Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
What's odd about Lady in the Water is that for all Shyamalan's histrionics, he's overcontrolled.
Entertainment Weekly
Shyamalan's most alienating and self-absorbed project to date.
The A.V. Club
Shockingly misconceived, poorly executed effort.
A ponderous, self-indulgent bedtime tale. Awkwardly positioned, this gloomy gothic fantasy falls well short of horror.
Lady doesn't work. Although he detonates a few terrific frissons involving the scrunt, the stabs at comedy are lurching and arrant. The spreading of tension from one character to many dilutes the mood. The would-be rapturous Spielbergian ending is on the wussy side.
There are moments of great beauty throughout (the film was lensed by Wong Kar-Wai cinematographer Christopher Doyle), and Shyamalan's heart is nowhere if not on his sleeve, but even these moments cannot steer Lady in the Water clear of its director's zealously over-earnest pretensions.
L.A. Weekly
Lady in the Water feels very much like something its author made up as he went along; and, if it weren't so damn weird, it would most certainly put you right to sleep.
This is sloppy filmmaking, and it's likely to wipe away whatever luster still remains to Shyamalan's reputation.
Village Voice
It's as if on some semiconscious level, Shyamalan, who I do not doubt is a serious and self-serious pop-creative original, is calling his own success into question and daring his audience to gulp down larger and spikier clusters of manure, just to see if they will. Or he's lost his mind.

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