on 27 February 2012
M Night Shyamalan is undoubtedly one of the most talanted directors at work today, with such brilliant films as Unbreakable, Sixth Sense, the village and lady in the water under his belt anybody would be foolish to say he does not have talent.
With Signs, Shyamalan moves away from the supernatural and the fantasy and into science fiction, but rather than delivering a by the books, alien invasion story he gives us something unique, engaging,compelling and disturbing. Mel Gibson heads the relatively small cast and he does so very well, his portrayal of a grieving father trying to cope with the crop circles appearing in his fields is very genuine and engaging. The other cast members, Jaqouin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin and Rory Culkin are also equally as good. It's Shyamalan's directing that shines through most prominently, his trademark periods of silence help create an eerie, isolated atmosphere and rather than relying on mountains of CGI effects he uses the prospect of an alien invasion to create tension and fear. James Newton Howards score is perfectly aligned to the film and only helps in making this film more engaging.
Overall, Shyamalan has struck gold again and its impossible to find fault with this film. It is a modern classic and will stay with you long after the TV has been switched off.
Extras include a making of and deleted scenes that are very interesting.
on 14 January 2011
i really enjoyed watching this film, its now become one of my favourite films. Shyamalan really knows how to create suspence, you wont be disapointed the films shows some brilliant shots and has a soundtrack tailored to fit the film. this film is now one of my favourite titles, although im not really fond of the scenes when the kid has his first attack in the basement i felt it was alittle corny some of the script and i think they should have told us some more about the water weakness but otherwise a brilliant film.
the soundtrack that james newton howard created is brilliant as always, it gives me the sense of wonder and the unknown which matches the films content. i enjoy watching the sequences with the aliens, because the director does not show the aliens often which is a brilliant idea which also can be seen in "Alien". great acting performances from the main characters, the movie gave me a few laughs which was suprising given the look and the ideas i had about the film.
the delivery was good, even though this might not happen to you but i recieved this 3 days before the bracket of expected arrival started, so im happy i didnt have to wait long. i hope i was informative
i didnt give this full starts because nothings perfect, even if i cant see anything wrong with it, it does not mean it isnt missing something. stuff can always be improved
on 16 August 2007
In one of his recent quasi-stand-up-comedy DVDs, Kevin Smith - Hollywood's second-most-famous-devout-Catholic director - laid into Mel Gibson in a most entertaining fashion. He pointed out that 'The Passion of the Christ' is a thoroughly awful film, consisting as it does of ninety minutes of people kicking the stuffing out of the Messiah, and he plaintively asked 'Where's Riggs? What happened?'
The last known sighting of Mel Gibson's genius for subversive comedy was in this underrated and weird movie. Gibson's performance as a straitlaced pastor facing nasty aliens is a gem, matched by Joaquin Phoenix as his nervous brother and the two kids as Gibson's children (his wife having been killed in an especially nasty car accident). Ever since we watched this, my wife and I have had entire private jokes based around lines from the film, the two most durable being 'I think everyone needs to calm down and eat some fruit' and 'I'm insane with rage!' I cherish the moment where Phoenix and the kids are discovered wearing tinfoil hats to prevent the aliens from zapping their brains.
No it's not a very good thriller, nor I think was really meant to be. Shyamalan's star may or may not have fallen; I like to think he'll recover from the disaster of 'The Lady in the Water', but in the meantime this is IMO his most purely enjoyable movie.
on 7 June 2009
Like the advert for marmite this film seems to divide most of us between those that love it and those that hate it, oh and of course those that don't mind it! Now lets be clear I love it. Having just watched it for the second time recently, after years of avoiding it because of the bad reviews and in truth because of Mel who generally dislike more than I like, and yet again I found myself loving every moment.
Now okay the whole premise is indeed very silly, but then since when has that beeen an issue in an art form that has us believing in the undead, angels, and invisible rabbits? My advise is to those that take life too seriously don't watch this, but then again don't watch Harvey, the Dark Knight, The Thing, and a hundered other great films.
Put simply there is a lovely feel to this film, beautifully shot, excellent acting all around, and enormous fun plot (yes very silly but amazingly atmospheric). This film has some some good jump moments and yet mixes these effortlessly with some real moments of fun.
I say agian yes the plot is silly, but so what? The key is that like all great films it is a magical ride. Do not be put off by the bad reviews, if you have a sense of imagination, and an enjoyment of film at it's best watch this.
Oh and I don't love or hate marmite, kind of don't mind it.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I know lots of people on Amazon haven't been impressed by this film, and they've a right to their opinions. I guess it's just people like me who enjoyed it.
I love and hate this film. I hate it because it still gives me nightmares sometimes (I have a phobia of aliens, started in childhood by ET...), but I love it because it tells a beautiful story with the concept of an alien invasion as a chilling backdrop. A man who loses his faith after his wife is killed in a freak accident, then finds it again after (through perhaps fate) his son's life is saved.
I found the aliens terrifying-that first time when Graham (Mel Gibson) looks out the window and sees one in the dark is one of my scariest movie moments ever.
It also has a beautiful and often chilling score by James Newton Howard. I had to buy it. Look out for the amazing music during the climax.
This movie did not live up to my expectations. I was so sure that I was going to be spooked, amazed, blown away and whiplashed by the ending, that I scheduled an uninterrupted midnight viewing, in the still of the night, and zapped me up a big bowl of popcorn for company.
What I actually got for my trouble was a so-so movie, with great sound effects (surround sound is a necessity of life) and greasy fingers from the popcorn.
It did have its moments, but sadly, there weren't enough of them, and the inconsistent story kept falling through the holes in the plot, shattering and splattering like glasses of water.
Mel Gibson played his part to the hilt, and if you had ever before encountered a minister who lost his faith after the death of his wife, and who had to protect his asthmatic son and psychic daughter from cheesy looking aliens, well - you probably would have seen somebody just like Mel.
Joaquin Phoenix is one of my favorite actors, but he looked like the drooling village idiot in this one. The kids did okay, and the dogs performed very well.
If you're in a hurry to see a good alien movie, glance at Signs, but take a detour.
Amanda Richards, October 22, 2004
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2003
I liked this film. It wasn't the best film I've ever seen, nor was it the worst. It certainly doesn't deserve the censure it has received in previous reviews. Having seen Sixth Sense, but not Unbreakable, I choose not to judge it as part of a trilogy, but to assess it on it's own merits.
Signs deals with the question of life beyond that which exists on Earth, both physically (represented in form of the aliens) and metaphysically (represented by Hess's crisis of faith and whether there is someone up there looking out for us).
The film worked best before the aliens were seen (althought the footage of the Brazilian birthday party scared me half to death), and the tension was built up well. I thought Gibson and Phoenix were excellent, and the children were portrayed well.
I don't have a problem with the alien's not knowing how to open doors, or indeed not having anticipated problems with water. Nothing is shown of the interiors of the alien crafts nor of their homeworlds, deliberately I believe. We simply don't know the capabilities of the aliens.
I do however have a problem with being patronised by the flash backs to earlier parts of the film - when Hess realises where he has seen the alien in his house before etc. It worked well in Sixth Sense, where is was an appropriate device, but was out of place here. I think the director needs to give his viewers slightly more credit than that!
The religious element was dealt with poorly, and it seemed that Hess's dilemma was 2 dimensional. Also I've never heard of non-Catholic clergy being referred to as Father. Just a thought.
The ending was a bit "Hollywood", which was a shame, and it was unsatisfying in so much as there was no explanation for why the aliens came or why they left. But that is exactly what redeems it above run of the mill sci-fi thrillers.
Makes you think, makes you shake your head, but all in all not a waste of an evening.
on 8 April 2003
... not if the aliens would have seen this movie first. then they would have stayed away in the first place.
well, maybe i should not be too harsh but as I did not know anything about this movie when I first saw it, it all seemed rather weird. First of all, it is not the aliens which might be creepy, but the people themselves. The characters are rather weird and no one seems normal, especially not the main character (Gibson) and his children...
Then, when they actually start showing aliens... it's getting worse. Without trying to give the plot away... actually, that's not possible as everyone who has seen a Hollywood movie before knows what happens.
Anyway, I am still left wondering why aliens always have human-like bodies, green skin, large black eyes and are always naked? Also, I found it rather funny to see creatures travelling millions of lightyears and not being able to open a wooden door because of an axe blocking it.
Oh well, on the other hand I heard some people found it all very exciting. Up to you, I guess, but don't expect a movie that differs from the whole ET cliche. The idea was really good and interesting but the result not very convincing.
on 14 November 2011
*Warning: This review contains plot spoilers*
It is hard to ignore that the aliens are invading earth naked, carrying no weapons and can be injured quite easily, but apparently are still winning. It's hard to ignore that in this film people that feel threatened in their own home repeatedly don't pick something up to use as a weapon, but instead run around empty handed. Its particularly hard to believe that people in the USA don't have a gun, especially in rural areas where this film is set and where there is probably legitimate need to have one.
If you can forget about all this, the film is an excellent ride. Excellent acting, excellent suspense and a great ending. When you reach the end of the film you will realise that it would not have worked (as a film) if everyone picked up a weapon when the aliens attacked and this is the problem. The film could not be made in any other way than it was without it spoiling the ending. I guess it's the scripts fault. Perhaps someone should have noticed the problems with the plot before production began and tried to rewrite the script?
Despite it being unbelievable I'm still going to give it 4 stars, because it is a great film.
For me Signs is a fine film but like so many other reviewers I am aware that Signs splits opinions. I don't think this is a bad thing. For what its worth my wife and I very much enjoyed this film - for whatever reason - we did. Now its a favourite and we enjoy it everytime.
The film is based upon a family who live in Pennsylvania who consist of two children, father and Uncle. The mother of the children is killed in a freak accident and its her last words that lead the father (an ex-holy man) to understand that everything he can see is not all there is and that is what eventually leads him to restore his faith.
The film is set against an impending Alien invasion. I felt this was done very well and had the film been simply based upon this sort of thing would have worked just as well. However, M. Night Shyamalan wanted something deeper than that and added the twists and turns of a man who'd lost his faith and two children who had lost their mother. For me, Signs is a fine film and if taken for what it is won't let anyone down. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix are excellent - especially Phoenix. 5 out of 5 for me but be warned - this film isn't for everyone.