Wide Awake Reviews
Joseph Cross is an amazing actor at such a young age. Leary, Loggia, Stiles, Delaney and Reifsnyder provide great supporting roles which do not subtract from the film's charm. O'Donnell fits well in this film.
Unlike the real world, Shyamalan's film is non-abusive in its faithful message of enlightenment. The plot is easy to understand, and does not steer the audience with dogmatic tension or fear.
Joseph Cross is superb as the main child. He's possibly as brilliant as Haley Joel Osment was in Sixth Sense, but in a very different genre. He is wrestling with very serious, adult issues, and his growing discouragement is heartbreaking to watch.
Although this isn't a brilliant film, it's a solidly moving portrayal of a young boy's search for God in a world that is too busy to answer his questions.
(By the way, what is this "Rosie O'Donnell Is Hilarious!" endorsement up at the top of the box cover? Rosie O'Donnell was in it very briefly and was not terribly hilarious either time. Really, the story's about the boy, not about her at all. Terrible idea trying to market it as an uproarious family comedy.)
I watch this movie with my children because it is great for generating discussion about many topics on which kids need direction: God, church, life after death, spirituality, bullying, peer/school issues, social status, terminal illness, etc.
This is a great effort by M. Night Shyamalan, and it is an excellent family film, although it is too slow for young children. I recommend that it be watched with children when they are 7-12 years old. Give it a try if you have kids, or if you are questioning your faith.