This B movie with noble aspirations is the work of a gifted filmmaker whose storytelling falls short of his considerable stylistic flair. While addressing crises of faith in the framework of an alien-invasion thriller, M. Night Shyamalan (in his follow-up to The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable) favors atmospheric tension over explanatory plotting. He injects subtle humor into expertly spooky scenes, but the story suffers from too many lapses in logic. The film''s faults are greatly compensated by the performance of Mel Gibson as a widower whose own crisis of faith coincides with the appearance of mysterious crop circles in his Pennsylvania cornfield... and hundreds of UFOs around the globe. With his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and two young children (Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin), the lapsed minister perceives this phenomenal occurrence as a series of signs and portents, while Shyamalan pursues a spookfest with War of the Worlds overtones. It''s effective to a point, but vaguely hollow at its core. --Jeff Shannon
From M. Night Shyamalan, the writer/director of THE SIXTH SENSE and UNBREAKABLE, comes the story of the Hess family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who wake up one morning to find a 500-foot crop circle in their backyard. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his family are told extraterrestrials are responsible for the sign in their field. They watch, with growing dread, the news of crop circles being found all over the world. SIGNS is the emotional story of one family on one farm as they encounter the terrifying last moments of life as the world is being invaded. "It''s easy for a filmmaker to blow up the world -- but what Shyamalan does is much riskier. He tries to blow our minds. I was engaged by every inch of SIGNS." - Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.
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