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Based on 14 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 60
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    The Lifeguard is one of those deceptive movies that, to its credit, winds up being about more than just an easy-to-describe tagline. In this case, that line would be: “Woman goes back to hometown, sleeps with high school boy.” show more

  • 30
    Justin Lowe The Hollywood Reporter

    Surprisingly for a writer turned director, the most evident shortcomings with Garcia’s feature originate with the script. With barely any backstory to support them, the characters consistently appear to lack the motivations necessary for their actions. show more

  • 27
    Jordan Hoffman

    The Lifeguard is a painfully dull (alleged) drama utterly lacking in originality or self-awareness. show more

  • 50
    Sheila O'Malley

    It's not the most original of concepts, and writer-director Liz W. Garcia struggles with the tone throughout, but The Lifeguard is often saved by Kristen Bell's sensitive and complex performance. show more

  • 38
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    Writer-director Liz W. Garcia depicts Leigh’s quandary with a heavy hand that gets heavier as the movie goes on, ending with one of those portentous freeze-frames that worked in “The 400 Blows” and never since. show more

  • 25
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    Dull yet contrived drama. show more

  • 25
    Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

    The film heroically stretches out its governing water metaphor to a point that allows it to best Garden State's Guinness World Record for most incessant navel-gazing. show more

  • 50
    Mike D'Angelo The Dissolve

    Bell is too inherently sympathetic to turn Leigh into a credibly flawed protagonist, and first-time writer-director Liz W. Garcia seems more interested in indulging the fantasy of the jailbait fling than in seriously interrogating her heroine’s psyche. show more

  • 20
    Eric Hynes Time Out New York

    This drama is as listless and self-regarding as its protagonist, flitting among underdeveloped characters and subplots and indulging in rote emo shots by the pool, yet never figuring out how to dive into the deep end. show more

  • 70
    Gary Goldstein Los Angeles Times

    The Lifeguard is a watchable, emotionally redolent trip down one woman's memory lane. show more

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