Signs (2002)

First, the bad: M. Night Shyamalan’s foray into science-fiction and alien invasion territory is stained by Shyamalan’s typically pedestrian screenwriting and preposterous directorial choices (in particular his choice to pan the camera away for the climax, depriving the film of its own power). Now, the good: Despite its structural flaws, this is still a hell of a good time, with several genuinely exhilarating and often downright terrifying scare scenes that make for an unexpected crowd-pleaser. Joaquin Phoenix manages to eschew most of his self-seriousness and seems to be enjoying himself here, in a terrific supporting role as Mel Gibson’s younger brother.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)


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