunts' come after her, so d) practically all of the attendees at the apartment complex will somehow play a role in her getting safely away on the talons of an eagle.

So you can imagine what could be attained from this material, which is nothing. Zero. There's not even the chance of potential as there was in Gibson's train-wreck picture. From the opening animated introduction to this magical world, things do not look good. It also doesn't help that this time, as a director, Shyamalan doesn't even halfway competently film this stuff. It looks as if the actors, who already seem incredibly stilted and with looks sometimes on their faces like 'why the hell am I in this clap trap' (Giamatti most of all), get very awkwardly, art-farty framed in compositions that do nothing to illustrate any kind of connection with the subject matter. It's self-conscious past the point of inertia, and even if one doesn't really usually pay attention to how a film is directed it won't take long to see something is f***ed up here scene after incredulous scene. And the actors, of course, end up being at the mercy of the director's own pretensions. Giamatti has to deal with cruxes like a stutter, a family of his that died, and a director who forces him and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard into whispering dialog scenes- even when he's all the way across the room from her! Other usually dependable character players like Jeffrey Wright and particularly Bob Balaban also become cannon fodder for Shyamalan's own twisted dealings, with Balaban playing a movie critic who finds there are no original stories left in movies...and then has to shamelessly comment on his own demise when it's met with a scrunt.

And there's Shyamalan here, too, for the first time giving himself more than just the hapless cameo role that he's done in past films. To add on to the heap of completely illogical and just plain laughably bad camera set-ups (leaving the camera on nothing, or do a half face of a person, or do very odd cut-aways without transitions), he plays a writer who's book may save the world. Then again, he's only one piece to the Goodyear Blimp wreck that is Lady in the Water. While I've never found him to be the genius wonder-kind that he became after The Sixth Sense, his first few major successes were pretty impressive, with the occasional script flaws and annoying twists compensated by the strong performances and good sense of direction. But maybe only someone with such clout, and sparks of talent, could go so far off the deep-end as he has here. Not to be immodest about it, it becomes a litmus test to see what a filmmaker with carte-blanch can do to annoy the audience. One thing's for sure, except for unintentional purposes watching the movie with friends who feel the same way, there's no entertainment here. It's simply one of the worst films I've ever seen.

29 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did her hair turn blonde at the end? MrsRuran
Far too underrated Nicolesbunny88
so why is it so bad wythedavis
people who understood it - convince me (no haters plz) weemac1
Sorry I'm not buying this rubbish angel-591
Why did the guy die? chrishagop
Discuss Lady in the Water (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: