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The Sixth Sense phenomenon. Child psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe takes on the case of a deeply troubled boy named Cole Sear. At first Cole is reluctant to be helped, but as Malcolm gets closer to the boy, Malcolm learns the root of Cole's fears, he claims he sees ghosts. The Sixth Sense was a monster hit back in 1999, a deftly crafted ghost story with a kicker that was talked about by all and sundry, the box office bulged and the critics did rave. Nowadays you will find hundreds of people proclaiming that the film is boringly formulaic, that they worked out the film's premise easily in the first quarter of the film, or that the film is a mere cliché, funny how I don't remember it like that back in 1999! The box office bulged because many went to see the film more than once, they went (myself included) back to see just how director M. Night Shyamalan (Academy Award Nominated Best Director) managed to bluff us and pull the rug from under our feet. I remember vividly both times I saw it in the cinema, the crucial turning point of the piece bringing a collective audible gasp from the viewers sunken in their respective seats, that's the sort of impact that carries a film's reputation far and wide, and that's the reason why I will never rate the film lower than 10/10. Repeat viewings of The Sixth Sense obviously dim its star appeal because we know the tricks of the directors trade, but the film still ranks to me as one of the best of its type for so many other reasons rarely mentioned. The writing from Shyamalan (Academy Award Nominated Best Screenplay) is surprisingly complex, the piece masquerading as a horror picture is emotionally charged, linking children with the paranormal through loss and a need for understanding, the need for closure of unresolved differences, but chiefly and crucial to the film's heart is the message of connection before it's too late. The performances are incredible, Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe is perfectly understated, all the pointers for the denouement are there for us to see, but such is the actors performance, and we now know he is cutely having to play his cards close to his chest, are hidden from us until the revisit of the picture reveals it all. Hayley Joel Osment (Academy Award Nominated Best Supporting Actor) is wonderful, for a child performance in a film of this type to not be over sentimental, is quite an achievement. Sympathetic Cole may be, but Osment never lets it become less than the accepted level of child vulnerability. Rounding out the great trio of leads is Toni Collette (Academy Award Nominated Best Supporting Actress) as Cole's mother, Lynn, fabulous in portraying the love and confusion in Cole's troubled world, this story arc between the two is expertly realised. The direction from Shyamalan is very restrained, forgoing out and out shock value for periods of disquiet, he uses sounds to make the audience sense the unease unfolding in this creepy tale, while his camera work, full of draw ins and pull outs-and subtle side shifts, is adroitly in tone with the narrative. The score from James Newton Howard flits beautifully between the uneasy periods and the sustained moments of query, while Tak Fujimoto's cinematography puts a gorgeous funereal texture over this part of Philadelphia. If you haven't seen it then don't believe the naysayers, because The Sixth Sense deserved every penny/cent it made, its a wonderful, creepy, and yes, at times, a beautiful picture. A film that still ranks as one of the best ghost stories ever crafted. 10/10
_**Bruce Willis stars in Shyamalan’s supernatural drama/mystery**_ A child psychologist (Bruce Willis) tries to help a boy (Haley Joel Osment) who has a unique problem (or gift) and is called a “freak” by his peers. Olivia Williams plays the wife of the therapist and Toni Collette the mother of the boy. Written & directed by M. Night Shyamalan, "The Sixth Sense" (1999) was his breakout film. It’s a slow-burn drama with paranormal elements. When my wife & I first saw it we didn’t know anything about the story except everyone was raving about it; and the ending really does elicit a ‘Wow’ response. Seeing it again, I was wondering if the movie works if you know the big reveal and it does. While the drama’s a little tedious, it’s refreshing compared to modern blockbusters with their idiotic explosions every five minutes. Furthermore, the film is aesthetically pleasing, which is helped by the unique locations (Philadelphia & areas nearby). Lastly, it is interesting to view the flick to see how Shyamalan was able to successfully hide the twist. The movie runs 1 hour, 47 minutes. GRADE: B
It is the final and greatest plottwist that puts a smile on your face, as all the puzzle pieces fit at last. 9/10
