Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
The Lifeguard is a watchable, emotionally redolent trip down one woman's memory lane. Read full review
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.”
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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. Read full review
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. Read full review
Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell’s frustration within the first five minutes, the movie continually reiterates it. Read full review
This directorial debut by Liz W. Garcia, a writer for television, bears some echoes of its creator’s origins, going from deft to trite in its drama and setting up character arcs that feel sappily resolved within its feature length. Read full review
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. Read full review
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. Read full review
Lambert brings a forlorn dimension to his seductive young role, but Bell never really convinces as the older woman. Despite flirting with controversy, the actress seems reluctant to plunge fully into potential unlikability, nor does the film quite give her the chance. Read full review
From concept to execution to tone, writer-director Liz W. Garcia's The Lifeguard is a lifeless misfire. Read full review
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