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Signs

( 63 )

Overview

Following the smash hit The Sixth Sense (1999) and the under-performing follow-up Unbreakable (2000), directing phenom M. Night Shyamalan returns to the summer box office landscape that served as the backdrop for his cinematic breakthrough. In Signs, another paranormal outing for the writer-director, Shyamalan explores the eerie implications of a 500-foot crop circle that mysteriously appears on the Bucks County, PA farm of reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As Hess and his family (Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, ...
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Overview

Following the smash hit The Sixth Sense (1999) and the under-performing follow-up Unbreakable (2000), directing phenom M. Night Shyamalan returns to the summer box office landscape that served as the backdrop for his cinematic breakthrough. In Signs, another paranormal outing for the writer-director, Shyamalan explores the eerie implications of a 500-foot crop circle that mysteriously appears on the Bucks County, PA farm of reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As Hess and his family (Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin) try to take stock of what the sign means, and how its message incorporates into their faith, they start to get the feeling they are not alone in the fields behind their house. Shyamalan re-teams with producers Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer and Kathleen Kennedy, and produces the project in association with his Blinding Edge Pictures banner and Touchstone Pictures. ~ Derek Armstrong
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Making Signs: Looking for Signs, Building Signs, "Making Signs: a commentary by M. Night Shyamalan," the effects of Signs, "Last Voices: the music of Signs," Full circle; Storyboards: multi-angle features; Night's first alien movie
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The worldwide phenomenon of "crop circles" -- supposedly engineered by visiting aliens -- provides a suitably eerie jumping-off point for the latest spine-tingling thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan The Sixth Sense. Signs is something of a tour de force for Mel Gibson, uncharacteristically understated in his portrayal of a recently widowed minister whose isolated farm is the scene of inexplicable events. The sudden appearance of crop circles, followed by nocturnal visits from unseen strangers, unnerves the minister, his children Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin, and his younger brother Joaquin Phoenix. They choose to remain barricaded inside their run-down farmhouse to defend it against invasion by extraterrestrials. In both his screenwriting and his direction, Shyamalan studiously avoids the sensationalistic trappings of most alien-invasion movies; in fact, as the opening reels unspool, it's not at all clear that there are aliens in the vicinity. But as the evidence mounts, so does the tension, and the film's second half dispels any ambiguity while convincingly portraying the claustrophobic terror that grips the protagonists. Gibson is superb as the embittered preacher whose loss of faith initially leaves him ill equipped to deal with the crisis, and Phoenix is very nearly as good as the underachieving brother who rises magnificently to the occasion when his loved ones are imperiled. Shyamalan's directorial technique is refreshing in its simplicity: His camera moves aren't flashy, he doesn't rely on special effects, and his measured pacing gives viewers time to absorb each scene for maximum emotional impact. Moreover, he realizes that what you don't see is often scarier than what you do see. Such restraint, so unusual in today's genre films, is largely responsible for making Signs one of the most effective horror/sci-fi movies of recent years. Shyamalan supplies a feature-length commentary for the DVD, which also includes deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
All Movie Guide
It's kind of amazing that no one had previously attempted a spooky movie about crop circles, given the ominous portent of these unexplained phenomena. M. Night Shyamalan harnesses that unrealized potential and then some in Signs, his fifth and most mainstream release, which makes the much-revisited topic of alien invasion freshly eerie, yet also showcases a heretofore unseen strength in the director's dour oeuvre: humor. Shyamalan actively bucks the trend of films like Independence Day, shunning pyrotechnics and scenes of chaos in the world's capital cities. Instead he focuses on one rural Pennsylvania family, in turn keeping with his trademark emotional intimacy -- which, when it doesn't consume him, allows the audience to experience the crisis with an equivalent sense of mounting anxiety. Shyamalan makes sublime use of news footage as a means of imparting chilling glimpses of alien avidence, rendered hyper-real through the medium; in fact, the director deepens the impact by drawing a visual link to September 11th, in the form of engrossed viewers huddled around televisions, absorbing the unspeakable. Though Signs is certainly an original vision, boasting a full complement of clever yet unobtrusive camera tricks by Tak Fujimoto, it comes with a price. Namely, Shyamalan travels so deep into the psyches of his characters that he sometimes loses the big picture, dwelling on a past tragedy at the expense of the imminent emergency, and becoming a little too touchy-feely. There's also considerable effort to bear fruit from all the foreshadowing -- as a wise musician once sang, it's "signs, signs, everywhere signs." Still, Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix contribute some of the most naturalistic acting of their careers, and Shyamalan has created a gripping cinematic experience that reminds viewers of when being scared was a kind of intoxication.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2008
  • UPC: 786936767155
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Touchstone / Disney
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 32,199

