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Signs (2002)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  2 August 2002 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 225,120 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 2,300 user | 204 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tracey Abernathy, the Pharmacist
Lanny Flaherty ...
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Mrs. Nathan
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Lionel Prichard
Kevin Pires ...
Brazilian Birthday Boy
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Columbia University Professor
Rhonda Overby ...
Sarah Hughes
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Storyline

Preacher Graham Hess, played by Mel Gibson, has lost his faith in God after his wife dies in a brutal car accident. He along with his son and daughter and his brother Merrill moves into a farmhouse. Crop circles begin to appear in their corn fields which Graham dismisses as mischief by miscreants. After hearing strange noises and watching news coverage on crop circles appearing all over the world, the family begins to suspect of extraterrestrial activities. Now they must stick together and believe, as a family to survive the ordeal and find a way to escape from the clutches of the alien invaders. Written by Radhakrishnan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's happening. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some frightening moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 August 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M. Night Shyamalan's Signs  »

Box Office

Budget:

$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$146,587 (South Africa) (15 November 2002)

Gross:

$227,965,690 (USA) (31 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer James Newton Howard was asked to purposely reference classic film scores from similar genres, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Psycho (1960). The opening music and main three-note motif is strikingly similar (a probable reference) to both the theme of Psycho (1960) and the theme of Twilight Zone (1959). See more »

Goofs

In the start of the movie it says that they are 45 miles outside of Philadelphia. In reality they are no more than 10 miles from the Philadelphia border. See more »

Quotes

[Graham wakes in the morning and finds Merrill watching television in the cupboard under the stairs]
Merrill: For the kids' protection. They were watching the TV from 5am on. I didn't want them getting obsessed, like you said. They should be outside, playing Furry Furry Rabbit or tea party or something.
Graham Hess: What's Furry Furry rabbit?
Merrill: It's a game, isn't it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are black text that rolls over a black screen with a illuminated blue circle in the middle, instead of the traditional white text on a flat black background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Target Audience 9.1 (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Unspeakably brilliant
5 August 2002 | by (Long Island, NY) – See all my reviews

In last week's issue of Newsweek, M. Night Shyamalan is quoted as saying to his accomplices in crime, "If I did 'Pokemon 5,' would you come? Come on! I could turn it into a metaphor for the human condition!" The scary thing about that comment is not only that he probably *could* do it if afforded the opportunity, but also that he pulls off a similar trick in "Signs," which from an artistic standpoint is easily the best film he's ever done.

The greater picture of the film is the crop signs that suddenly and quickly start appearing worldwide - and the question of whether they mean anything for mankind as a whole. But once the greater picture is laid out in the first twenty minutes, it takes a complete backseat to Shyamalan's happy & pained family of four, and focuses on their feelings, their worries, their doubts; as the horror of what's transpiring in the greater picture creeps closer to them.

When Merrill says, "It's like War of the Worlds," it's NOT hyperbole, even though we never see what transpires in the greater picture. Instead, Shyamalan focuses on the subtle nuances of the fear of the individual. Instead of seeing hundreds of soldiers fighting in hand-to-hand combat with gigantic bugs, we gain an appreciation of what it's like for those who aren't blessed with such courage - or, in Graham Hess' case, being able to find it again.

This is the first horror movie I've ever seen that both genuinely scared me

  • because you sympathize with the family's plight, even without seeing it -
and made me laugh at the same time, because the family's reaction to the terror unfolding in the world is a sign itself of a strength that most don't have - the ability to be levelheaded and always keep things in perspective, no matter how scary or "out-there" the situation is.

As usual, Shyamalan gets excellent performances out of all of his actors, especially Willis & Breslin as Graham & Bo. As usual, everything you see means something - the trick, like with "Sixth Sense" & "Unbreakable, is whether or not you can put them all together. I'd be shocked, though, if this film doesn't get nominated for its sound - the soundtrack is Hitchcockian-creepy, and Shyamalan is a master at using sound effects to create the terror that the visual effects normally do.

Don't go to "Signs" expecting a monster movie, or a shock ending, but definitely see it before the summer's out, and be prepared to be moved in ways that you previously couldn't have imagined from a horror or suspense film. It's been said that a genius of film is one who knows how to transcend or reinvent a genre - and with this film, M. Night Shyamalan is decidedly on his way there, if he hasn't already reached it. 10/10


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