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The Sixth Sense

Director/Writer:M. Night Shyamalan
Hollywood Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment; PG-13; 107 minutes
Release:8/99
Cast:Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette

The Sixth Sense is one of the year's most original — and most eerie movies. Each scene deepens the symmetry and the mystery, yielding up a superbly crafted whole with a haunting dim glitter.

The movie opens as awarded child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is shot by his only failed patient. Trying to recoup professional confidence and marital contentment, Malcolm becomes determined to help a troubled little boy, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), who's haunted by visions of dead people.

M. Night Shyamalan has written and directed The Sixth Sense with an excellent eye for mood, setting, and pace. It's tense, but never slow; it's powerful in its subtlety and downright unsettling when the horrors terrorizing Cole Sear become more explicit. Osment's acting is excellent, as is his Toni Collette's, who plays Cole's mother with depth. The mother-son and boy-psychologist relationships are fleshed out with an unusual amount of detail, conferring a deeply human element to a film of the supernatural. The work as a whole is a gripping exercise in disquiet, and The Sixth Sense's ending is nothing short of stunning.


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