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The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense (1999)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 140
Fresh: 119 | Rotten: 21

M Night Shayamalan's The Sixth Sense is a twisty ghost story with all the style of a classical Hollywood picture, but all the chills of a modern horror flick.

80

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 7

M Night Shayamalan's The Sixth Sense is a twisty ghost story with all the style of a classical Hollywood picture, but all the chills of a modern horror flick.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,030,216

My Rating

Movie Info

In this tense tale of psychological terror, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist whose new patient has a problem far outside his usual area of expertise. Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is six-years-old and claims to see the spirits of dead people all around him. It seems that Cole has psychic powers and can channel the ghosts of those who were troubled. Cole doesn't understand his powers, and he has little control over them; he's constantly terrified by what he sees, and Dr.

PG-13,

Mystery & Suspense

M. Night Shyamalan

Mar 28, 2000

Hollywood/Buena Vista - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (140) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (119) | Rotten (21) | DVD (41)

So transparent is Osment as an actor, and so rare, that the pain on his face stabs you in the heart.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Osment's pinched, old-young face suggests an ancient's insight without an ancient's defenses -- a sensitivity so exquisitely morbid that you worry more for his emotional than physical well-being.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Willis turns in a measured and understated performance.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A delicate, emotionally attentive, but very scary ghost story.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was not only surprised by the film's final twist, I wasn't even looking for one. I just thought I was watching a bad movie. The end doesn't quite redeem it, but it makes you think about what you've seen. That's a saving grace of some sort.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shyamalan's script is a clever construct, but also contains a great deal of sensitivity to the plight of the "different" child.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dr Crowe gradually comes to believe that little Cole can indeed commune with the unquiet souls, who are reaching out to him for help. And, yes, the scenes where Cole does so can be very creepy indeed.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

M Night Shyamalan has fashioned a modern classic here, a chilly, intelligent, emotional ghost story that relies not on the obligatory gore and knifeplay for its many shocks but on glimpses of an afterlife that's anything but angels and harps.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Another "could-have-been" film, another almost successful compromise, another intelligent flick done in by its misplaced and worn-out star.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

If ultimately there is less to Sense than meets the eye, director-writer M. Night Shyamalan (Wide Awake) at least avoids gory cheap thrills in favor of muted chills. He bears watching.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Like Kieslowski and others, Shyamalan knows that what makes for lousy metaphysics can make for powerful metaphor, and in the end he creates a deeply, surprisingly affecting film out of a little bit of smoke and brimstone.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Like The Exorcist, this isn't really a gore-spattered shocker, more a slow-burning, subconscious-botherer.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Osment is excellent, as is Bruce Willis, as a melancholy child psychologist scarred by his failure with a similarly haunted youth, and Toni Collette, as the boy's fiercely loyal mother.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Constantly on the brink of explanation, The Sixth Sense in fact derives most of its fascination from explaining next to nothing.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Great, but sometimes scarier than R-rated horror.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

An excellent premiere for new director M. Night Shyamalan as he packs a punch with a great story, excellent directing, a great cast, great performances, and a surprise ending that will leave you breathless for days on end.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Classy, creepy and cunnningly constructed, Shyamalan's film offers melacholy pleasures and some genuinely effective scares. A quality Hollywood offering and a massive hit.

October 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A low-key triumph of mood and menace.

October 31, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Mr. Willis gives a surprisingly quiet performance.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Audience Reviews for The Sixth Sense

One of Bruce Willis' best, it was the first movie where i finally gathered that it's not just that people pay to see a movie that makes a film hot, but rather how many times they go back ... to see that shit again, that's what makes a blockbuster. This is one hoot, yah sure, you betcha, worthy of repeat viewings ... M.Night Shyamalan hasn't beat this one yet
March 14, 2014
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

No matter how much M. Night Shyamalan continues to go downhill, this will continue to hold up as a great film.

Influenced by an old episode of the show "Are You Afraid of the Dark?", this is an engrossing psychological thriller about a troubled child psychologist named Dr. Malcolm Crowe who begins to treat a gifted boy named Cole who confesses he has the ability to see the dead.

Both Dr. Crowe and Cole are troubled, and share a sense of alienation, and while Crowe should be the one helping Cole, it seems that there could be a turning of the tables, with Cole being the one helping Dr. Crowe put his own demons to rest.

Twist endings were nothing new when this film came out, but it seemingly resurrected the trend (for better or worse). Heck, the trend has continued through most of the rest of Shyamalan's own work since then. It is a good twist, and it works, but I like this film regardless of the twist. I mostly just like how well the twist works, and the point that it gives the film, making you realize it's really about something other than you initially think it is.

