|Buena Vista Pictures | Release Date: August 6, 1999||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
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. Read full review
Willis puts his action-hero stereotype on the back burner to deliver one of his most intriguing roles since "12 Monkeys."
Chalk this film up as an unusually intelligent thriller about that which scares us the most: accepting our accidents of fate.
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.
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. Read full review
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.