Signs Reviews

Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
June 6, 2007
Individual sequences generate an eerie tension that's always deflated, creating a jarring stop-and-go rhythm, and the atmospheric trickery never strays beyond a lot of smoke and mirrors.
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Shyamalan is technically a superb film-maker, for all that he's picked up most of his tricks from Spielberg and Hitchcock.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
August 12, 2002
A refreshing summer movie.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 11, 2002
Shyamalan wants to be the metaphysical poet of movies, but he's dangerously close to becoming its O. Henry.
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 9, 2002
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 8, 2002
The same old same old: dull and recycled, with no surprises.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 8, 2002
The movie is almost completely lacking in suspense, surprise and consistent emotional conviction.
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
August 6, 2002
Sitting through the last reel (spoiler alert!) is significantly less charming than listening to a four-year-old with a taste for exaggeration recount his Halloween trip to the Haunted House.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
August 3, 2002
Shyamalan fuses the fictional evidence of his extraterrestrials with the presumed righteousness of God in a way that will make no sense to anyone who has ever questioned either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 2, 2002
Ultimately comes up short.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 2, 2002
One of the most effective movies so far at capturing a jittery nation's case of the yips.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 2, 2002
It's fair to speculate whether Shyamalan's persistence in replicating the otherworldly formula of The Sixth Sense might not be a futile and self-defeating exercise.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
August 2, 2002
Shyamalan's by-now trademark spookiness is starting to play like a CD consciously designed to duplicate the success of an album that sold 10 million copies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
August 2, 2002
Ultimately, Signs -- as original, interesting and ambitious as it is -- is a post-9/11 movie of possibly the most dubious sort.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 2, 2002
It's a smart, skillful movie from a writer-director who's only 31 years old, but already a master of blending the chills of fright with the warmth of love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2002
Turns out to have few thoughts and no thrills.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
August 2, 2002
One creep fest of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
August 2, 2002
There's plenty here that testifies to Shyamalan's exceptional talent.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
August 2, 2002
A heartfelt movie that deals more nakedly with [Shyamalan's] core concerns than any of his other Hollywood films, and it doubtlessly will deeply touch many people as well as frighten them.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
August 2, 2002
A complex story told with assurance and performed with quiet conviction, Signs smoothly and stylishly blends scares and substance.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
August 2, 2002
The soul-searching deliberateness of the film, although leavened nicely with dry absurdist wit, eventually becomes too heavy for the plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 2, 2002
Interesting, entertaining, and good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 2, 2002
The work of a born filmmaker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 2, 2002
A beautifully crafted, white-knuckle, roller-coaster ride of old-school filmmaking.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 2, 2002
The problem is that Signs manages to be both so terribly serious and so unimportant at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 2, 2002
Shyamalan is a considerable talent, but he's become too powerful too young. The sign I discern hanging over his career at the moment reads Wrong Way.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 1, 2002
Skillful as he is, Mr. Shyamalan is undone by his pretensions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 1, 2002
As they used to say in the 1950s sci-fi movies, Signs is a tribute to Shyamalan's gifts, which are such that we'll keep watching the skies for his next project.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
August 1, 2002
For most of its footage, the new thriller proves that director M. Night Shyamalan can weave an eerie spell and that Mel Gibson can gasp, shudder and even tremble without losing his machismo.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 1, 2002
Unlike the lumbering and portentous Unbreakable, Shyamalan's Signs is a satisfyingly taut suspenser.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 1, 2002
It's a B movie with an A-list cast and the kind of deliberate pacing and visual design that might have impressed Stanley Kubrick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 1, 2002
[Shyamalan] turns the goose-pimple genre on its empty head and fills it with spirit, purpose and emotionally bruised characters who add up to more than body count.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 1, 2002
A triumph of mood over logic, of faith over reason.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 1, 2002
Brooding, gripping movie that held a recent preview audience in such rapt attention, you couldn't hear a single candy wrapper crinkle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
August 1, 2002
[Shyamalan's] Big Idea raises a Big Question: So what?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
August 1, 2002
A thrilling ride that will make you both scream with fear and shriek with laughter.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 1, 2002
The film boasts dry humor and jarring shocks, plus moments of breathtaking mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 1, 2002
Offers an exceptionally intriguing premise and a flat follow-through.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 1, 2002
A very well-crafted tease.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 1, 2002
In many ways, it is Shyamalan's most accomplished film to date.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 31, 2002
It's easy for a filmmaker to blow up the world -- but what Shyamalan does is much riskier. He tries to blow our minds.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
July 30, 2002
Conceptually brilliant...Plays like a living-room War Of The Worlds, gaining most of its unsettling force from the suggested and the unknown.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 29, 2002
A truly chilling movie.