The Lifeguard Synopsis
On the verge of her 30th birthday, Leigh (Kristen Bell) leaves her busy life and job in New York City behind for her parents suburban home. Taking her old summer job as a lifeguard, she falls into her teenage life: hanging out, partying in the woods,...
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
The Lifeguard is a watchable, emotionally redolent trip down one woman's memory lane.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
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...
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The Dissolve

By Mike D'Angelo
Bell is too inherently sympathetic to turn Leigh into a credibly flawed protagonist, and first-time writer-director Liz W. Garcia seems...
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By 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...
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The A.V. Club

By Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Like its lead character, The Lifeguard is stuck in a rut. After establishing Bell’s frustration within the first five minutes, the movie...
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The New York Times

By Nicolas Rapold
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...
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
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...
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Justin Lowe
Surprisingly for a writer turned director, the most evident shortcomings with Garcia’s feature originate with the script. With barely any...
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By Peter Debruge
Lambert brings a forlorn dimension to his seductive young role, but Bell never really convinces as the older woman. Despite flirting with...
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Village Voice

By Ernest Hardy
From concept to execution to tone, writer-director Liz W. Garcia's The Lifeguard is a lifeless misfire.
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A Big Mess

By moviefan508
A bunch of 30 year olds spending much too much time examining their lives! They seem to have no purpose and the movie is a waste of time!...

Definitely a movie worthy of your time

By Mich Sineath
The Lifeguard is a story about a woman, about to turn 30, who returns home to reconnect to her youth in all the wrong ways. Great writing, cinematography and a superb cast, but what's most...


Could have been an interesting story but the dialogue and some of the key characters aren't believable....


By natalieleibert7
This movie was a little different for Bell- however I thought she fit the part very well. The entire film was very well produced and written. One of the best movies I've seen in a while!!...

Really Boring!

By hoffoliv
I excpeted more of Kristen Bell. This movie was dull and boring. I felt like it was meant to go somewhere and it felt flat. It was all about sex and getting high and that was it. I know it was...


By Yep2002
Rented this on iTunes weeks ago... Awful....

More Info

Rated R | For for strong sexuality, brief graphic nudity, drug use, language and a disturbing image - some involving teens
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 17 & under Drama is short on story, long on illicit romance.
Read the Common Sense Media Review