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Signs (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  2 August 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 259,601 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 2,322 user | 208 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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2 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 grows suspicious of demonic activities. Now they must stick together and believe, as a family to survive the ordeal and find a way to escape. Written by Radhakrishnan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't see it alone. See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 August 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M. Night Shyamalan's Signs  »

Box Office


$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$60,117,080 (USA) (2 August 2002)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just after the DVD is inserted into the player, and immediately after the Touchstone logo, a dark, fuzzy image appears in black and white, very quickly. It is a movie still with Merrill, Morgan and Bo sitting on the couch with the aluminum hats on their heads. The picture is shown even faster when "Play" is selected. See more »


They nail boards on the outside of inward-opening doors. Obviously this isn't going to prevent the doors from being opened, but anything is better than nothing and they're panicking anyway. Moreover, when Merrill asks Graham how they will know if boarding the windows will work, Graham replies, "Because they seem to have trouble with pantry doors". Graham is implying that if the aliens have trouble with pantry doors, boarding them can only help. Doing so also may give everyone, especially the children, a sense of hope and/or security. See more »


Graham Hess: It's happening.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In Memory of Bill Nisselson - June 19, 2001 See more »


Referenced in Who? What? (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Visually terrific
3 August 2002 | by (SF, California) – See all my reviews

M. Night Shyamalan has done it again, and this time, better. If 'Unbreakable' left skepticism about the young director, `Signs' will make you a believer again.

Mel Gibson and his family, one boy, one girl, and Gibson's younger brother (Joaquin Phoenix) take residence in the small town of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Gibson's wife is not a member of this household (we find out why, later). Shot over and around a 'Walton's-style' house and surrounded by crops, we get the eerie feeling that we are to be entangled here for the next two hours. Immediately, the children notice gigantic perfect circular shapes or signs as we like to call them, appearing within the crops. Is this a hoax or War of the Worlds? And, that's all you need to know. The rest of film will dazzle you with style, suspense, and downright scariness.

The key ingredients to this recipe for storytelling is one half Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a dash of Stephen King, sprinkled with Orson Wells. Shyamalan also uses Hitchcock like close ups, wicked camera angles, and a blasting score. You are locked in as soon as the movie begins. You will tilt your head in wonder and confusion, as characters in the film do. There is a deep desire to figure this all out, while your stuck in the middle of nowhere, nowhere being Bucks County.

The picture gives us two ultimate dilemmas to wrestle with. Two basic questions we must ask ourselves. Are our daily occurrences and the paths we choose Coincidence? Or, are is it just plain Luck? Shyamalan weaves these posing questions into a subplot, with trickery until the end. From scene to scene, he leaves no fades to black. As one scene ends the other smartly begins. That's what keeps the audience watching as if we were tucked tightly into our beds and rapidly turning pages of a good book. Each page is significant. This movie isn't just about crops. That's what makes Shyamalan such a keen filmmaker. He has the talent and ability to fog up the film, and distract you with different propositions.

Shyamalan uses technique to peak his story, rather than dialogue. His masterful and favorite formula is the usage of flashbacks, which gives the audience a chance to catch up on what they might have missed. He emphasizes his points by re-occurring scenes and replaying them for the grand effect, the 11th hour, until he hits you with the finale. Whether you believe the outcome or not, you cannot deny his aptitude for storytelling.

This nervous and paranoid feature film with a heart-pounding ending is terrific. I was still thinking about it when I left the theater. You too, will enjoy the ride. But, when it's over, say your prayers, get into bed, pull the sheets over your head, breathe a sigh of relief, and close the book!

102 of 181 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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