There are three really potent performances in this mystery and none better than a super debut from eleven year old Haley Joel Osment who is the troubled young "Cole". He can see dead people, he can talk to dead people, he can learn from dead people. His problem is, not unreasonably, that nobody believes him - and his mother "Lynn" (Toni Collette) is at her wit's end. Enter onto the scene child psychologist "Crowe" (Bruce Willis) who has some experience in this field as one of his other patients "Vincent" (Donnie Wahlberg) suffered with the same problem - only with tragic consequences. Of course the scepticism abounds, but as the plot develops we all begin to wonder just what is a figment of the youngster's imagination and what is actual fact. M. Night Shyamalan lets the actors do the heavy lifting here, accompanied well by some intimate photography and an effective score from James Newton Howard. Collette is really convincing as the distraught mother and Osment just oozes a confidence well beyond his years as his character comes to terms with a trauma that would test the most robust of temperaments. Finally, Willis reminds us just why he was ever a star in the first place - his performance is delicate and assured. The dialogue is well constructed with little extraneous verbiage to clutter up what is a really compelling foray into a scary yet enthralling dimension that I really enjoyed watching. It is better still on a big screen, if you can.
Khaila Richards, a crack-addicted single mother, accidentally leaves her baby in a dumpster while high and returns the next day in a panic to find he is missing. In reality, the baby has been adopted by a warm-hearted social worker, Margaret Lewin, and her husband, Charles. Years later, Khaila has gone through rehab and holds a steady job. After learning that her child is still alive, she challenges Margaret for the custody.
In her many years as a social worker, Emily Jenkins believes she has seen it all, until she meets 10-year-old Lilith and the girl's cruel parents. Emily's worst fears are confirmed when the parents try to harm the child, and so Emily assumes custody of Lilith while she looks for a foster family. However, Emily soon finds that dark forces surround the seemingly innocent girl, and the more she tries to protect Lilith, the more horrors she encounters.
A girl with a traumatic past blurs the line between psychopath and vigilante.
A badly abused girl of 6 is saved from having to be admitted to an institution by a dedicated Special Education teacher whose class she's been placed in until there is an opening in the hospital. In that time they form a strong bond and the child begins to heal. The teacher begins to think an institution is not what this child needs.
When Lou Bloom, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
A re-imagining of the old mystical folklore that follows a woman and a tight-knit Jewish community that is besieged by foreign invaders. She conjures a dangerous creature to protect them but it may be more evil than she ever imagined.
A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.
World War II soldier-turned-U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels investigates the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, but his efforts are compromised by troubling visions and a mysterious doctor.
After the death of his wife, wealthy businessman Philip Emmenthal and his son Storey open their own private harem in their family residence in Geneva (they get the idea while watching Federico Fellini's 8½ and after Storey is "given" a woman, Simato (Inoh), to waive her pachinko debts). They sign one-year contracts with eight (and a half) women to this effect. The women each have a gimmick (one is a nun, another a kabuki performer, etc.). Philip soon becomes dominated by his favourite of the concubines, Palmira, who has no interest in Storey as a lover, despite what their contract might stipulate. Philip dies, the concubines' contracts expire, and Storey is left alone with Giulietta (the titular "½", played by Fujiwara) and of course the money and the houses.
Haunted by memories of a patient's death, a nurse takes a job at an antiquated hospital for children. Soon she learns that the kids fear a ghost that prowls the floors and will not allow anyone to leave. Amy tries to protect them and convince the other staffers of the evil that lurks there.
Aerial firefighter Pete risks himself and his vintage World War II airplane in a constant and death-defying quest to fight forest wildfires, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Dorinda . His love for Dorinda and the advice of fellow pilot Al convince Pete to give up his perilous career, but he flies one last mission. Pete heroically saves Al's plane from certain destruction, but with supernatural consequences.