Signs

2002

Action / Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller

165
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 303838

Synopsis


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May 29, 2012 at 01:19 PM

Cast

Abigail Breslin as Bo Hess
Mel Gibson as Rev. Graham Hess
Joaquin Phoenix as Merrill Hess
Merritt Wever as Tracey Abernathy, the Pharmacist
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
700.71 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 13 / 59
1.64 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 8 / 32

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hongkong666 4 / 10

If you haven't seen it, you won't miss out.

First time I saw this movie as it was pretty new. Back then I didn't like it much and the only thing I remembered was, that it was pretty boring to watch. Now I thought of giving it a second chance. But still Signs doesn't get me at all. The acting and especially the dialogues are weird and during most of the time nothing happens in this movie. Graham and Merrill just appear a little dumb, but the way they treat the two children on the other hand is presented very heart warming. Yes, at the end we see one of the aliens, but again, it seems like this movie was not really trying to provoke a deeper reaction from the audience. Signs is well shot, but the story lacks excitement and the main characters, who are usually great actors, seem totally out of place in this one. If you haven't seen it, you won't miss out.

Reviewed by petra_ste 7 / 10

Flawed but better than its reputation

There are few things more or less all moviegoers tend to agree about, one of them being that the career of writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, after an impressive start (The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable), has turned out to be a huge disappointment. Opinions may differ on the moment he completely lost it, although Lady in the Water is generally regarded as the point his hubris got the better of him.

Like The Village, Signs belongs to a middle Shyamalan phase, where his visual talent still made up for his limits (preachiness, plot holes, the egotistic insistence of casting himself in pivotal roles).

Signs follows an alien invasion from the point of view of a small rural family including a widowed father (Mel Gibson), his younger brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and two kids. The movie is filmed with style, intelligence and an unusual attention to silence and stillness in the build-up of atmosphere.

The elephant in the room is, of course, a plot hole so conspicuous it has achieved memetic status, with the water-allergic invaders mastering interstellar travel but not raincoats and umbrellas. Why don't you just commit yourself to directing and leave screenplays to better writers and acting to actors, Night? Not everyone can be Orson Welles and pull triple duty.

Special mention for the fine score by James Newton Howard, homaging the works of the great Bernard Herrman.

6,5/10

Reviewed by Spikeopath 7 / 10

Now then, swing away Merill, again.

Signs is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin and Cherry Jones. Music is scored by James Newton Howard and cinematography by Tak Fujimoto.

Still reeling from the death of his wife, former man of the cloth Graham Hess (Gibson) lives and works on his farm with his two young children and younger brother. When the family awakes one morning to find a huge crop circle in their plantation, it is asked if it's a prank or the sign of alien contact?

I don't know if M. Night Shyamalan discouraged the marketing of Signs? Where evidence very much pointed to it being an alien invasion movie for all the family to enjoy? But Signs is anything but a family alien invasion movie. The trailers were deliberately vague, there was a mystery element hanging over the picture and with the Shyamalan CV already boasting the phenomenally successful The Sixth Sense and the divisive, but very moody, Unbreakable, hopes were pitched somewhere between excited and intrigued. Gibson on board, and Phoenix as well, good selling points without a doubt. However, Signs is a grower, a film that pays better dividends on further viewings once armed with the knowledge of what sort of theme drives it on. Yet it still frustrates greatly and you can see why it proved so divisive.

Shyamalan's movie is primarily about faith, the loss of such, the alien visitors are merely a component of this theme, they act as the catalyst that takes Graham to the pinnacle of his voyage of discovery. The meditations on faith and grief are subtle initially but they drive the picture forward, but then Manoj Shyamalan slips into sermonising and his picture strives for a huge ending to justify it, which unfortunately never arrives, this after having been tickled and baited by the mystery of what the aliens want, friend or foe? Questions leap out such as will the Hess family come through this latest crisis in one piece? And will this "invasion" marry up with the director's thematics that he is so keen for us to open our hearts to? The answers to these questions are mixed, and take further viewings to digest fully. That is if you can forgive the downright idiocy of the alien visitors in the first place?

The last third has killed the film for many, which is a shame given the excellence on offer in the first hour. Shyamalan's camera is wonderfully fluid, his mise en scène is ace and he garners wonderfully low-key performances from his cast. While as much as his critics hate to acknowledge it, the director has a brilliant knack for building suspense, the ability to draw the viewer into his world, playing on our basic inquisitive nature. That he hasn't delivered on his promise, both here with the finale to the film and later in his overall directing career (though this writer personally loves The Village), is hard to argue against, but there is major talent there buried in his egocentric/confused make up. Elsewhere, James Newton Howard's score is channelling Herrmann and Fujimoto's photography is sublime, this really is a beautiful movie to look at.

Definitely not a family film, and not really an alien invasion film, with it showcasing both the good and bad aspects of its director. Yet still compelling and pretty enough to warrant a second viewing me thinks. 7/10

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