Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
Watch On
  1. 75
    Has a kind of calm, sneaky self-confidence that allows it to take us down a strange path, intriguingly.
  2. 38
    An inferior product. It is not well written, well acted, or well directed.
  3. If this isn't the single best performance ever by a preadolescent male (Osment) in a motion picture, then it's tied for whatever is first.
  4. 40
    Buried deep inside this ponderous, repetitive psychological thriller is a fantastic half-hour "Twilight Zone" episode.
  5. Because it unfolds like a garish hybrid of Simon Birch and What Dreams May Come, with some horror-movie touches thrown in to keep us from nodding off, "The Sixth Sense" appears to have been concocted at exactly the moment Hollywood was betting on supernatural schmaltz.
  6. The thriller's best and worst features all stem from a highly unusual plot structure that builds to a genuinely startling conclusion.
  7. It's a psychological thriller that actually thrills.
  8. Ultimately affecting mix 'n' match weeper.
  9. 78
    Works best when it works its mournful magic alone, without fanfare, using only the flickering fear in Cole's gaze as it meets the compassion in Crowe's.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Ultimately, it has less in common with "Blair Witch" than with such quivering lumps of sentiment as "Ghost" and Field of Dreams."
  11. The 11-year-old Osment evokes the boy's terror and awful predicament so memorably, you'll never forget him.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Borderline dull to sit through, The Sixth Sense is actually rather interesting to think about afterward because of the revelation of its ending.
  13. A metaphysical shaggy-dog story, whose unpredictable punchline is its only redeeming feature.
  14. An unnerving and astonishing thriller.
  15. I haven't been so captivated, chilled and surprised by a movie in years.
  16. 80
    Teeters on the brink of New Age ludicrousness, but it never goes over: 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.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The filmmaker keeps upping the ante with surprises until the plot-twist beaut that concludes the picture - a shocker that, upon reflection, is probably the one ending that wouldn't have fallen a little flat.
  18. It's like an enema to the soul as it probes the ways of death ? some especially grotesque in a family setting. You leave slightly asquirm. You know it will linger.
  19. Complain all you want about Willis's posturing and the rabbit-in-the-hat ending (predicated as it is on a vast plothole), the film is still a rarity, a studio horror movie focused on a child's traumatic stress.
  20. 80
    Eventually writer-director M. Night Shyamalan neutralizes Willis's star presence with impressive plotting that's a fine excuse for the powerful atmosphere.
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Unfolds with a patient intelligence. The Sixth Sense might not scare you out of your wits, but it could reward them.
  22. 30
    Because the movie never fully engages us, it never quite manages to allay our queasiness about watching the boy's distress.
  23. 30
    The biggest piece of supernatural hooey since estranged wife Demi Moore's "The Seventh Sign."
  24. 50
    The flashy sensationalism of The Sixth Sense -- maybe the best thing about it -- is at war with its desire for contemplation.
  25. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    The boy (Osment) has an uncanny ability to suggest Cole's secretive, haunted soul, and he seems to have inspired Willis to give perhaps his most self-effacing performance.
  26. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    Chalk this film up as an unusually intelligent thriller about that which scares us the most: accepting our accidents of fate.
  27. 80
    Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan lets the tension rise slowly, leads you everywhere you don't expect, doesn't rip you off and totally freaks you out -- all without stale effects or gore.
  28. 80
    It's far more loquacious and cerebral than your average run-of-the-mill thriller, but boy, when the relatively infrequent scares do come, they will pull you out of your seat and raise the hair on your arms.
  29. Sometimes verges on silliness.
  30. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    Perhaps the most startling part is the realization that, in the turn-off-your-brain season of summer, you've just experienced an uncommonly serious-minded movie that's brave enough to engage our deepest emotions on issues of death, madness, illusion and forgiveness. That's the biggest thrill of them all.
  31. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    (Osment) delivers what may be the greatest performance ever by a child actor.
  32. Reviewed by: Jeff Gray
    At least tries to disturb us, rather than shock us or gross us out, and that is admirable. But it doesn't pull it off, and the movie is indicative of the trouble Hollywood has these days making that most frightening kind of movie -- the kind that lets the audience frighten itself.
  33. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    So disarmingly eerie it's virtually guaranteed to rattle the most jaded of cages.
  34. Reviewed by: Walaika Haskins
    Although the film occasionally descends into mawkishness, Shyamalan is skilled at bringing the tension to excruciating heights.
  35. Reviewed by: Matt Kelsey
    Willis puts his action-hero stereotype on the back burner to deliver one of his most intriguing roles since "12 Monkeys."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 282 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 63
  2. Negative: 1 out of 63
  1. sLm
    Oct 5, 2012
    The mother practically made me break down in tears, and not to mention the awesome ending. Amazing film.
  2. Oct 16, 2011
    M. Night Shyamalan's "The SIxth Sense" is a masterfully created horror movie that, with solid care, actually scares you and tears you the sameM. Night Shyamalan's "The SIxth Sense" is a masterfully created horror movie that, with solid care, actually scares you and tears you the same time. It's a great movie that will make you think throughout the whole time, especially with the shocking twist at the end. Full Review »
  3. Jul 10, 2013
    A great debut feature by M. Night Shyamalan. It's chilling with great performances by Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis. Plus the twistA great debut feature by M. Night Shyamalan. It's chilling with great performances by Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis. Plus the twist ending is perfect. Full Review »