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mel Gibson Graham Hess
Joaquin Phoenix Merrill Hess
Cherry Jones Officer Caroline Paski
Rory Culkin Morgan Hess
Abigail Breslin Bo Hess
Patricia Kalember Colleen Hess
M. Night Shyamalan Ray Reddy
Ted Sutton Cunningham
Merritt Wever Tracey
Lanny Flaherty Mr. Nathan
Marion McCorry Mrs. Nathan
Michael Showalter Lionel
Rhonda Overby Sarah Hughes
Technical Credits
M. Night Shyamalan Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Douglas Aibel Casting
Keith P. Cunningham Art Director
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Larry Fulton Production Designer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Kathleen Kennedy Executive Producer
Richard King Sound/Sound Designer
Tod A. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Marshall Producer
Sam Mercer Producer
Douglas Mowat Set Decoration/Design
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
John Rusk Asst. Director
Barbara Tulliver Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 63 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Best Movie by M. Night Shymalan

    This is the best movie M. Night Shymalan has made! All the actors/actresses chosen for this movie were perfect :) This movie is about having "faith" altho it doesn't seem to be at first. It seems to be another classic sci-fi movie but then MNS throws in those wonderful Hitchcockian twists of his and turns the movie on its ear. :) Mel Gibson's character has lost his faith due to the death of his wife, but everyone around him still has faith in God. As the movie progresses, he comes to realize that there is a God and finds his faith again.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVE THIS MOVIE!

    I love this movie! The movie is about aliens attaching the world. Nobody knows it's going to happen, yet there are signs of its coming. The movie is so scary, yet the characters keep you calmed. It's one of those scary movies that let the good guy win. A must have in your movie collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If you've been looking for signs...

    This is the first film that actually changed the way I thought about the world. It is absolutely incredible how Night uses a camera to turn the ordinary into a visionary feast for the eyes. Through simple shots of shattered glass, wind chimes, reflections and shadows, coupled with a paranoid, psychologically straining score by James Newton Howard, you will suddenly see life - and death - as they are meant to be seen. The film has an exceptionally good script, the dialogue making you feel more and more a part of a world about to be invaded. And the most amazing thing is that through it all, I felt the strangest mix of peace and anxiety. Because ultimately, this movie conquers fear rather than let it rule. It's about hope in the midst of imminent death, founded in the knowledge that Someone is watching over us. Because there really are Signs. Maybe you just haven't seen them yet. But you'll see them in this film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is My Favorite Movie

    I loved it. It was so orignal. Most of the time Night can really come up with outstanding material. This has to be my favorite movie of all time. It has great acting. I think the kids did really well. Especially Abigail Breslin, who was adorable. I thought the ending was great, and so unexpected. I also thought that it had a really great message. Please see this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    M. Night Shylaman- "Signs & Lady In the Water"

    Actually, "Sixth Sense" is not Night's 1st feature film,"Praying with Anger" is. His first feature was shot entirely on location in his native homeland"India", at the tender age of 19 or 20. His 2nd full feature was titled, "Wide Awake", shot in the fall of 1995 on location in Philadelphia at the age of 23. His 3rd feature, "Sixth Sense" was shot on location again in Philadelphia at the age of 25. Mr. Shylaman is considered a veteran in the industry as he went on to produce box office no draws every two years. He usually makes Philadelphia his home for film making and discovering local and regional talent and that I like him for. Am I a fan of his work? "Not Really", most of his genres are the same as he tries his luck as a mystery writer, he is just ok in my book, I would not say brilliant, except for "Sixth Sense". Where he produced what I beleive a masterpiece, his best, only on that one. With the production of his 1st two features, I think Mr. Shylaman would be best suited with writing scripts for family or comedy genres. If he notices the "Signs" I believe he will rise further as one of the top ten if he takes a couple of step back and re-think his approach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Disappointing !!

