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The Sixth Sense movie review

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The Sixth Sense

Every now and again a film comes along that just works because its characters are genuine humans reacting to their circumstances. Sixth Sense is one of those films.

Sixth Sense is a film about people with problems. Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is an outcast at school, is distant with his mother and claims that he sees dead people walking around. Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is having problems with his marriage, the memory of a tragic failure and his growing obsession with helping Cole. Lynn Sear (Toni Collette) is trying to hold herself together and figure out what's wrong with her son.

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The three leads do an excellent job. Bruce is getting back to his drama roots and shows just how good an actor he really is. Here is a believable human being putting himself through hell in an attempt to find a way to help this child. As he realises what his obsession is doing to his own relationship, you can see this man's pain.

Toni Collette is good throughout the film but really gets to shine towards the end. Her portrayal of a mother trying to cope in difficult circumstances is excellent.

Haley Joel Osment is fantastic as a child haunted (or is he) by the ghosts of the dead. His character gets to run the range from terrified child through to regular kid, and he always handles it believably. You care about this boy from the start because he seems real. I really hope Haley goes on to have a great career, I think the industry may be the poorer if he doesn't.

The final elements that make this a must see film are its direction and writing, both handled by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is written and directed with great subtly and care. Avoid and ignore the ad campaigns for this movie. They give a false impression of the nature of the film, as they try to make it look supernatural and action-based.

All you need to know is that it's an excellent film that builds in psychological and emotional intensity to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

Don't let anyone spoil it for you, just go see it. At least once.

Ali says:
On the night he received a mayoral citation, noted child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is confronted by one of his failures. The shivering wreck changes his world forever.

The city of Philadelphia is the scene for this film about what Terry Pratchett referred to as the previously living.
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Danny Heap
Due for Australian release Sep, 1999
For credits and official site details, see Ali's review
See also: M. Night Shyamalan also wrote/directed Unbreakable
additional references on Ali's review page.
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Filed: 28-Sep-1999 : Last updated: : Last tested: 19-Jan-2009 : Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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