In general, this is just an extremely well crafted film. Everything is very deliberate, thought out, and expertly set up and executed. This is some great writing and direction, and it's all highlighted by some excellent and evocative cinematography and camera work.

At the core of the film though, and what really holds it all together are the two central performances from Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment,. Willis proved he can really excel at serious drama, and was even awarded an Oscar nod for his efforts. He's great ,but actually manages to get practically outshined by Osment. Most child actors are so-so at best, but this kid knocks it out of the park here, and it's a shame he's pretty well fallen into obscurity. These two have great chemistry with one another, and you really get drawn into their world and want to see them get through their situations. The other performers are also good, but mostly overshadowed by these two, A big exception would have to be the brief but memorable appearance of Donnie Wahlberg as a former patient of Dr. Crowe's. It's chillingly effective.

Actually, 'chillingly effective' is a great way to sum of the whole film. It's moody, atmospheric, eerie, and unforgettable, largely because of the things I've already mentioned, but also because of the terrific score as well.

This film gets talked about a lot, and I doubt any of what I've said are new contributions, but trust this film's reputation as great and go see it if you, for some reason, haven't already.
April 23, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

It kills me to say it but I wasn't particularly scared by The Sixth Sense. I rather found the story intriguing and wanted to know what was going to happen following every twist and turn. So much so that it ends with one massive twist that I honestly never saw coming. It's well constructed generally but I think there are some problems with it. Firstly M Night Shymalan is a very talented writer/director and it was here pretty much where his career truly got off the ground. But the fundamental flaw is his script, it's written with a self confidence that makes the experience of watching the film unengaging and oddly detatching. What he gets right is his spectacular direction of the filming and the performances of the cast. And Bruce Willis plays his character outstandingly considering he'd never really done many toned down, "talky" performances up until that point. Which bring me to it's second flaw, it never knows when to shut up. It's a film that constantly has characters explaining things and talking very quietly and slowly in a way that isn't really creepy. But what made it work in the end for me was my admiration of the incredible performances and the various plot twists. Shymalan makes every single character interesting and keeps the general tension alive. It's not a masterpiece, I think the critics were too fair too it, it's by far an over rated ghost flick, but it does so much with so little resources and proves M Night Shymalan knew how to make films before recent lacklusters like The Last Airbender. It feels so different, and is in ways an art house horror about children's social anxiety, among other reasons I would certainly recommend it as a simple piece of Hollywood entertainment mixed with elements of a classic ghost story.
November 20, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Suspense till the End. Though always having trouble prouncing the Directors name out. *shakin head
February 9, 2012
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

    1. Cole Sear: I see dead people.
    – Submitted by Dutch E (13 months ago)
    1. Cole Sear: I see dead people.
    – Submitted by Jay M (24 months ago)
    1. Cole Sear: She wanted me to tell you...
    2. Lynn Sear: Cole, please stop...
    3. Cole Sear: She wanted me to tell you she saw you dance. She said, when you were little, you and her had a fight, right before your dance recital. You thought she didn't come see you dance. She did. She hid in the back so you wouldn't see. She said you were like an angel. She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question? She said the answer is... 'Every day.' What did you ask?
    4. Lynn Sear: Do... Do I make her proud?
    – Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
    1. Cole Sear: I'm ready to tell you my secret now.
    2. Dr. Malcolm Crowe: Okay.
    3. Cole Sear: Come closer.
    4. Cole Sear: I see dead people. They don't know they're dead.
    5. Dr. Malcolm Crowe: Where are they?
    6. Cole Sear: Everywhere.
    – Submitted by Gabe Z (2 years ago)
    1. Cole Sear: Stuttering Stanley!
    2. Stanley Cunningham: Excuse me.
    3. Cole Sear: You talk funny when you went to school and you talk funny all the way to high school!
    4. Cole Sear: [repeating] Stuttering Stanley! Stuttering Stanley! Stanley!
    5. Stanley Cunningham: [shouting] Shut up you freak!
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Malcolm Crowe: You like magic? [sitting down facing Cole] Look here's a penny. I'm going to make this penny disappear. I give this a little wave and [clap] it's in my right hand. But that's not the end of the magic trick. I give this a little shake and [tap on inside pocket] it's in my pocket. But that's not the end of the magic trick. I give this a little shake and [clap] it's back where it started.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
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  • Sixième Sens (FR)
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