    M. Night Shyamalan broke out with his first film, The Sixth Sense, a movie that may very well prove to be both his best and most popular. There are worse fates that creating a cultural touchstone in film your first time out. He followed this with what some thought of as the disappointing Unbreakable. In that line of thought, I must agree that his movie about comic book superheroes looked anything but super. But most of that can be attributed to the cinematographer. In its defense, part of the point was to have the film look mundane. It was about a person who discovers that he's a superhero. It's only a surprise to him if his life looks plain and ordinary, like everyone else's. SIGNS cinematography is much better, more in line with Shyamalan's first film, but in all other ways, plot, pacing, characters, it's a weaker film. Many reviewers have complained about the emotionless nature of M. Night's characters, and he fairs no better here. There are no characters in this film, just caricatures. There is "the brainy kid" who is also "the kid who won't forgive one parent for the other parent's death." Not that the child's a bad actor, but he's a Culkin. And let's face it, all the little Culkin Clones make you think about beating the crap out of Joe Pesci on Christmas Eve, not their character. Then there's "the cute kid' who is also "the kinda creepy kid." Unfortunately, Kinda Creepy Kid was already done, and much better, by Haley Joel Osment, in Shyamalan's own The Sixth Sense. Next, we have Gladiator's ever-creepy Juaquim Phoenix, not as Mel Gibson's son, but as his brother. Now, I'm not saying it's impossible, but it is distracting. I'm sure there's at least 20 years difference in age between Gibson and Phoenix, and on screen it looks more like 30. Brothers? The theater-of-reality is blown in the first scene. Phoenix's character is an ex-minor league baseball player, for no apparent reason except that it's a convenient plot device when it comes time to beat the bad guy in the last reel. He doesn't play baseball anymore, despite the fact that he holds the minor league record for the longest hit, at 507 feet. With an arm like that, why isn't he playing ball in the big leagues, much less not playing at all? The only reason given is that he also holds the record for the most strike-outs. Sounds like a man who played in the majors in Cleveland for a decade, called Jim Thome. Someone should have told M. Night that the top 8 hitters in major league baseball all had more than 100 strike-outs each their last two seasons each. And that even back when Babe Ruth was the home run leader, he was also the holder of the record for the most strike-outs. So it just doesn't add up. And don't forget the town sheriff who's a woman and may be a love interest for the male lead. The only problem with her is that we just had a town sheriff who's a woman and may be a love interest for the male lead, in The Mothman Prophecies. And Laura Linney actually had the opportunity to add a little thing called DEPTH to the character. The actress here is just another cardboard cut-out, that ultimately could've been cut completely from the film without anyone noticing. But the award for cardboard cut-out character and winner of the prestigious Kevin Costner Wooden Indian Actor Award goes to Mel Gibson. For the first time in film, the man is emotionless, joyless, and humorless. He plays a reverend who's lost his faith because his wife died in a car accident. One problem with this is that we saw this character ALSO, just a few years ago when we watched Harvey Keitel play a reverend who's lost his faith because his wife died in a car accident. Again, with the unfortunate result that the THEFT of this tired, Stock Character was also A bad choice, as that even in that "We-Know-We're-Making-a-B Movie" film (From Dusk Till Dawn), Keitel was much much better. We never believe that Mel Gibson has lost his faith

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Edgar Allen Poe of Filmmaking

    M. Night Shymalan is the Edgar Allen Poe of filmmaking. Both seek out the weirder and horrific edges of life, even if they are imaginative and both men are. This movie was quite original, but its actors (ahem, Mel Gibson) was limited, as always. The aliens weren't too friendly, I guess the dogs learned that first hand, LOL.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must for your movie collection.

    Mel Gibson, aliens and a great story - what more could you ask for? Popcorn maybe. This is a scary, thought provoking, grab the kleenex movie with one of the best "YES!" endings ever. (You know, the kind of ending where you're bouncing in your seat yelling "YES!". It gets better every time you watch it, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Glad so many people like this film!

    And for those who don't cry somewhere else. This movie is not about aliens, it is about one man reclaiming his faith and I was thrilled to see a mainstream hollywood film dealing with this without sounding preachy. It was very entertaining and quite suspenseful. Really enjoyed this film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorite films!

    This movie is just awesome in general. I observe more every time I watch it. It is exciting, suspenseful, and satisfying. Everyone should see it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie is totally gripping!

    I loved this movie! Mel Gibson did awesome. It's scary too. It also has a good point on christianity. So I encourage you guys to see this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Signs

    This movie was quite enjoyable and just made you want ot see it again and again if you missed something or didn't get understand something. The scary part was when the part of the Brazil birthday party thing and then... It didn't look scary but for some reason it made some people out of their wits. Entertaining movie though that delivers the chills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Super Signs!

    Signs is about the Hess family encountering terrifying invaders from just outdoors of the earth. Morgan, the son, has asthma, and Bo, the daughter, hates 'contaminated' water. Merill, the uncle, was a former baseball player, making a record of hitting the ball 507 ft. away! And Graham, a man whose life and faith is torn apart when his wife dies. Anyways, once you see it, you'll have to buy it. All of these charaters in the family add up in a twisted, horrifying moment in their lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good and Bad

    The development of the story was perfect. The way tension and suspense were built was brilliant. The premise was excellent, seeing the demise of the world through the eyes of a small town farm-family was an interesting way to view things. I do not think Shyamalan gave the audience enough credit however. The ending was a little long winded, he did not need to explain the entire movie in the dialogue and flashbacks, that cheapened the effect I think. He is still a genious though, the screenwriting was flawless, music was always appropriate and added alot, and his use of light in color never ceases to amaze me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Modern day Alfred Hitchcock thriller!

