Signs (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes


Signs (2002)



Critic Consensus: With Signs, Shyamalan proves once again an expert at building suspense and giving audiences the chills.

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Movie Info

Following the smash hit The Sixth Sense (1999) and the under-performing follow-up Unbreakable (2000), directing phenom M. Night Shyamalan returns to the summer box office landscape that served as the backdrop for his cinematic breakthrough. In Signs, another paranormal outing for the writer-director, Shyamalan explores the eerie implications of a 500-foot crop circle that mysteriously appears on the Bucks County, PA farm of reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As Hess and his family (Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin) try to take stock of what the sign means, and how its message incorporates into their faith, they start to get the feeling they are not alone in the fields behind their house. Shyamalan re-teams with producers Frank Marshall, Sam Mercer and Kathleen Kennedy, and produces the project in association with his Blinding Edge Pictures banner and Touchstone Pictures.

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Mel Gibson
as Graham Hess
Rory Culkin
as Morgan Hess
Cherry Jones
as Officer Caroline Paski
Patricia Kalember
as Colleen Hess
Ted Sutton
as Cunningham
Lanny Flaherty
as Mr. Nathan
Marion McCorry
as Mrs. Nathan
Kevin Pires
as Brazilian Birthday Boy
Clifford David
as Columbia University Professor
Rhonda Overby
as Sarah Hughes
Greg Wood
as TV Anchor
Ukee Washington
as Off-Screen TV Anchor
Adam Way
as Radio Eyewitness
Angela Eckert
as Soda Commercial Girl
Paul Wilson
as Soda Commercial Singer
Gary Thomas Griffin
as Soda Commercial Singer
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Critic Reviews for Signs

All Critics (236) | Top Critics (54)

Signs is a tense experience; even the opening credits lunge at your throat with orchestral shrieks. It may one day reveal itself as a minor classic, a new Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the manufactured scare of its day.

March 16, 2020 | Full Review…

It's the content that's to blame. Signs works on a confused storyboard. What's Shyamalan trying to say anyways? Nothing, or rather a bit too much.

January 3, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Signs was the film that sparked the desire that led to the purchase of a camera, many short films, and a love of movies that hasn't left me to this day.

April 17, 2015 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

Excellent, but has some extreme tension and peril.

December 28, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Individual sequences generate an eerie tension that's always deflated, creating a jarring stop-and-go rhythm, and the atmospheric trickery never strays beyond a lot of smoke and mirrors.

June 6, 2007 | Full Review…

Shyamalan is technically a superb film-maker, for all that he's picked up most of his tricks from Spielberg and Hitchcock.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Signs


While never losing track of what he wants to say, Shyamalan knows how to build suspense with scenes that can be terrifying, although the film's flaws start to become more and more apparent the moment we stop to think about the details (like the reasons behind the villains' motivations).

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

While I perhaps did not understand all the apparent symbolism, I can certainly appreciate great suspense when I see it and this movie scared me. It is so toned down and slow, giving you only hints here and there, teasing you on the other end, that you just end up gripped with this film. Again, the philosophical part of the movie was completely lost on me (something about lost faith perhaps) but don't let that bog you down from watching this.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

An expertly put-together sci-fi thriller which is the last great M. Night Shyamalan movie put out in over a decade. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Pheonix are excellent as two brothers trying to run a family together, but once their crops come under attack and an alien invasion seems imminent, personal history erupts as a war of possibly apocalyptic heights comes to Earth. This is right on par with "The Sixth Sense" in terms of Shyamalan's work, and the ending is one of my favorites of all-time as he masterfully interweaves a powerful soundtrack with a ferociously action-packed conclusion. A massively under-appreciated and misunderstood movie that will hopefully be more respected as the years go on. Gibson gives one of the best performances of his career, as does Phoenix, and the strong acting and astoundingly good story-telling makes this a flawless motion picture.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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