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Signs  (2002)

Cast: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, M. Night Shyamalan, Patricia Kalember
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
U.S. Distribution: Touchstone
U.S. Release Date: 8/2/02
Running Time: 1:44
MPAA Rating: PG-13

The mystery surrounding crop circles - aliens or rednecks? - is answered at last.

It's that guy who made The Sixth Sense! And while I cannot exactly pronounce his name, I can say with some certainty that M. Night Shymalan has more than a sense for dramatic storytelling. His movies are almost as manipulating as they are mesmerizing, but mature audiences cannot get enough. (Signs and Sixth Sense grossed more than $500 million at U.S. box offices alone!)

After casting Bruce Willis as the lead in his two previous films (more recently in Unbreakable), Shymalan directs Mel Gibson as Graham Hess, a farmer and pastor whose faith has been shaken to the core after witnessing the horrific death of his wife. Signs opens approximately six months after her death with Hess, his children (Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin) and his brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) residing in rural Pennsylvania (near the director's usual Philadelphia setting). When a giant crop circle is discovered in their corn field, they soon learn that there is something else out there.

There are a number of exceptional scenes in Signs, but most of them occur during the film's first hour. The conclusion is...

© 2002, Delton Perrodin

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