    Not everyone will appreciate this film. But personally I found it to be very thrilling and moving. The story held my attention through out and I enjoyed how M. Night tied almost every event that happened as well as each persons little flaw or habit into a 'sign'. Good and Bad things happen in life to everyone... and sometimes although we may not be able to understand the reason these events happen... they may have a purpose that could possibly be life changing and beyond our sight at first. This is not an alien film... although aliens are in it... this is a story about a family whose life had been recently torn apart by tragedy. It deals with the anger, saddness and loss of faith that this tragedy causes. However it also shows us how these events although negative could lead to something positive when ultimately realized. Cool stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dissapointing throughout

    Look , the point is... I really don't care for any of M.Night Shylaman's movies. This director would be perfect for ``Soap Operas'' you see on Ch.4 (and I hate those) Let's be realistic people , the acting of these characters , were so hokey , and unrealistic , that it made you want to make fun of them , while watching. Mel Gibson was not a good father , because if he was , his son would not be in denial so much. The Uncle (Jaoquin Pheonix) is very dissapointing , considering he was in (Gladiator). Every person in this movie , had terrible acting , except for maybe Mel Gibson's Wife. Which the scene where she was against the tree , was the only part that caught my attention , cause for once there was some acting progress. Another dissapointing thing in this movie , which nobody mentioned , why did both dogs have to die , ok? I mean I understand that one had to get killed by the alien , you know like (The Lost World : Jurassic Park , where the T-Rex eats the dog) But...the kid , stabbing his own dog is beyond stupid. So anyway , another thing which agitates me is , not many characters , I mean c'mon , a child can count how many people are in this movie. So anyway , if you buy it , fine , but if you ask me what I think , it was dissapointing throughout the entire film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More than just a Science Fiction Movie

    This movie is one of the greatest I have ever seen. It is an amazing movie about faith and family, not too mention incredibly suspenseful. First of all, M. Night Shyamalan is one of the (if not the) greatest filmmaker of our time. He has an amazing talent for capturing a time and place and making you feel as though you were truly living right there with the family. He is today's Master of Suspense and, quite literally, I was at the edge of my seat for the final hour of the movie. However, this film is much more than a movie about aliens. Even more than an outstanding movie about aliens. It is about a man who has lost two of the three most important things in his life (his faith and his wife) and is fighting desperately to see that he does not lose the third (his family). By the end of this film you truly, truly care for these people and pray that they are all safe. There are scenes in this movie that are absolutely breathtaking. The best example of this is (without giving anything away) one of the son's final asthma attacks in the movie. During this scene the will to survive is displayed in such an amazingly poignant way. It is hard to believe that some people actually were not moved by this film. I think they missed the point completely. This is not only a great movie to watch if you're in for a scare. But it's one for families and anyone struggling with their faith. M. Night Shyamalan's best to date.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    Real Life

    I truely believe M. Night Shalayman is a genius at his craft. This movie was incredibly crafted and nearly everyone I've spoken to agrees that it was a real scary movie. My person reasoning as to why the movie was so scary was not because it had a scary song or even that the aliens were so frightening, the movie scared the living daylights out of you because it mimiced real life in a way most horror flicks don't do anymore. Think about it when something truely frightening was about to happen was there tons of scary music hyping you up to that fact? No, there was silence which is exactly what you would expect in reality. The whole weepy part about Mel Gibson and the recent death of his wife not only moved the plot along but also showed that the characters are real. They have other things going on in their lives. How many real people sit around and say ''oh yea everythings going great in my life right now, I'm just waiting for aliens to invade the earth.'' While all the coincidences might have seemed a little too convinent for the plot this just furthered one of the ideas that was being conveyed that there is a God and he is orchestrating everything for a purpose whether you believe it or not that was the point the movie was making.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    Loved It!

    I thought that ''Signs'' was abrilliant film, although slightly unrealistic. The aliens were so stereotypical in appearence, with green skin and large dark eyes, they spoilt the film at the end. Right up until they are shown is ace though, extremely gripping especially when watched on the big screen. Even with the stereotypes I think its better that M. Night Shyamalan hasn't tried to be too clever by creating some kind of strange new form of alien never explored in films before, like something out of star wars or even star trek (!) he sticks to the formulars and it works. It really explores our fear of the unknown. Excellent film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie sucked on so many levels.

    This movie was boring, predictable, and had a very stupid plot. IF you say I don't get the movie, you're a fool. This movie sucked.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews